Where’s Waldo? Following in the giant steps of Hoss | AspenTimes.com

Where’s Waldo? Following in the giant steps of Hoss

Janet Urquhart
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Natalie carruci gets a handful of affection from Waldo, an 11 month old St. Bernard puppy that has filled the void in Jim Oliver's heart. Oliver, the owner of Mailboxes, Etc. is known for his old pal Hoss parading around the Clarks grocery store. Hoss passed away last year. Daniel Bayer photo.

He follows in the footsteps – make that saucer-sized pawsteps – of an Aspen icon, but Waldo looks like he’s up to the task.

The Saint Bernard pup is staking out his territory in the plaza outside Clark’s Market, where Hoss, a gentle giant of the same breed, once reigned.

Naturally, Waldo’s presence has been generating squeals of delight from youngsters (and adults who can’t help themselves) since owner Jim Oliver introduced the irresistible ball of fluff to Aspen last Friday.

“He’s going to be just like Hoss,” said Oliver, owner of Mail Boxes Etc. in the shopping complex. “Everyone has to come in and see Waldo. They all think he’s very soft and very cute.”

He is.

Hoss was the resident Saint Bernard who lounged around the plaza until he died unexpectedly last November. Grieving Aspenites left doggie treats, candles and flowers in the plaza corner where he often snoozed on his monstrous bed.

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Oliver, who has missed Hoss since his passing, considered buying an older dog, but figured a pup would be better suited to adapt to life in the limelight. In the plaza, he is sure to be the constant center of attention.

“An older dog isn’t used to being loved so much,” Oliver said. “That’s what Waldo’s growing up with, and I think it’s great.”

Hoss weighed 240 pounds when he died at age 4 of a suspected heart attack. At 11 weeks, Waldo tips the scale at 30 pounds. Waldo’s father weighs in at more than 200 pounds, according to Oliver, who purchased the pup from a breeder in Ohio.

Waldo descends from a line of anatomically fit Saint Bernards, according to Oliver, who hopes his newest dog won’t suffer from the hip dysplasia that plagued Hoss. The defect is the result of inbreeding, Oliver said.

Already, there are signs that Waldo’s hips are healthy. He can sit on his haunches and roll over onto his back – things Hoss couldn’t do as a pup, Oliver said.

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