Summit Up 8-1-09 |

Summit Up 8-1-09


Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column that wishes you a happy Colorado Day! Yep, August 1 is the day the Centennial State was admitted to the union in 1876 (and that’s where the whole “Centennial State” thing came from). So, you may ask, how does one celebrate Colorado Day?

Well, if you’ve got one, you could put out the state flag. You could drink a Coors or a Fat Tire. You can climb a Fourteener or raft a river. You can admire a Columbine (but don’t pick it!) or pet a lynx – if you can get close enough. Or you can just sit back on the deck and think to yourself: “Ahhh … Colorado. What a swell place to live or visit!”

That ought to do it.

Also on this day we think about our old friend Jerry Garcia, who was born on this day in 1942. Ol’ Jer would’ve been 67 today; he died in 1995 and we still miss him. Red Rocks, we tell ya, just isn’t the same without those three-day Dead marathons we used to go to.


Our Dogs Gone Wild Contest continues with an entry today from former SDN staffer Jane Stebbins, who writes as such:

“Several years ago, I was taking care of what I thought was a friendly, happy-go-lucky Australian shepherd. I know these dogs need LOTS of exercise, and we would take hours-long romps through the woods, me smiling as he leaped over logs, chased squirrels and apparently raced from Park County to Estes Park and back in all of about three minutes.

What a great dog! But alas, it was a ruse.

Its owner lived atop Hoosier Pass and was on vacation for three weeks in a Third World Country that apparently received communication via smoke signals.

The first day, per the owner’s instructions, I tied the dog to a tree, which he quickly wrapped itself around. I rigged up a line between two trees to avoid that problem, but that cunning dog slipped its collar. A nice driver found it at the summit of Hoosier and returned him to a neighbor’s home.

The next day, collar tightened a bit, I tied him to the line with a thick rope. He chewed through – gone again.

The next day, I affixed a heavy chain to his collar and tied him to a cinder block in the garage; he had access to the great outdoors through a dog door in the wall. When I returned that afternoon, he had gone in and out of the dog door so many times, the door was completely shredded, and the chain was tangled in the various dog-door flaps. I was merely happy he was still around.

At this point, I was driving from Frisco to Hoosier Pass three times a day to ensure the dog was OK. I should have been worrying about the house.

Then, I debated about tying the dog to the owner’s boat in the garage, but figured he was so strong he’d probably pull the boat off its support and it would roll through the garage door and down the hill … no go.

I left the dog in the garage that night and secured the dog door – another big mistake.

Upon my arrival early the next morning, he had chewed his way through the dog door, scratched away at the foam insulation that surrounds a house’s foundation, devoured all the rubber on every (surely expensive) tool he could find in the garage and used the plastic and rubber edge of his owner’s boat as tooth floss.

I called the neighbor, I called the owner’s father, I called the Animal Shelter. I called my mom. I had 17 days left with Pooch.

The night I gave up was when I decided he might like to be indoors, despite what his owner had said about the house under construction, the plants, the new furniture, etc. You guessed it. Plants were little more than specks of green splattered all over the house. The furniture? Fahgetaboutit. The front door? He almost clawed a hole in it. Little Mr. Houdini had clawed his way through the drywall at the base of the stairs, through the insulation in the wall and slipped between the studs into the garage, out the dog door and was happily roaming the valley when another nice person dropped him off at the neighbor’s house.

The neighbor agreed to keep the dog for the remainder of the owner’s vacation, and I left the owner a detailed article about pets and separation anxiety. (“Yeah, he gets a little rambunctious,” the owner said upon his return home.) I should have given him the bill for my therapist.

A few months later, the owner, apparently unperturbed by his dog’s antics, offered me three times my going rate to watch the dog again. I almost ran away from Summit County, but instead suggested he talk with his neighbor.

THAT was a dog gone wild.”

Holy crap! We agree.


Finally today we have a Smarty Pants Alert! going out to Andrew Richardson of Dillon, who got a letter of commendation from his teachers for the spring term at Cushing Academy. He also got a vasity letter as a member of the lacrosse team.

Way to go Andrew! Keep it up.

OK, folks, we’ve gotta run since Stebbs took up all the room …

Until tomorrow …

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