Red Brick puts dogs on short leash | AspenTimes.com
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Red Brick puts dogs on short leash

Steve Benson
Weaver, a 7-month-old golden doodle, sits in the office of David McClendon of Theatre in the Park on Wednesday afternoon. Owners of dogs in the Red Brick Center for the Arts have been told that all pets must be leashed. Aspen Times photo/Paul Conrad.
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The Red Brick Center for the Arts just isn’t the same anymore. Most of the doors are shut. Those that are open have childproof gates. The hallways are mysteriously quiet. Daily routines have come to an abrupt end. It’s a tough situation, especially for the dogs. Effective this month, dogs are no longer allowed to freely roam the Red Brick, once a haven for canines. “It’s sad, it takes the personality out of the building,” said Cathy Fisher, who works for the Buddy Program. “We like it when the dogs come in and beg. We’re working 9 to 5 at desks, and the dogs used to bring an extra joy to the day.”Fisher said her dog Sydney no longer gets to make her daily rounds down the hall to visit friends and beg for snacks.

“She’s used to the old rules,” Fisher said. Sydney, like the rest of the furballs in the Red Brick, is now under lock down, relegated to the confines of her owner’s office for the entire day. But as tough as the new policy is, Fisher admits “some things were going on that weren’t OK.” Like the time a dog stole a piece of an art exhibit and ran out into the yard to play with it. According to a letter from the Red Brick’s director, Shirley Tipton, actions like that led to the confinement. Poop on the floor and pee on the walls and art exhibits, dogs playing and wrestling with friends in the hallways, begging and barking were also cited in the letter as the source of “numerous concerns and complaints lodged by tenants and visitors.” Leashes are now required for all dogs at all times in the building, including their owners’ offices.

Another dog owner, who wished to remain anonymous, said a couple bad seeds ruined it for everyone else. “I wish people would just take care of their dogs,” the individual said. “It’s a good thing some of these people aren’t parents, because they wouldn’t manage their kids either.” David McClendon, the artistic director of Theater Aspen and a dog owner, said he understands the policy. “Controlling our dogs is not too much to ask,” he said, as his dog Weaver stared through the bars of a kiddy fence. “I think it’s a small price to pay for having our dogs at work.” But over in the offices of GrassRoots TV, the tenants aren’t ready to just roll over (pun intended). Corby Anderson, who’s the owner of a dog named Bear, said, “I think everyone would agree Bear has been a good dog – he doesn’t piss on people. Bear’s never even had a leash, he’s always lived on a ranch.”

Anderson added that since the front of GrassRoots’ offices are actually green and not red, the new policy shouldn’t apply to him and his co-workers, most of whom are also dog owners. “We’re the ‘Green Brick,’ we’re going to secede from the union,” Anderson joked. Anderson added that GrassRoots is preparing a grand and public response to the new policy, but he would not divulge the details. “We’re not going to sit there and take a beating,” he said. “We plan to let the dogs out.” Steve Benson’s e-mail address is sbenson@aspentimes.com


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