From the Editor

I’m a cat person.

There, I’ve said it. Somehow I tend to relate more to those independent-minded, self-absorbed masters of the art of lounging than their canine counterparts. Cats have always been part of my adult life. Grey tabbies mostly, and, if I may indulge in a little Buddhist philosophy, am pretty sure each one was the same tabby, reincarnated, having returned just to keep me company and for my personal amusement and enlightenment.

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Quillen’s Corner – Facts About Colorado’s Deadliest Animal

When I heard that the theme of this month’s Central would be Colorado facts, I started scanning my bookshelves. There were tomes about Colorado wildlife, place names, trees, flowers, mountains, trails, festivals, people and history. I quickly narrowed my options by concentrating on the books that I could reach without using a ladder, which left …

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Quillen’s Corner

Silly and stupid, but we love ‘em anyway

by Ed Quillen

The Rocky Mountain Dog is a magnificent creature who rides easily in the bed of an old pickup. His barking and growling, done only when necessary, protects his people from bill collectors, process servers, revenue agents, drug enforcers, Mormon missionaries, siding salesmen and other disturbers of domestic tranquility. He waits patiently outside the saloon while his owner relaxes inside. He is a faithful and fearless companion for wood-gathering, trout-fishing, mine-dump exploring, alley-scrounging and the other pleasures of life in the Rockies.

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The Legend of Loyal Duke

Loyal Duke

By John McManus

The tale of Duke stems, as most legends do, from the seeds of reality. Where reality ends and myth prevails can only be personally resolved.

The name of the lonely Denver and Rio Grande Western railroad worker who brought Duke the dog to the Salida rail yard is lost forever. Duke, however, a smart, obedient and friendly canine, soon became part of the scene in the Salida yard during his master’s shift. A rail worker’s life in the 1890s could be described as hard, dirty and dangerous work with little compensation. The dangerous part of the job caught up with Duke’s owner one day when he was caught between a boxcar wheel and rail.

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Üllr: Diggin’ his New Job

Story and Photos by Mike Rosso

As a native of Black Hawk, Colorado, Aaron Peyrouse has been playing in the mountains all his life. He learned to ski at Loveland Ski Area at a young age and eventually became a full-time ski patroller. It was during those years at Loveland that he learned about avalanche rescue dogs and became intrigued. The area had employed golden retrievers trained to seek out and hunt down the scent of skiers buried in avalanches.

Peyrouse began his own research into the training of rescue dogs by referencing the certification program offered through Search And Rescue Dogs Of Colorado (SARDOC) Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment (CRAD). Meanwhile, he ran into an old friend in Central City who had just arrived from Montana with a fresh litter of bird-dog puppies. Peyrouse got to choose the pick of the litter, a six-week-old black lab he named Üllr after the Norwegian god of snow and skiing.

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A Few Words about the Cover Girl

by Elliot Jackson

The cover photo of my Siberian Husky, Sovay, was taken in early 2009 when, as a vigorous 13-year-old, she was still pacing pal Mike and me up mountain passes and breaking trail when we went snow-shoeing. Sovay, typical of her breed, is a highly energetic dog, easily bored and not all at all disinclined to let me know about it – that is, if baleful, pointed stares, imperious whoo-ings, and impatient tap-dance routines at the door can be taken as indication of a need and desire that we be off, now, on some quest for amusement or adventure. To see the antic gleam in her blue eyes, and observe her tongue-lolling, shark-toothed grin as she peered back over her shoulder just before dusting us on the trail, has made those days of back country ramblings a special delight for me; I believed I beheld my companion at one with her ideal environment.

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REGIONAL NEWS ROUNDUP (and other items of interest)

Despite Approval by Town Council, A Question Mark Still Hangs over The Meadows

By Sterling Quinton

Buena Vista has come to represent a kind of stage upon which the tensions of small-town politics and development pressures now tangle in the increasingly murky waters of a vast economic slump.

Standing front and center in the most recent controversy is the annexation of a Planned Urban Development (PUD) known as The Meadows. The Meadows, projected to encompass 277 acres, currently lies just outside of Buena Vista’s northwest limits. Its owner, and aspiring developer is John Cogswell, who came to the development game late after his career as a trial attorney, which spanned several decades.

