Above: Scott and Rufus at the Peninsula Hotel, Chicago
So today we traveled to Chicago for the Lakeshore Kennel Club show. Rufus looked mighty fine and took Best of Winners. We got to see some other beautiful Tibetan Terriers from Cedar Creek and Barnstorm and Ri Lee's Reese. Now all Rufus needs is his final MAJOR and he will have his championship.
Posthaste, we headed to the fabled Magnificent Mile to celebrate. But first to the Peninsula Hotel on Superior Street where, our friend, the doorman Scott always has a good stash of biscuits. And, then, on to Michigan Avenue for a little window shopping. And down to Oak Street where I met the sweetest 11-year-old poodle named Shadow. As dad was crouched on the sidewalk posing Rufus in front of the Prada window, a kindly, slightly addled looking, moderately well-dressed black woman threw popcorn in our direction as she wished us happy holidays. My dad looked up at her and then back down to the popcorn at our feet and then back up at her and then quickly back down to the popcorn at our feet. "Thank you" he said "but they can't eat popcorn" and then he mumbled something about it getting caught in our throats. This kindly, slightly addled looking, moderately well-dressed black woman just smiled at us like an angel. We noticed a pigeon descend as we walked away. Did she, perhaps, think we were pigeons?
Then dad sat us down on a bench in the park on East Lakeshore Drive and told us about his Grandma Franny's famous Popcorn Cake. It was kinda like a great big popcorn ball but formed in the shape of a cake. This, somehow, led to a story about a friend of his, Stephanie, who used to volunteer at an after-school program at the fancy Episcopal church on Michigan Avenue where a hot meal and a carton of milk was provided. Stephanie, dad recalled, told him the kids once asked her for extra little cartons of milk so they could throw them at white people on their way home.
Then it was on to Neiman Marcus where Tom and Julie and Jack catered to our every whim and dad was measured for a special holiday suit spun from pure gold. Dad told us that Grammy Jill once had a pair of gold lame capris she liked to kick around in. Tom and Julie and Jack were ever so nice. Tom even shuffled off somewhere and soon shuffled back with biscuits and a kind of doggy pig-in-a-blanket. Delicious! We were told by another Neiman Marcus staffer that the store had recently changed it's policy and dogs were only allowed in the store if held by their owners. We quickly exited.
Alyssa and Penny at the Chicago Jonathan Adler outpost just couldn't get enough of Rufus and took him back behind the counter with them. Crowds soon formed around the windows. I overheard one woman say it was better than any holiday window display she had seen on the Mag Mile. This year Jonathan Adler created a cute poodle ornament for the holidays and one of a dachshund too. I'd like to hang one of those on my tree this year. Wouldn't you?