• An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
  • An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
  • An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
  • An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
  • An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
  • An Active Dreamer & An Unconditional Lover: Tuu Weh

     
    POSTED August 2, 2019
     
In July, Chris Heeter, The Wild Institute and thousands of fans had to say goodbye to beloved speaker dog Tuu Weh.

With her fists closed tightly, Chris Heeter let her hands drop lightly to her sides, opening her palms widely and wildly. And with that small, simple motion, Heeter was unknowingly opening not just her hands, but her heart to a presence that would change her life as well as thousands of others.

Heeter, founder of The Wild Institute, welcomed her dog and partner, Tuu Weh, into her life after years of exclusively raising huskies and sled dogs. But this time her search for the perfect pup was different; Heeter decided to forego her previous list of conditions and go with her gut. When she laid eyes on Tuu Weh, she immediately knew, "There she is."

About a year after Heeter became Tuu Weh's person, she realized that her peaceful, calming presence would make her the perfect "speaker dog" to join Heeter on stage.

Heeter speaks about how to be more wild, or in other words, "how to have the courage to bring the gift of all of who you are to all of what you do."

"I speak about not hanging up part of yourself on the hook when you enter the office, but instead being your full self and bringing your full potential everywhere you go," Heeter says. "We all start out wild, but as we grow up, we start adding layers of expectations and assumptions, so parts of us are no longer wild."

Heeter says she's implementing the term "rewilding" to describe how people can get back to their wild roots and be 100 percent, utterly and authentically themselves. Rewilding is a term used in conservation work to get run-down farms back to their origins of native plantings, similar to the way Heeter encourages people to return to themselves.

While Heeter's talks are powerful and effective on their own, Tuu Weh was what made them whole. "Any time you bring a dog into a space, everything shifts," Heeter says. "People are more open and compassionate, and the environment becomes interesting, safe and comfortable." 

Tuu Weh's "freakishly mellow" presence effortlessly set the mood of every event they attended. Though she would stroll the aisles and say hello to everyone in the audience, Tuu Weh was perhaps most well known for her onstage napping. "At home, she would go on walks of 3-5 miles with me, but otherwise she would always choose to nap. She was a dream dog, I would say she had 'an active dream life,'" Heeter says.

Heeter says Tuu Weh was the perfect ambassador of her "live wild" message. "People often assume 'wild' means crazy, but she's the perfect example that wild is being exactly who you are. For Tuu Weh, being wild was being sound asleep and dreaming on stage," she says. "She represents that wild is unique to each of us. It isn't the loudest or the craziest person in the room but anyone who is 100 percent themselves."

Since Heeter has shared the news of Tuu Weh's passing, she has received nearly 300 emails, from heartfelt notes of sympathy to stories of people's own lost loved ones to messages asking for advice. "They were all so unique and heartfelt, so I'm responding to each one individually. It will take months, but I'm not surprised; that's just what Tuu Weh brought out in all of us," Heeter says.

Though there remains a Tuu Weh-sized hole in Heeter's presentations, audiences might have another companion to look forward to. Summit, Heeter's three-year-old rescue dog, is still too high-energy to follow Tuu Weh's legacy, though his abundant love for everyone he meets shows promise that someday he will be ready to take the stage, she says.

"The bond between humans and dogs is so deep," Heeter says. "Dogs have a capacity for empathy and compassion toward humans that is just unmatched."
 

As with most facets of the meetings and events industry, the art of managing an event budget is a true balancing act. And while it’s easy to get wrapped up in the nitty-gritty, Eventbrite revealed a pleasant surprise in its 2018 Pulse Report (which surveyed 1,200 planners), finding that event budgets overall appear to be on the rise. But where exactly are those budget dollars going these days and how can planners best spend to craft memorable moments?

 

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, about 1.5 million Illinois workers are employed in the food and fiber system, ranking it as one of the top states in dependency on agriculture. The state’s 72,500 farms utilize 75 percent of Illinois land, including some of the most fertile soil in the world. While nicknamed “The Prairie State,” Illinois is truly a land of plenty and a hub for agritourism—with some of the largest agriculture-focused events (holding the potential for major economic impact) taking place inside its borders.

 

Set 27 stories above Chicago’s iconic theWit hotel, ROOF on theWit is paying tribute to Andy Warhol’s 1980 ad campaign for Absolut Vodka at Chicago’s original rooftop. What better way to celebrate than with a specialty cocktail; the ROOF is offering guests its very own crafted Absolut Warhol. The drink combines Absolut Elyx, Strawberry-Infused Bergamot Liqueur, St. Germain and House Lemon Sour, along with a lemon peel garnish as a nod to Andy’s blonde bangs.