Peanut’s Bucket List

Owning a pet is one of life’s greatest joys. The snuggles, the licks, the late-night chats, the antics, and of course, the unconditional love. Our pets provide affection unlike any other. Their devotion is untainted by our mistakes, short-comings, or blundering. For that very reason the prospect of losing that bond is heartbreaking. I’m prepping myself for that loss now.

Peanut has been a part of my life since June 2, 2008 when I adopted him from PAWS Chicago. He had been transferred in from Chicago’s Animal Care & Control, where he had arrived as a stray, emaciated, and with cherry eye in both peepers. PAWS transferred him in, got him neutered, fixed his third eyelids, and popped him onto the adoption floor. I came in the very next day, saw his pitiful little face and the blazing spirit lying under the surface. I fell in love instantly. I brought him home that same day and my life was forever changed.

We’ve spent the last 9 glorious years together. The first two it was just him, my hubby, and the cat. We’d spend hours on the lakefront, just relaxing, reading and strolling. In 2011 we adopted his best friend, Butter, from The Anti-Cruelty Society and the two have been inseparable since. Years later we also adopted a bunny so had quite the motley crew at home. Over the decade he’s tolerated many house guests, including rescued wildlife, street kittens in heat, and countless of fostered shelter dogs and cats. And the biggest adventure of all came in 2015: the new human. He took even that in stride.

peanut 11

Deeply opinionated, always energized, communicative, and prone to mischief, Peanut provided the daily spice of life that always kept us on our toes. He’s now 11 years old and the fire hasn’t dissipated one bit.

Despite his continued zest for life, Peanut has not been feeling well. After many weeks of testing, it was confirmed last week that my sweet senior has prostate cancer. It’s rare in dogs, very aggressive, and there’s no effective treatment. Radiation can extend his life span by a touch, but the stress of the process would negatively impact his quality of life. So the plan is to provide veterinary support in keeping him comfortable for as long as possible. It could be weeks or a  months. My vet will be giving me a tighter timeline in the next few days.

I’m saddened by the news in many ways, but am deliberately choosing not to dwell in my despair. Instead, I plan to celebrate each day that we have together. I want to celebrate his fiery spirit so he can go out in true Peanut fashion: With a bang.

So here it is – Peanut’s go-out-in-glory bucket list. It includes some over-the-top adventures as well as more subdued routines that I know will make him smile. My hope is that focusing in on these fun-filled tasks will prevent the sadness from taking hold of our limited time together.

Peanut’s Bucket List

Peanut Loves Butter: Upcycled Cotton Bowtie

  1. Go on The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Canine Cruise
  2. Go for a car ride with a Starbucks pup cup
  3. Scavenge at the farmer’s market
  4. Hunt down the Fido to Go canine food truck
  5. Take a walk on the beach at sunset
  6. Enjoy a vanilla custard cone from Lickety Split
  7. Eat a mini burger from Hamburger Mary’s
  8. Barbecue at my parents house (steak included!)
  9. Go for a boat ride with grandpa Andrzej
  10. Chew up a Polish kielbasa
  11. Eat a homemade batch of High Hopes pup cupcakes
  12. Get a doggie massage from the Chicago School of Canine Massage
  13. Take a trailer ride by the lake
  14. Eat a Chicago-style hot dog
  15. Celebrate life at our DIY lakefront “Peanut Party”

I’ll be posting updates of our bucket list adventures here on the blog as well as on Instagram. Thank you in advance for your love and support.

Here’s to making this the best summer of Peanut’s life!

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Designs: Peanut Loves Butter

Peanut Loves Butter: Upcycled Cotton Bow Tie

I am so excited to announce the launch of a brand-spankin’ new line of merchandise: Peanut Loves Butter!

This new collection of pet products keep style and sustainability in mind. High quality, yet affordable, stylish but modern, this unique series of dog and cat pieces is sure to bring a smile to every pet owner’s face!

Peanut Loves ButterL Handmade Dog Dress Shirt Collar

In true Pierogi Picnic fashion, each piece is handcrafted using salvaged fabrics, making each creation one of a kind and eco-friendly. And as if that’s not enough to make you purr, we’ll be carrying adorable toys and housewares for your furry friends too!

Peanut Loves Butter: Upcycled fabric cat teaser

What inspired the line you may ask? My three little hobgoblins, Peanut, Butter and Tomato.  The majority of pet products found online or in-stores tends to sway on the uber feminine or too utilitarian side.  Rather than purchase a bunch of frou frou sweaters or overpriced knitted pieces, I decided to make my boys accessories that both they and I could be proud of.  And then a funny thing happened. People started asking where I’d purchased each sweater, bow tie or cowl. Imagine my delight!

So I spent some time this summer tweaking and experimenting with the designs. Sewing a sample of this – hand sculpting a toy for that – until I could come up with a line that was both aesthetically awesome, practical, and not too pricey! With practical earth-friendly designs and dapper touches, Peanut Loves Butter was born!

Peanut Loves Butter: Dog Cowl Sweatshirt

So if you’ve been looking for eco-chic pet products for your little monsters, be sure to follow all of the fun on the new Peanut Loves Butter blog! And should you be one of the first 10 people who hit the subscribe button, you’ll receive an exclusive 25% off coupon to use in the new PLB shop!

cowl pandb circle

So there you have it! Cute, affordable, totally eco-friendly and style savvy pet gear. What more could you ask for this fall!?

Peanut Loves Butter logo