The Just Love Project 020: Present Company Perfected

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Nearly four years ago, Michele Borello lost her mother after a rapid health decline. Already planning on adopting a dog, Michele brought Butch home within days of her mother’s passing. Looking back on the experience now, she’s not sure how she would have endured the time without him. “He absolutely got me through the grieving process,” Michele says. With a …

The Just Love Project 019: The Wrigley Welcome Wagon

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Every day can be a victory parade if you’ve got the right attitude. Just ask Badger & Angus. Along with their humans, Christy & Matthew, the four live in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood, where they’ve grown an adoring fan base roaming the streets near Wrigley Field. Gamedays, off days, rain, shine, win, lose – it’s not hard to find Badger & …

The Just Love Project 018: These Bears Will Be Bears

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“Just have fun and love your dog. They’ll show you who they are.” For Ashley Gaer, it’s simple but important advice that she offers to any first-time dog owner. Ashley shares her home with her husband, Andrew, and two Newfoundlands, Cass & Elmore. Together, their everyday adventures delight thousands on Instagram as @TheLoganSquareBears. Newfoundlands are known for their affectionate, loyal, …

The Just Love Project 017: Thanks, Einstein

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“He makes the bad days great and the best days perfect.” Those adoring words belong to human Billy about his wire-haired dachshund, Einstein. Today, the love between the two is massive, but their story unfortunately begins at a moment of heartbreak. After a long-term relationship came to an abrupt end, Billy had decided that once the dust settled, he’d adopt …

The Just Love Project 015: Being One of the Girls

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As anyone who’s had a dog in their family can attest, it doesn’t take long before the family tree is rewritten. Kids gain another sibling. Parents quickly become “Mom and Dad” to one more. It’s sort of like using “we” when talking about a favorite sports team. It just feels better. And it feels right. Dogs are woven into the …

The Just Love Project 014: Sophie’s Strong Suit

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Springer Spaniels are often known for two instinctual skills: showing affection, and hunting. Sophie, Jackie Romolo’s six-year-old Springer, is great at exactly half those things, and it’s the one that’s as far from loud noises as possible. Pouring M&Ms into a bowl will send her hiding in the bathroom. So despite an initial goal of bringing Sophie along on pheasant …

The Just Love Project 013: Fletch, Grace, & Fergus

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Life has got a lot more color with the right cast of characters. Just ask Katie, her husband Andy, and their three golden retrievers: Fergus, Grace, & Fletch. As they’re known collectively as the “Hippie Goldens.” And while there’s much they each have in common, their personalities complement each other like a great, well-rounded ensemble. “It’s absolutely a sitcom,” Katie …

The Just Love Project 012: Lending a Helpful Hans

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Big or small, for better or worse, expectations govern much of our lives. Dogs have their own sets of expectations too, they’re just usually a little simpler. And mostly tied to walks and treats. Helen and Hans, an Illinois-native human and White German Shepherd respectively, are a great example of the fickle and funny nature of what we expect. Growing …

The Just Love Project 011: Charlie and the Happiness Factory

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“I told myself I wasn’t gonna adopt another dog.” It’s okay, Justin – we all say things we don’t mean. In his own words, longtime Chicagoan Justin Hagman is “A 50 year old truck-driving bachelor, so I’m kind of a no-nonsense guy.” So when heading to the adoption event that ultimately brought him Charlie, he admits that, “Yeah I don’t …