Paul Andersen: Potted pooches prefer potent people poop |

Paul Andersen: Potted pooches prefer potent people poop

What’s a dog to do? You’re out on a trail romping about, randomly snacking as omnivores do, and suddenly — blotto! You’re stoned to the gills on an unmentionable edible.

Your owners evidently failed to read The Aspen Times recently when the paper reported that dogs are getting stoned from eating human feces. This is not an appetizing topic, yet it’s worthy of note that dogs eating poop is “news” in Aspen. This isn’t fake news, it’s fecal news!

The issue became worthy of ink when a local veterinarian, Dr. Scott Dolginow, who owns Valley Emergency Pet Care in Basalt, reported seeing anywhere between three and 10 dogs a week come into his clinic with marijuana toxicity.

Called a “second high,” the dogs being treated are assumed to be imbibing THC-laced human excrement that imperils their health. Old Bowzer can become seriously ill masticating poop that has strong medicinal qualities in which Aspen is particularly rich.

You can’t make this stuff up, and anyone in “the real world” reading about this will do so with incredulity. Where Aspen has long been known as a place where you can get really good sh…, I mean, weed … no one could foresee this literal interpretation for the canine population.

Now a great dane can have a serious case of the munchies. A doped dalmatian can be mesmerized by its own spots. Picture a stoned out shih-tzu staggering down the Hyman Avenue Mall and wandering blithely through the fountain where a jet of water lifts it off its tiny feet and holds it, balloon-like, in midair. It would giggle, if it could.

But this is no laughing matter to pet owners whose dogs have been dosed, as reported by the Times when Marty, a 2-year-old cattle dog mix, got into something on the No Problem Joe Trail and ruined a Sunday evening.

Rebecca Cole, the owner, noticed Marty acting strangely — “staggering, throwing up, peeing on the floor and just generally out of it.”

“‘He was crashed out; I had to carry him to the vet,’ she was quoted. ‘I literally walked in the door and they said he was high. … I couldn’t believe it because I don’t have anything in my house,’ said Cole, “who saw Marty with a chunk of something in his mouth on the trail but didn’t think anything of it.”

The next time Marty is found noshing an unknown substance, Cole will no doubt spring into action, pry open its slathering jaws, dig out the Baby Ruth, and bag it appropriately so that other unsuspecting curs don’t trip out on the trail.

And it’s not just dogs. Many critters imbibe in dog feces — flies, for example. The result might be the same THC buzz (so to speak) that Marty experienced where insensibly stupefied flies jet about in dizzying flight patterns. For unsuspecting dung beetles, getting high on pot could shift them into the next beetle dimension to echoes of A Magical Mystery Tour.

Knowing that many pet owners relish a boutique experience for their prized pooches, it won’t be long before local pot dispensaries see an opportunity to expand product lines by offering custom canine edibles for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Canine cannabis chews could become a strong new line in the THC and CBD industries where employees are paid to swallow edibles and produce, well, something that need not be spelled out in a family newspaper.

This all begs the question: How many Aspen stoners are recklessly pooping outdoors? Pryce Hadley, ranger supervisor for Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, reportedly denied seeing evidence of human waste on open space. But then, he wasn’t sniffing close to the ground like a probing pug with a powerful penchant for potent poop.

Hadley said, “We encourage people to follow the ‘leave no trace’ principles in the backcountry and use established facilities in the front country.” Marty’s owner said she would appreciate that, too.

“It was scary,” she said. “I want people to pick up their poop.” Is that an unreasonable request to a preponderance of pot head poopers?!

Getting high in Aspen really is going to the dogs!

Paul Andersen’s column appears on Mondays. He may be reached at

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