Little Tuffy Explores the Arctic: Discovers Backyard Winter Wonderland

Little Tuffy Explores the Arctic: Discovers Our Backyard Winter Wonderland

After having been stranded inside during Chicago’s bitter cold weather that accompanied the past week’s massive snowstorms, little Tuffy finally ventured outside today to explore the Arctic and see what “Chiberia” was really like. Amazing…the backyard had been transformed into a snowy winter wonderland!

Little Tuffy Explores the Arctic: Discovers Our Backyard Winter Wonderland

Caught This Little Guy Playing With Himself!!

Caught This Little Guy Playing With Himself!!

Don’t worry folks, my Little Tuffy has an owner. He wasn’t homeless. For those wondering, this was taken on a hot summer day at the Belmont Harbor Beach in Chicago. Tuffy had just discovered a new part of the Wall at the beach, exploring it and wondering if he could muster the courage to jump from it all the way down into the lake water.

Caught This Little Guy Playing With Himself!!

Chicago’s 2013 Pride Parade: More Than 1 Million March for Marriage Equality

Chicago’s 2013 Pride Parade: More Than 1 Million March for Marriage Equality

Sunday’s Pride Parade on Chicago’s North Side, always a big festivity, fell at a time when the LGBT community is counting its victories in the fight to legalize same-sex marriage. On a perfect summer day, Chicago’s gay community celebrated the best way it knows: loudly, colorfully and with great flair. Thousands lined the streets of Uptown and Lakeview for the 44th annual Pride Parade, as it moved down Broadway and Halsted streets, a joyful revelry that took on new meaning in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act last week

In major victories for the human rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday had ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case on Prop 8 from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there. By clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, the court effectively increased to 13 the number of states that allow it.

Chicago’s 2013 Pride Parade: More Than 1 Million March for Marriage Equality

Chicago Pride Parade 2013

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis: Same Love

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Little Tuffy Goes Swimming at the Beach!

Little Tuffy Goes Swimming at the Beach!

It was a hot early summer day in Chicago, and Tuffy went swimming in Lake Michigan at the doggie beach at the North Side’s Belmont Harbor. At first little Tuffy was quite puzzled by some new construction at the doggie beach, but ended up having himself a swimmingly fun time!

Little Tuffy Goes Swimming at the Beach!

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High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

His voice breaking with emotion, state Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) tearfully said Friday that he would not call for a vote on his bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the final hours of the Illinois spring legislative session. “I’ve never been sadder,” Harris said, as he took to the floor of the House to make his announcement.

Several of my colleagues have indicated they’d not be willing to cast a vote on this bill today,” Harris told the crowded House chamber. “They’ve asked for time to go back to their districts, talk to their constituents and reach out to their minds and hearts and have told me they’ll return in November with their word that they’re prepared to support this legislation. And I take my colleagues at their word they shall.”

Gay and lesbian couples who want to legally marry in Illinois met the announced delay with tears, anger and confusion. The postponement of the showdown vote once again dashed the high hopes of supporters, who believed that after years of disappointment, they were finally on the verge of making history.

High Hopes Dashed: Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed Until November

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Springtime in Chicago: Little Tuffy Frolics with the Big Guys

Springtime in Chicago: Little Tuffy Frolics with the Big Guys

Well, springtime has finally arrived in Chicago, and Little Tuffy gets to frolic with his big bestie, Miss Olive, at the Wiggly Field doggie park in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. And when some of the other big guys think about picking on Little Tuffy, he’s up for a little bit of play-fighting that teaches them not to mess around with the little guys!!

Springtime Frolics: Little Tuffy and Big Miss Olive

Springtime Frolics: Little Tuffy Takes on the Big Guys

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Legendary Chicago Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at Age 70

Legendary Chicago Film Critic Roger Ebert Dies at Age 70

I know [my death] is coming, and I do not fear it,
Because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear.
I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path.
I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.
What I am grateful for is the gift of intelligence, and for life, love, wonder, and laughter.
You can’t say it wasn’t interesting. My lifetime’s memories are what I have brought home from the trip.

I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris.”
–Roger Ebert, 2010

Roger Ebert, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago at the age of 70.

On Tuesday, Ebert blogged that he had suffered a recurrence of cancer following a hip fracture suffered in December and would be taking “a leave of presence.” In the blog essay, marking his 46th anniversary of becoming the Sun-Times film critic, Ebert wrote “I am not going away. My intent is to continue to write selected reviews but to leave the rest to a talented team of writers hand-picked and greatly admired by me.” “We were getting ready to go home today for hospice care, when he looked at us, smiled, and passed away,” said his wife, Chaz Ebert. “No struggle, no pain, just a quiet, dignified transition.”

Ebert had been in poor health over the past decade, battling cancers of the thyroid and salivary gland. He first had surgery to remove a malignant tumor on his thyroid in 2002, and three subsequent surgeries on his salivary gland, all the while refusing to cut back on his TV show or his lifelong pride and joy, his job at the Sun-Times. He lost part of his lower jaw in 2006, and with it the ability to speak or eat, a calamity that would have driven other men from the public eye. But Ebert refused to hide, instead forging what became a new chapter in his career, an extraordinary chronicle of his devastating illness that won him a new generation of admirers. “No point in denying it,” he wrote, analyzing his medical struggles with characteristic courage, candor and wit, a view that was never tinged with bitterness or self-pity.

My newspaper job,” he said in 2005, “is my identity.” But as always with Roger Ebert, that was being too modest. He was a renaissance man whose genius was based on film but by no means limited to it, a great soul who had extraordinary impact on his profession and the world around him.

Kindness covers all of my political beliefs,” he wrote, at the end of his memoir, Life Itself. “No need to spell them out. I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn’t always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.”

Read more about the life of Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times here.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper: Roger Ebert’s Influence and Legacy

When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, came together to tell his remarkable story.

Roger Ebert: Remaking My Voice

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