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Service Dogs – Helping Coloradans Achieve Independence

by Laura Pintaine

Walk into any grocery store with a properly attired service dog puppy and eyes turn towards you. Reactions vary depending upon the customer. Some might consider, “what an admirable act to raise a dog for a disabled person,” while others might be thinking “I could never give up a puppy I’ve raised.” Others might just study you closely, trying to assess the disability you might have that warrants a service dog. Being judged by the public is just one of the trials and tribulation of being a Canine Partners of the Rockies, Inc. (CaPR) service dog puppy-raiser.

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Conversations with Dog

by Dawne Belloise

“Try to be the person your dog thinks you are …”

Dogs … our best friends, givers of unconditional love and loyalty, benevolent protectors and part of the family. But no matter what you do, your dog still tears up your furniture, messes the carpet and snarls at you. Your pet could be trying to tell you something, but if you don’t speak “dogese” there are people who can help … interspecies telepathic communicators. Lisa Mapes, pet counselor and psychologist in Gunnison knows.

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On the Ground: Down on the Ground with the Interspecies Contract

By George Sibley

Barring strange accidents or chance, I’ve partnered with my last dog – mostly because my last dog was such a superior partner.

She was a Border Collie, Zoe; and Zoe was actually the only dog I’ve ever really partnered with, however unworthily. There were a couple other dogs in my life when I was a kid, but they were just family pets – bred for petdom. Border Collies aren’t bred to be pets, they are bred for intelligence and bred for work, and they more or less insist on – I would say, deserve – a partnership. And my partnership with Zoe was not really a “fulfilled” partnership because I didn’t really have any work for her to do that was worthy of her willingness.

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News from the San Luis Valley

By Marcia Darnell

Enviro News
The proposed super-power line over La Veta Pass is garnering protest from residents on both sides of the mountain range. Opponents say the Valley doesn’t need more power and that the project is an eyesore and a threat to wildlife habitat. According to federal standards, the project will require an environmental impact statement, so public comment will be heard.

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A Canine Playground

by Mike Rosso

It was a chance visit to an Englewood, Colorado dog park that ultimately led to the creation of Chaffee County’s first open space for dogs, Loyal Duke’s Dog Park.

The dog park, which opened its gates on November 29, 2009, is the brainchild of Salida resident Laura Pintaine, who, along with her husband and family, first stumbled upon the dog park in Englewood sometime in 2005 and were thrilled to see the interaction that went on between dogs and owners.

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A Farmer Far Afield – John Mattingly

The Power of Negative Thinking

Martha Q’s piece in the last issue, in which she touched on the negative consequences of too much positive thinking, reminded me of a few things. Her writing often has this effect on me.

The approach of a new year has brought a lot of curious optimism into our circles, as friends and family are making resolutions and offering theories for future success. Some of these include: positive visualization, putting out what you want back (a variation on “what goes around, comes around”), The Secret (aka: the power of abnormal obsession with focusing on your goals), reach for the sky, climb every mountain, be all you can be. In addition to these are a whole tribe of relentlessly cheery notions.

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A Miracle

by Peggy Godfey

Last Spring I began riding two herds of cows who were calving. An icy, muddy, windy seven weeks kept me horseback and checking for difficult births, abandoned and sick babies. Both my dogs went with me, staying back when I needed to ride close to cows with new calves.

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Lessons from a Big Dog

By Susan Tweit

At the Post Office recently, someone asked, “How’s your Great Dane? I haven’t seen her in a long time.”

I had to clear the lump from my throat before answering: “She died more than two years ago.”

Some dogs stick in your heart. Isis, named for the Egyptian goddess of wisdom and beauty, lives on in Richard’s and mine.

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Kinks: Rock and Roll Frisbee Dog

Kinks, frisbee, dog

By Mike Rosso

What is it about Border Collies and Frisbees?

One is a descendent of droving and gathering breeds from the Welsh-English and Sottish-English border regions whose origins can be pinpointed to a single dog, Old Hemp, who was bred in Northumbria in the late 1800s.

The other is a flying plastic disc developed in the late 1950s by a company called Wham-O.

