Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-02-22



Gay in the Life: Paul M. Rathe
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 6038 times since Wed Jan 15, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Paul M. Rathe is the owner of Soggy Paws, a dog wash and pet products stores for dogs and cats with three locations in Chicago. Thus, his to-do job list is, well, seemingly never-ending.

Rathe said with a smile that he is, "the guy who is in charge of ordering, inventory, hiring, training, bill-paying, cleaning, education, sourcing new products, cleaning furnace filters, changing hose nozzles, buying cotton balls, administering the security systems, making sure the phones and computer systems work … and then I also talk to customers after all that is done."

He wouldn't have it any other way.

"The most enjoyable and rewarding part of what we do is being able to get through to someone that quality food makes for a much healthier dog or cat," Rathe said.

Years ago, at the South Loop store, a couple was standing in front of the wall of dog foods sold at Soggy Paws, Rathe said. They asked, "What do you suggest for an overweight dog?" The manager replied, "Um, feed less?"

The customers said, "Oh great, show us where that bag is," thinking 'feed less' actually was a brand name of food.

Rathe urged all pet owners to visit an independent pet store. "It makes a difference in the health and longevity of your pet," he said. "Quality food makes a difference. One way I start to get through to people is to ask them, 'If your pet's food has corn in it, just think about what corn does when you eat it.' That gets their attention."

Rathe also found a fun side job this past October, when he joined the Lyft ride-sharing community. Yep, Rathe has a pink mustache attached to either his Volvo or Mercedes and transports people around the city and suburbs. He usually signs up to drive for six hours per week, but ultimately drives about double that.

Lyft-ing is addictive, he said.

"I was at brunch with a friend [last October] who took a Lyft to meet me there. She said, 'You should do this.' I thought, 'Yeah, I should'—and signed up [to drive for Lyft] that day," Rathe said.

One of Rathe's first Lyft rides also was, and still is, one of his favorites. He picked up an opposite-sex couple at a bar along Diversey Street, and she immediately said, "This sucks."

Rathe was stunned and asked her what was wrong.

She said, "I'm usually a f@#$-ing hoot." Apparently, she had been drinking way too much that day and was not feeling her best and was upset that she couldn't be fun in the car," Rathe said. "Two months later I ended up taking her and her man, and her parents, to a restaurant. She got in the front seat and said, 'You remember me?!' We had a good laugh over her state of being at the last ride. It's good to have that connection with your riders."


Age: 48

Neighborhood: Humboldt Park

Relationship status: Committed relationship with John Brandt

Job title: Co-owner, Soggy Paws

Home : Was born and raised in North Dakota; came to Chicago in 1987 and has lived here since, with the exception of 2000-2004 when in California

Hobbies: "I am so busy owning five retail stores that I have no idea what a hobby would be."

Favorite TV show: Downton Abbey

Worst part of your job: "Getting anal glands expressed on you. Seriously. This is not an odor that leaves you quickly."

Little-known fact: "I once made a Caesar salad for Andy Williams in St. Cloud, Minn."

This article shared 6038 times since Wed Jan 15, 2014
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Black Adam,' Cyndi Lauper, Sondheim, Oscars, OutFest 2023-03-18
- Cultured Magazine recently profiled Quintessa Swindell—who became the first out, non-binary actor to play a lead superhero in the DC universe when they portrayed Cyclone in the 2022 movie Black Adam. Swindell grew up in Virginia ...

Gay News

Show about trans+ women models to debut Aug. 5 on Here TV 2022-07-29
- The Here TV docuseries Road to the Runway—which focuses on trans+ women models—will debut Friday, Aug. 5. The series profiles the 20 hopefuls competing in this year's annual Slay Model search. Cameras follow the women to ...

Gay News

PASSAGES Writer, attorney, activist Takeia R. Johnson 2021-07-25
- The local organization Affinity Community Services announced the recent passing of Takeia R. Johnson. According to Johnson's LinkedIn profile, she was editor-in-chief and lead writer at Inclusion at Work as well as a Ph.D. student focusing ...

Gay News

SAVOR Talking with new Travelle Chef de Cuisine Qi Ai; Profile of Travelle's breakfast 2021-06-09
- Travelle Chef de Cuisine Qi Ai Travelle at the Langham (330 N Wabash Ave.; has undergone a major change during the COVID pandemic: New Chef de Cuisine Qi (pronounced "tee") Ai was promoted from sous ...

Gay News

MOVIES Dutch journalist talks about making 'My Friend, the Mayor' 2021-02-17
- In the Amazon Prime Video documentary My Friend, the Mayor: Small-town Democracy in the Age of Trump, Dutch journalist Max Westerman profiles friend Sean Strub, an openly gay activist, activist, long-term AIDS survivor and POZ magazine ...

Gay News

Booksellers launch "Boxed Out" campaign, a look at consumer choices 2020-10-22
--From a press release - (New York, New York) 20% of independent bookstores across the country are in danger of closing. Today, theAmerican Booksellers Association launched the "Boxed Out" campaign to draw attention to the high stakes indie bookstores face this ...

Gay News

Author/academic John D'Emilio on new book, future endeavors 2020-10-01
- Queer Legacies: Stories from Chicago's LGBTQ Archives is a new book by Gerber/Hart Library and Archives President and University of Illinois at Chicago History and Women's and Gender Studies Professor Emeritus John ...

Gay News

Out Illinois State coach dives into new position 2020-09-16
- Logan Pearsall, an accomplished college diver who has since transitioned into master's level diving, was competing at the 2017 FINA World Masters Championships in Budapest, Hungary. He was doing a challenging inward dive from a one-meter ...

Gay News

Joseph Baar Topinka preserves legacy of mother: Pro-gay Republican Judy 2020-09-02
- Riverside resident Joseph Baar Topinka is still impressed with the resolve and stamina with which his late mother, longtime GOP politician Judy Baar Topinka, was able to "slug it out" in the political arena. "She got ...

Gay News

'Making Sweet Tea': Out NU dean talks about new documentary 2020-08-18
- Performer and Northwestern University Dean E. Patrick Johnson discussed his new film and the importance of reclaiming storytelling agency in a virtual Q&A Lambda Legal hosted Aug. 9. Johnson, dean of Northwestern University's School of Communication, ...

Gay News

Asha Ransby-Sporn talks building on the anti-racism movement's legacy 2020-08-05
- With anti-racism protests happening around the United States, in what some media outlets are saying is the largest movement in this country's history, demands to abolish the police have increasingly been a part of the rallying ...

Gay News

Local lesbian couple celebrate 50 years together 2020-08-05
- When Alice Cozad and Linda Young met each other as freshmen at the University of Iowa they knew almost instantly that they would be together as a couple for the rest of their lives. "The electricity ...

Gay News

Teen LGBTQ+ activist aims to inspire with Be You Tiful Initiative 2020-07-31
- Allison Frank is a 16-year-old lesbian activist from Lincolnshire's Stevenson High School who found her passion for activism and began the Be You Tiful Initiative. It all started when Frank was feeling overwhelmed in a makeup ...

Gay News

Cicero student finds his voice 2020-07-29
- When Jorge Martinez-Arevalo was in eighth grade, he was elected president of an LGBTQ+ after-school club at Unity Junior High School, in Cicero. During his eighth-grade year, the club, which is known as NJAW (short for ...

Gay News

Chicago man takes face masks into luxury 2020-07-10
- During COVID-19 David Altman is encouraging people to wear their heart on their face with masks that his brand Vintage Luxe Up is currently making out of vintage luxury designer silk scarves. Altman grew up on ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.