Essay by Deric Pamp
Mountain Life – December 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine
We walk our dogs, most mornings, in one of several narrow canyons that drain the Arkansas Hills and run down to the flood plain, across the river from Salida. We get there by driving a rough county road that runs only a mile or so to a dead end. The road has few users other than dog-walkers, some dedicated runners, and an occasional beer-drinker who leaves his spoor glinting in the bushes near the road until we pick it up. We recently found that someone had used the road to dump the carcass of a canine: headless, pawless, and skinned, we could not tell if it was a coyote or a domestic animal. Its slim, muscular body seemed naked and pathetic. It had been doubly defiled, stripped of its dignity as well as its coat, then tossed carelessly into the rabbit bushes along a county road. Our dogs found it, of course, but it upset them and they acted very subdued.