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regional restaurant review

China Village, 60693 U.S. Hwy 285, Bailey, CO, (303) 838-3308

By Patty LaTaille

Whenever I mention China Village as my favorite restaurant to visit on trips to and from the Front Range, the inevitable response is: “Chinese food? In Bailey? Where?”

Yes, you bet your sweet bippy there is good Chinese food in Bailey! My favorite Chinese restaurant in the state of Colorado is right in this geographically challenged location. I’m super picky about Chinese food – having been raised outside of New York City, with my favorite food being rice – the basis for most Asian cuisine.

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Book Review

Island of Grass By Ellen Wohl

Published in 2009 by University Press of Colorado

ISBN 978-0-87081-963-6

$22.95, paperback; xiv+224 pages

Reviewed by Virginia McConnell Simmons

At first glance, a book about the grasslands of the eastern third of Colorado might seem to hold little interest for readers in Central Colorado. This volume warrants a less hasty opinion, however, for it offers a wealth of information for anyone interested in natural history.

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Squirrel on a Cold Tin Roof

by Frankie Will

In this climate we have a phenomenon called black ice. A road or a surface looks completely dry, but is covered with a thin sheet of ice – slippery as a wet ice cube on a warm countertop. It is very dangerous and causes many accidents.

This November, we’ve already had quite a few snowy and freezing days, promising a long, cold winter.

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Reintroducing the Tabors: A Series by Francisco A. Rios

Part 3 – The Arduous Life of a Senator

Using letterhead stationery of the United States Senate for the envelope and his letter, Horace Tabor wrote to Lizzie McCourt at Oshkosh, Wisconsin on Feb 20 1883 as follows:

My Darling little girl

I do so want to see you it seems an age since I saw you last It will be so charming when you can be with me all the time the little things you toht me to do is being done all right our session yesterday lasted from 11 am to 2 this morning that was 15 hours and I do not like very the office of Senator but the honors are great they are next to President your old friend Senator Sawyer is very pleasant. I have a dinner party of Senators next Saturday night. I want you to love me and help me carry out my wishes. That is to have you all the time. I love you more than all the world and I am so glad that we met What if we had never met this world would have been a blank to me and I think it would have been lonely to you give my love to all and come to me as soon as you agreed to for you must be mine in every sense of the word When I go you go and when I stay you stay love me love me all your warm heart can love love love Kiss

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A Miracle

A Miracle – by Peggy Godfey

Last Spring I began riding two herds of cows who were calving. An icy, muddy, windy seven weeks kept me horseback and checking for difficult births, abandoned and sick babies. Both my dogs went with me, staying back when I needed to ride close to cows with new calves.

By the time the weather warmed, both herds were accustomed to seeing the dogs.

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Sunny’s Days

by James E. Muse

This is not the story I would like to have written about this four-legged family member. No, that story would have had a different ending, or in this case a different beginning. So, starting with the bad news is the only way to deal with not having to tell you in the end. We lost Sunny Boy on Labor Day weekend this past year. He was bringing joy to a group of disadvantaged teens at a group home where my son-in-law is a teacher/mentor. At some point Sunny, an almost teen Old English Sheepdog, gobbled a chunk of rawhide bone, which later in the evening became lodged somewhere it shouldn’t have. Sunny went to sleep that evening in the arms of Joey, as the rest of the family slept. A quiet passage for such an exuberant dog.

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Werewolves of Westcliffe

By Hal Walter

Years ago, when Ed and Martha Quillen were conspiring to start a magazine called Colorado Central, we met for a greasy hamburger at a saloon called Susie’s in Westcliffe. As I recall it was a slightly chilly day, and afterward we were standing outside in the street with Ed gesturing his speech with both arms and a cigarette in one hand.

That was about when I saw the black beast trotting right down the middle of the near-deserted street through the one-block downtown district. As the canine critter drew near, its eyes bright and tongue lolling from side to side, Ed became aware that I was being distracted, and was watching something moving behind him. He turned as the animal passed and stood silent with both arms frozen outward in exclamation. The smoke curled up from the cigarette as the animal just trotted on by.

“Excuse me, but that was a wolf?” Ed turned and said with a tone that was both statement and question at once.

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