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West Loop Dogs Strut It for Skinner Park Calendar

By Chloe Riley | October 28, 2013 9:54am
 Dogs were in pose mode Sunday afternoon for the annual West Loop Dog Calendar photo shoot.
West Loop Dogs
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WEST LOOP — Getting dogs to sit still was the name of the game at the annual West Loop Dog Calendar photo shoot at Skinner Park Sunday.

“I think they’re just going to crop my hand out from holding her butt down,” said Veronica Garcia, owner of four-year-old dog Sofia.

“Platz!” yelled resident Pierre Masson to five-year-old Meli, a German Shepard who seemed to respond best to the German slang for “sit.”

The dogs were out for the third day of the annual West Loop dog calendar fundraiser sponsored by the Skinner Park Advisory Council. Proceeds from the sale of the $20 calendar, available Nov. 25, will go toward making the circular planters near Monroe and Loomis streets wheelchair accessible.

“You’ve just got to have patience,” said council executive director May Toy, who was photographing the dogs for the calendar she started a decade ago.

This was the second year for Maddow, a one-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix named after MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, though when the terrier does watch TV, she gravitates toward Animal Planet more than her news channel namesake, said her owner Jeff Stahl.

“She’s like a little calendar girl,” Stahl said as Maddow moved towards Toy’s camera.

For other dogs, this was their first photo shoot experience.

“He looks like a painted pony,” Toy said of West Loop resident Bryan Brown’s spotted 10-month-old Harlequin Great Dane, Arya.

“Yes, a cow. A little cow,” Brown said laughing as he distracted Arya with a treat. 

“When I first came out here, everybody had dogs. And now they have dogs and kids,” Toy said. “One of the things I love about the park is that it’s really a community anchor.”

Toy said the group sells about 200 calendars per year, netting about $2,000 to $2,500 annually. Past proceeds have been used to by a new drinking fountain for Skinner Park and to support special events.

No advanced sign up is necessary for the final day of the dog photo shoot on Nov. 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Loomis Street Gardens along Monroe and Loomis streets.