Throw the dogs a bone

Dear Editor:

We recently heard of an etiquette problem in Aspen related to a conflict between sledders and dogs on Smuggler. Just thought we would share how we handle this situation in Vail.

Basically, we introduce the sledders to the hikers and their dogs. Through mutual agreement (and dog treats), a solution is reached between the parties. The hikers loan their dogs to the sledders. The dogs then pull the sleds up the mountain. This provides the dogs with a sense of self-worth and additional exercise and reduces the opportunity to bite a thrill-seeking sledder.

Dogs that do an exceptional job in sled pulling and people skills earn the full respect of their counterparts. They are rewarded with a sled ride themselves. For obvious reasons, this reward is not available to purse dogs and St. Bernards, whose safety would be at risk. We hope you find this bit of advice from the other side of the mountain helpful in establishing peaceful coexistence on Smuggler.

John and Diane Milligan