Dog bites woman at cemetery
December 30, 2006
Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN A large Rottweiler mix canine bit an Aspen visitor Saturday when she was walking in the Aspen Grove Cemetery.Peggy Barchi from Maple Valley, Wash., was in town visiting her sister. A history buff, Barchi took a walk in the cemetery to look for the graves of prominent Aspenites.Shortly before 2 p.m. Saturday, she crested a hill on the cemetery grounds and spied a women and two unleashed dogs walking below.The dogs took notice of Barchi and the owner called to them. One dog, a large shepherd mixed-breed, stopped at the bottom of the hill; the other, a Rottweiler mix, however, bounded up the hill after Barchi.”I just sort of froze,” Barchi said. Barchi is familiar with dogs and knew that staying calm and still was the best idea. “But the big one came bounding up and grabbed on to my leg,” she said.Barchi yelled at the dog to go away, and the dog let go quickly and returned to the owner. There was no visible injury, but Barchi was shaken by the attack.The owner was a 30-something woman with shoulder-length blond hair, Barchi later told police.”Oh, that’s my little nipper,” Barchi reported the owner as saying from about 30 feet away while she got the dog under control.A stunned Barchi told the owner she was OK, and the woman walked off. “I didn’t think anything happened til I got home,” Barchi said, where she discovered that two teeth had broken the skin on her thigh.”It was no big injury, but we decided to call it in,” Barchi said.”Had it been a kid or someone whosee dog bite on page A4freaked out, I don’t know what the dog would have done,” Barchi said. “If you know the dog nips, why don’t you have it on a leash?””We’re looking for the owner,” said Rick Magnuson, public safety officer with the Aspen Police. He was busy Saturday afternoon going door to door in the area and said he believes the dog owner lives near the cemetery.”They’ll be given a citation for having the dog off-leash. And depending on the history of that dog either a ticket or warning,” Magnuson said.”She’s pretty calm about it,” Magnuson said of Barchi. “She just wants us to warn the dog owner about that kind of behavior.””It was a little nerve-racking,” Barchi said, but the incident hasn’t dampened her experience in Aspen. Barchi’s message to the owner: “If you know your dog’s a nipper, keep your dog on a leash.”Charles Agar’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.