Looking for Skippy, finding heart and soul | AspenTimes.com

Looking for Skippy, finding heart and soul

Brent Gardner-Smith
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Elizabeth Giordani may no longer have a dog, but she knows she has a town.

Elizabeth and her husband, Luigi, have been searching for Skippy, their 14-year-old black-and-white Siberian Husky, since Dec. 22.

The Giordanis, who own the popular Aspen restaurants Campo de Fiori and Gusto, have posted more than 200 color “lost” flyers in Aspen and Snowmass Village with Skippy’s photo on it and two cell-phone numbers, 948-6407 and 948-1310. They also have bought newspaper ads in their search.

Skippy, who is a small Husky weighing about 50 pounds, may now be the most famous dog in town.

But he’s still missing.

“At least 150 people have called me,” said Elizabeth Giordani. “It has been such a show of support, I can’t believe it. That is the cool thing about living in such a small town. So many people called because they have had lost dogs.”

Many callers were visiting Aspen and saw the Skippy posters.

And lots of people have told Skippy’s owners not to give up. One caller said his dog left Red Mountain and was found two weeks later in Basalt. Skippy, who has a limp, was last seen near Aspen Valley Hospital.

“I’ve not given up hope,” said Giordani. “My husband totally hasn’t given up hope. He totally thinks he is alive.”

But Skippy is also 14, which makes him 98 in dog years.

“He may have decided it was his time and gone off on his own,” said Kimberly Hay, a community safety officer with the Aspen Police Department whose job includes animal control.

Hay doesn’t want to discourage the Giordanis, but she knows that sometimes older dogs will go off on their own to die. And if he did, it’s likely that hungry coyotes would have found him.

“He just walked out,” said Giordani, whose home is on Owl Creek Road near the airport. “In two years he has not escaped, and he always comes back. He might have been mad because we were working so hard recently.”

Since the campaign to find Skippy has begun, the Giordanis have often jumped into the car to go search an area after a dog sighting. They also went to the police department to see if a large malamute the police had found may have been Skippy, but it was not.

So the Giordanis will keep looking for Skippy, who is said to be apprehensive of strangers, especially men.

And they are glad they’ve gone to the lengths they have to enlist others in the search.

“It was really important for me to get his face out there as much as possible,” Giordani said. “We’ve had him for 14 years, and he is like family. But everyone has been so amazing. And I think that all that energy is going to help him stay alive.”

[Brent Gardner-Smith’s e-mail address is bgs@aspentimes.com]

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