Where’s Waldo … going? | AspenTimes.com

Where’s Waldo … going?

Charles Agar
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” It appears that Waldo, the beloved Saint Bernard of the Clark’s Market shopping center, is moving downvalley.

Waldo’s future has been fuzzy since the unexpected Feb. 2 death of Jim Oliver, 61, the dog’s master and long-time owner of Mail Boxes Etc.

Richard Bird, Oliver’s roommate in an apartment above Clark’s Market, has been taking care of Waldo in recent weeks, but can’t keep the dog.

Aspenites and retailers at the Clark’s center have launched a special fund for Waldo and placed an ad in local papers looking for an adoptive family for the 6-year-old, 280-pound canine.

They just might be in luck.

Scott Sumner, owner of a seven-acre ranch in Emma, recently agreed to welcome Waldo into his home on a trial basis, Bird said.

Waldo spent a night with Sumner and his family in Emma on Tuesday, and Bird said Waldo will move to Emma permanently on Saturday.

The Sumners have set up a run for Waldo until the dog gets used to life on the ranch, Bird said, and Waldo will make regular visits to his old stomping ground near Clark’s Market, where the dog has become an Aspen fixture.

“He sure brings a lot of people around,” said Tim Boyer, owner of Take Two Video (Waldo spends most of his days on a mattress in front of Boyer’s shop).

“Everyone comes to see Waldo,” Boyer said, adding that seasonal guests often come back especially to visit the dog Boyer called “280 pounds of love and slobber.”

“After Jim died, [Waldo] didn’t eat much for a few weeks,” Boyer said. “He was depressed.”

Bird, however, said the dog is finished grieving, and that the recent weight loss has done Waldo some good.

“He’s in incredible health,” Bird said, and lately Waldo has been wagging his tail and greeting guests as he has for years.

Saint Bernards don’t live long, rarely more than eight years, Bird said, and at six years old, Waldo is in good shape.

Waldo doesn’t eat much for such a big dog, Bird said, and spends much of his day sleeping. The dog gets regular walks in nearby Rio Grande Park and to the John Denver Sanctuary, adjacent to the park.

“He’s got a great life here; he loves people,” Bird said, and Waldo just “melts” when someone approaches him, often raising a paw for a belly scratch.

But while Aspenites have stepped up with lots of financial support for Waldo ” it costs about $100 per month for food, and care such as a bath runs as much as $200 ” Bird said no one in Aspen came forward with the right situation for the popular pup.

“A lot of us will have broken hearts,” Bird said of Waldo’s downvalley exodus.

But Bird said the Sumners are dog lovers and Waldo is going to a better situation.