Too Many Dogs in Butte

with Kitty Galore

Here in Crested Butte the overpopulated canine culture is certainly one to be reckoned with, and many of us think it is overdone. Everyone seems to have at least one dog. The reason is not clear, since dogs are one of the more annoying entities on the planet. Sure our family owns a dog. He’s a black lab mix named Spot. He’s worthless.

He’s always trying to get in or out, sometimes simultaneously. He’s clumsy and stupid. Imagine a cat chasing a tennis ball for hours or a pet snake bringing in the evening news. Asinine. I tend to avoid Spot unless he gets pushy. Then a well-landed slap across the snout does the trick. I can easily put him in his place without other family members recording the exercise, the true employment of justice.

Ask yourself: Would Crested Butte be a better place without all these mutts around? Sure, we have a leash law, at least on Elk Avenue, which results in yappy, hyper dogs tied up to everything from park benches to baby carriages. Cats don’t need leash laws. They police themselves and are not dumb enough to get caught by the pet patrol. They do their sneaking around at night not right there in broad daylight. In addition, cats bury their business. We don’t leave it lying around on the pavement for tourists to step over, or in, as the case may be.

And speaking of tourists: Dogs, especially larger dogs in the back of pickups, often frighten the daylights out of visitors. This can result in lost revenue for the town. It’s a fact: People who are even slightly uncomfortable spend less cash. Comfort zones are not reassured by aggressive canines growling from their owners jacked up chariots. Oh sure, puppies are popular with tourists, but puppies grow up to be dogs.

Our dog Spot wolfs his food, runs off for hours, sheds, gets up on the furniture, chews shoes, has hellish gas attacks, chases stock, barks incessantly and jumps up on people. He is impossible to train. He has no pride. He drools. Sometimes he sits in the back of our family pickup for hours upon end, waiting patiently to go who knows where. Other days he drags home part of a carcass or maybe a discarded mattress to tear up under the tree.

Last week I happened into the kitchen while another family member was attempting to feed the idiot. He was jumping all around as if he were about to partake in a feast of prime rib and lobster tails. Doesn’t the moron realize that he was getting only two cups of kibble with a splash? Doesn’t he get it? This is the same meal he has been eating for almost four years. What’s all the excitement about? After he has inhaled his food the kitchen floor needs to be sterilized, hermetically sanitized. And that’s after he stands in his dish to corner the last morsels.

When dinner is served for the rest of us we react in a civilized manner and eat slowly, chewing our food and making light conversation. Why rush through the meal? You can always go back to it, unless of course someone has left my tuna casserole or chicken hearts at dog mouth level. In this case the food is gone before the dog has even tasted it. What did you just eat, Spot? What? Eat? Sure.

I don’t eat his food, unless I am near starvation. Why can’t he respect my habits as well? And when was the last time he cleaned himself? Months. He comes into the house full of mud and snow. He’s all wet then shakes and leaves paw prints on the carpet. He smells like old newspapers that have been soaked in rotten eggs. I clean myself daily, sometimes twice daily, especially after dining. One of the larger family members is forced to give Spot a bath which is like trying to shave a water buffalo with a pick ax or castrate a rooster in the dark. What a scene. Spot really hates it, so I like to watch. The garden hose is my favorite instrument of torture. After he’s hit with it a few times he runs and hides under the car. Fool.

In closing I must mention my irritation with tourists. If I’m sitting on a wall, or up a tree and one of them sees me I yawn and close my eyes. If he/she wants to talk to me I listen but my response is subtle at best. Why do these two-legged creatures want to talk about? We don’t even know each other. If Spot were on the receiving line of the conversation he’d be a mess. He might even pee on himself in anticipation. Anticipation of what? Some mindless vocalization obsessing about the state of things in dog-land. I’ve watched it all. You might be surprised to find out how many people say hello to every dog they pass while ignoring their own species. Odd.

Filed Under: Featured Peeks

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