Friday, July 31, 2015

Sparkle's college swing: Purdue

Sparkle begins her Midwest college tour with a visit to the busy, beautiful campus of Purdue University.

Sparkle's college swing: Purdue


On our trip to the Midwest last week (well-timed: we missed an earthquake and a hurricane), we stopped in at Cathy's alma mater, Purdue University, and visited old friends. Betsy, a high school senior, is touring colleges, and Sparkle is along for the ride.

Sparkle got in a wide-ranging tour of the sprawling campus, and with school back in session, there was plenty of hustle and bustle.  She handled it all with grace and good humor. She went through the bookstore, football stadium and athletic center, and we ate lunch at outdoor tables while she quietly relaxed at our feet. We made sure she had plenty of fresh water, of course.

It was a beautifully clear and mild late-summer day, perfect for just strolling the campus and taking in all the sights and sounds (including a marching band in full swing).  Outside the Neil Armstrong Hall of  Engineering, Sparkle seemed to really hit it off with the big man on campus himself.  An even bigger man, of course, was the Purdue Boilermaker statue.

Leaving West Lafayette, we pointed the GPS toward our hotel in Chicago's northwest suburbs and  marveled at the hundreds of windmills before we pulled onto I-65.  Our next college destination: Northwestern University.

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About this blog
George Carter, The Inquirer's weekend national/foreign editor, has always counted dogs among his closest companions. According to family lore, he learned to walk by clinging to the side of a saintly patient mutt named Spanker. In turn, one of his earliest hazy memories is of tossing treats to the family dogs gathered expectantly on the porch of their Maryland farmhouse. It was only natural then, that when George saw a newspaper ad looking for families to raise puppies for the Seeing Eye of Morristown, N.J., he bit at the chance. From the start, it has been a family project, with teenage daughter Betsy as the official puppy-raiser. First there was Porter, a big-hearted yellow Lab born on Memorial Day 2004. A few years later, the Carters raised Velma, a gorgeous Lab/golden cross. Just a couple weeks ago, Velma's 7-week-old daughter Sparkle arrived as the latest family charge. George, Betsy and mom Cathy are thrilled that Sparkle is from Velma's very first litter. You can reach George Carter at 215-854-2411 or by clicking here. Reach George at

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