Life’s a beach for man and his dog
Updated: January 21, 2013 6:05AM
Gary Silkaitis doesn’t mind that his pup, Tracker, prefers his wife. When it comes to bonding time at the City of Evanston dog beach on Church Street, Tracker is this man’s best friend. Here Tracker and Silkaitis to meet other dog beach permit holders, plus canines packing personality. Silkaitis, who lives on the Skokie side of the Evanston border, recently visited the beach on a sunny 39 degree day where ice from leftover waves proved that winter has arrived (the beach’s season is technically complete but permit holders still take advantage). Silkaitis and his wife, an Evanston Washington Elementary School physical education teacher, have two children, sons Terry, 28, and Tim, 24.
Q. So Gary, tell us about yourself.
A. I live in what’s called Skokie-Evanston, I’m retired, so I pretty much do what I want to do. I used to work for the City of Evanston for 38 years in the recreation department in charge of sports and beaches.
Q. How often do you come here?
A. Just about every day unless the weather’s really bad.
Q. How does this beach speak to your soul?
A. Well, it just … you know, it speaks to my dog’s soul more than mine. He likes to be outside, in the elements, you can walk out here in the summer and go swimming in the summer to cool down. It’s a nice place to be.
... It’s beautiful out, especially in the summer. A little bit cool now, but in the summer it’s really nice.
Q. What about that pup of yours?
A. Well, we don’t know what he is. He’s a year and half old. His name is Tracker and he was part of a litter named Tracker and Trixie and Trucker and Trooper. The owner, the foster mother, gave them all T names. He’s from Murphysboro, Ill., and he’s a great little dog, a great little dog. He’s a mutt for sure. He gets along with everybody down here. Some days he likes to play with other dogs all of the time. Other days, he’s content, just sniff and sniff and sniff. Just like a human, different things to do each day.
Q. Why are dogs man’s best friend?
A. They’re always there for you no matter what kind of day you have, they’re always there to cheer you up. They’re always in a good mood it seems, and even if you’re not, they can certainly cheer you up when you’re in not such a good mood.
Q. Is this beach like the Caribbean here?
A. It seems like it even though it’s cold and stuff. It’s still heartwarming to be down here.