On the trail: Got leashes?
Aspen, CO Colorado
I have never been a dog owner, and I had never really grown fond of dogs until this last year, as I’ve been taking care of a husky. I run with him most mornings, and we’ve gotten to be friends.
We go out early because the husky has been known to be aggressive toward other dogs, though never other people. He’s an alpha, not neutered and has earned a nickname that starts with “Tireless.”
For those reasons, but also because he also could cover 30 or 40 miles in a day without blinking, and because it’s the law, I have never taken him off leash.
That’s not the norm, however, on the Rio Grande Trail, where most dogs I encounter are off-leash. The same, unfortunately, is true of most trails in the area. I encountered off-leash dogs in the Maroon Bells/ Snowmass Wilderness just last weekend.
Dog owners know that dogs affect wildlife and off-leash dogs can often harm or kill wildlife. But beyond the simple aspects of respecting surroundings, walking a dog off leash sucks for me.
Perhaps my worst encounter in the last year was with two off-leash Dobermans that attacked the husky early one morning.
The biggest problem, however, are the dog owners who believe their dogs are “friendly” and therefore no threat to anyone or anything. All too often, I have seen these dogs nip or bark at the husky as we struggle to get past them on a trail.
It’s a passionate subject because people feel so connected to their pets. But I’m still confused as to why people think they have to right to walk a dog without a leash. Beyond being against the law and dangerous to wildlife, it intrudes on everyone’s right to walk on a trail unmolested and unafraid.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Officials are investigating the source of a loud explosion at Smuggler Mine on Saturday morning.