A stroll through practically any neighborhood in SW Lake Co. reveals a common scene no matter if it’s on the tree-canopied lanes of Jewel Park in Barrington or along the broad streets of Hawthorn Woods: dogs are out walking their owners. Think about that. With rare exception a dog is in front, straining a bit on its lead, showing patience for the typically sluggish pace of its two-legged companion.

Not so with cats: those with the narrowed eyes, sizing up their people or engaging in a bit of languid grooming. Unlike their dog cousins, a cat is expert at conserving energy, saving up for furious bursts of activity thanks to the greatest invention in Cat history – a laser pointer that produces a maddeningly tiny little red dot that’s so much fun to chase thanks to their thoughtful people.

To honor those people that pets keep, Editor Stephen Neilson spent a day recently with several dogs (and a diva of a cat). The photos speak for themselves: our pets really do love us.

(First Photo):

Chloe, Pit mix, 1 ½ years old

Costanza, Puggle,10 years old

Elaine, Lab mix, 2 years old

Indie, Black lab mix, 9 years old

Lee, Renee, Tom & Chris Clark

Long Grove

Good fortune smiled on this family since Chris, who lives in China, was back home long enough to join the fun. As Stephen the Photographer put it after the photo shoot, “Four dogs, four people, eight smiles. BOOM!” When the Clarks end long days as @Property Realtors, they all come home to lots of four-legged companions.

(Second Photo)

Stanley, Mixed Breed, 8 years old

Ellen Anderson

Barrington

The Andersons are a sports-loving family. Ellen’s husband, Jeff, is a diehard Cubs fan, but when Stan joined the family the Blackhawks were reigning as Stanley Cup champions. Ellen calls Stan quirky; you can see he also is a champ of a four-legged companion.

(3rd Photo)

Ellie, Maine Coon Mix, 3 years old

Cassidy Towne

North Barrington

Ellie was adopted from what students of the University of Iowa affectionately call the “Magic Kitty Farm” north of Iowa City. She’s adapted quite nicely to the suburbs by hunting down bugs in the home she shares with Cassidy and her husband. (Full disclosure: Cassidy’s husband is the publisher of this magazine).

(Fourth photo)

Crackers, Chocolate Lab, 13 weeks old

Katie and Steve Janezic

North Barrington

Crackers is all lab. Steve and Katie are very patient puppy parents spending time every day training this rambunctious beauty. In fact, they are wowing their neighbors by practicing walking Crackers off leash. All the work the three of them are putting in is paying off nicely.