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Summit Up

Summit Up
Scott BullockGarth in Paradise

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column ropin’ dogies from the back of the Hoover.

Today’s column seeks to address the age-old question, first articulated by sage Greeks like Socrates, bandied about by the Bard’s characters (wethinks ’twas in “Troilus and Cressida”) and pondered by millions of modern housewives: Why the hell are dogs so freaked out by vacuum cleaners?

They might be out there but, you see, we’ve never met a dog that could just sit casually by while their human companion makes passes sucking up the carpet. They all react in one way or another. At the least, they’re on their feet, sniffing at all the dust the suction is scaring up.

The next level of panic on the color-coded doggie-Homeland Security threat level index is confronting the vacuum cleaner and barking at it. We move to canine DEFCON 3 if, when using the hose attachments, your pooch runs in and out of the room, snapping at the vacuum cleaner. And, if you have one of those abnormally wimpy dogs, the ultimate is just running upstairs and hiding under the bed.

This would all make sense to us if the dogs were just consistent. What we mean is that, there are plenty of other loud noises dogs have to suffer through that don’t leave them cowering, tail-between-the-legs, looking to leap off the deck to the yard two stories below.

Seriously: What’s the difference between the noise from a vacuum cleaner and the incessant roar of the crowd you get watching a Broncos game with surround sound? If Rover’s so determined to bite the throat of our dust-sucking dragon, why does he seem so oblivious to the blender? For that matter, how can they even stand it when the wind blows outside?

The obvious answer is that dogs are just plain dumb. But here in Summit Up Land, where the pooches are part of the family, that’s hardly an acceptable conclusion. So that must mean that the dogs know something we don’t; for example, it’s possible that vacuums are really tools of the alien invaders, the Antichrist or some other harbinger of evil that we humans are ignorant of and dogs, with their super-keen senses, are trying to warn us about.

At least that’s the excuse we’re going to use to get out of anymore housekeeping.


The good folks at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., sent word about a former Summit High student doing good work in the Great Northwest.

Terese Swartz, daughter of Robert and Sharon Swartz of Silverthorne, is a sophomore at Whitman, majoring in foreign languages and literature. She must also dance a bit, because she performed in a college production of “Pinocchio” by Carlo Collodi.

Keep those feet happy, Terese!


Boy, are we glad we’re still virgins, because we’re going to be rich.

Apparently, if you abstain ” at least until you’re 18 ” you won’t end up on welfare. That’s the brilliant insight from the latest study by Focus on the Family. The Springs-based Christian organization just sent us a press release on this study they conducted.

According to Reginald Finger, M.D. (possibly the worst name that could be attached to this study, if you ask us), Focus on the Family’s “medical issues analyst,” says that remaining a virgin through adolescence reduces your risk of divorce, keeps you in school longer and make about 20 percent more than pre-marital sluts do. And that’s for guys and girls, folks. (For the girls, the virgins are only half as likely to end up on welfare, they say.)

“It is very much as we suspected,” the press release quotes Finger as saying (and sounds to us like the hallmark of good science ” when your study proves what you thought beforehand). This, after analyzing info on more than 7,000 men and women.

(The study also indicates that if your name is Salazar and you’re a United State senator, all the virgins in heaven won’t keep you out of hell.)

So, we’re waiting for the checks to start rolling in, the boss to give us a raise and the lottery numbers to hit. Then again, maybe we should ask Finger if it makes a difference that we didn’t have any choice in the abstinence.


We do believe it’s Saturday, ladies and gentlemen, and that loud whoosh and hum you hear isn’t the vacuum cleaner, but the sound of time rushing past. Better start barking, or it’ll never stop. Give us a shout at, fax at (970) 668-0755 or tell us about what your cat does when you’re cleaning the carpet on the voicemail at (970) 668-3998, ext. 237.

We’re out in the thick of it …

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