In case your pet runs through fresh paint (oil-based), know that it can be removed without injury to the animal by applying butter! Or margarine. Probably any shortening would work, too. But from firsthand experience, I learned that butter works. This advice comes straight from Prairie State Animal Hospital, just across Harlem in Oak Park. It’s just about impossible to keep a curious dog away from paint. Sigh.

Forest Park needs – make that desperately needs – some kind of humane animal control. Not one like that horrible Spanish Inquisition dungeon we had on Madison Street. Nor our current option: If an abandoned or stray animal is found, it must go straight to the police. Animal Care League, the shelter in Oak Park, cannot accept Forest Park animals. Sad, but true. “Tell your mayor,” they told me. So let’s tell the mayor we need a humane, clean, bright animal shelter. Tony, listen up.

I hear that everyone had a blast last week at the all-school picnic, a time-honored tradition in Forest Park since my father went to school here over a 100 years ago. Known in recent decades as the Bob Haeger picnic. Waiting for a response to my yet-unfulfilled prayer for a telephone prevented me from dropping by.

Greg Downes began the Memorial Day weekend by repairing his little girl’s bike. Aquilla waited patiently while her daddy worked.

It was a memorable Memorial Day for the Roach family. Daddy, husband, Paul – that’s Commander Paul Roach, U.S. Navy – returned from deployment in Afghanistan. The remainder of his Navy time will be spent caring for the sick and injured at Great Lakes Naval Base. The joyful, thankful Roaches are Fiona, Paul, Maeve, Helen and Megan. Welcome home, Dr. Paul!

Megan sends us more good news from St. Bernardine’s: Jessica Coleman, one of the eighth grade historians who represented St. B’s last month, earned an “Outstanding” award in Springfield at the state history fair. Now she’s off to Trinity High School in August.

Birthdays wishes for Ashley Santelli, Lauren Arnier, Margaret Rhode, Paul Schlichting, Tom Collis, Phil Tenca, Jim Collis, Tom Aftanas, Kevin Copplino, Doris Knapp, Lydia Holmes, Dan Watts, Ruth Ramell, Tony Sarley, Jack Pingel, Ian Hansen, Nancy Brod, Steve Huebner, Nicole Rice and Dan Goodman.

Thank you for your time this busy week. School’s out! Enjoy the summer.