The front-page headline, “City of Aspen considering poodle park,” in the June 25 Aspen Daily News really raised my hackles! Since I am a border collie/Australian shepherd mix, I thought, how can they discriminate against my breed? And how can they keep me from playing with two of my best friends, Max and Souffle, who happen to be poodles?
And then I read the article and realized that the headline was very misleading. They weren’t talking about a park just for poodles but for small dogs! Max and Souffle were also upset when they saw it, because they are standard poodles and are a heck of a lot bigger than 20 pounds! (And where did they get that arbitrary limit anyway?) And many of my best pals are little dogs. What a bummer it would be if they were allowed into a park that would exclude me! I guess some small dogs are scared of bigger dogs, which is understandable, since there are many mean dogs out there who are bullies. But not all bullies are large: I was injured a year ago (with bloody puncture wounds in two of my paws) in an unprovoked attack by a Jack Russell terrier. She was running loose, while my person had me leashed. It was awful! I think that the best way to deal with this is: If your dog is aggressive and doesn’t play well with others, don’t bring him or her to a park, regardless of size!
Here’s a more important issue that should be of concern to ALL you dogs out there: Anne Gurchick wrote a great letter to the editor in that same newspaper, asking people to please consider how uncomfortable and even painful it is for us to be at the farmers’ market while our people shop and socialize. The pavement is HOT!! Anne, Seth and the wonderful Aspen Animal Shelter people are providing a nice cool spot on the grass, with water for us to drink. Check it out!
Finally, the one day of the year that most of us dogs dread is coming up soon: the Fourth of July. The crowds, noise, fireworks and heat make us pretty miserable. What SO many people forget is the fact that the golden retriever parade, started by Sam Caudill years ago, was during Winterskol!! In January, the pavement is NOT 120 degrees, and being in the middle of the streets for an hour or longer with no shade or water is really not too bad when it’s winter. But in July ” OOOWWW! PLEASE leave us at home during the Fourth of July parade! And that night, please keep us safe at home and don’t give us an opportunity to run away during the fireworks, when many of us are terrified!
Thank you for reading this, and have a happy, fun and safe Independence Day!
Taffy (and Polly) Ross
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