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Summit up

Born 10 years ago in Breckenridge on St. Patrick's Day. These pups are still going strong. They are the joy of our lives. Tabor J. (left) owned by Shirley Raney and Marley (right) owned by Tom Bauder.

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column wondering how many Summit Countians talk to their pets on the phone.You see, we recently discovered that such a practice is far more popular than we ever realized.It all started with our roommate, who sadly could not bring her cherished cat, Bella Kitty, along to Summit County and reluctantly left the feline behind in Mississippi. But to make sure she knows everything going on in Bella’s life, she talks to her on the phone on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis. We’re pretty sure that the conversation is typically one-sided, although who knows, maybe Bella purrs and meows in a tone that only her owner could understand.

Quite frankly, we always thought this “phone call” was, uh, strange to say the least, but on a recent camping trip, the topic of pet communications came up. We were astounded to learn that we were actually in the minority having never spoken to a cat, dog, fish, rabbit, horse, etc. on the phone before.At first, we think that everyone was sort of embarrassed or shy in admitting to partaking in doggy dialogues, but then one pal piped up, explaining that he had conversed with his pooch over the phone on more than one occasion.Another friend joined in, saying that when he’s away from home, he’ll ask his wife to put one of the dogs on the phone, then in his best I’m-talking-to-an-animal voice he’ll say, “Do you want a treat? Do you want to go for a walk?” repeatedly in order to get the dog all riled up. Then, he’ll leave the overly-excited pet in his wife’s hands. She loves that. After this story, a former dog owner said he used to leave messages on the answering machine for his pet during the day, telling her to go get a treat from the drawer. We’re not quite sure if we believe that little tale, but all in all the stories really got us thinking. Summit County could be the most densely pet populated area in the entire state. To locals, their dogs are truly companions and best friends, so there must be more people out there who chat regularly with their pets while they’re away from home, or maybe even when they’re at work for the day.

We can’t imagine the conversations last very long, or are very stimulating for either party, but surely we could be missing something since we’ve never engaged such a phone exchange. ***Oh yeah, one more quick moment before we call it a day. When the Blue River turned orange last week, we quickly wondered what – other than mining runoff – could cause such a thing. Here are the only ones we came up with.¥) Tang (or some other powder)

•) The apocalypse.So, right after we heard from a caller what was going on, we pretty much knew we were dealing with a mining situation, a massive sugar spill, or soon we’d see the Four Horseman trying to find parking on Main Street …***On that note, it’s Monday and we’re hangin’ at the Beach. Leave us a message about what you and your pet talk on the phone about at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13600.

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