FIDOS Fall 2001 Newsletter
FIDOS Home Page
Added on: November 26, 2001
The privilege of walking our dogs off leash on Open Space and Mountain Parks trails is one that many of us take for granted, but we should not forget that dog lovers negotiated with the city from 1994 through 1996 to keep this privilege, which is ultimately authorized by the City Council of Boulder. It therefore behooves us to pay attention to the prevailing attitudes of Council members and to consider the attitudes of candidates as we formulate decisions at election time.
In this fall's election, fifteen candidates are running for five positions on City Council. Candidates Don Mock, Gordon Riggle, Tom Eldridge, and Will Toor are incumbents, and the remaining candidates are Ron Bain, Garland Campbell, David Gullick, Michael Hamann, Nabil Karkamaz, Julia Perez, Leslie Rosen, Mark Ruzzin, Lyn Segal, Fred Smith, and Mark Swanholm.
We mailed questionnaires to the candidates, inviting them to list up to three dog-related issues, and to suggest the best way of resolving each issue. Below, we present excerpts from their responses, but we urge our members to read the complete text of the responses on our website at FIDOS.org. (As we went to press, Campbell and Gullick had not responded to our survey.)
About dog parks, Don Mock asks, "But have we done enough? I have
observed quite a crowd at the East Boulder Recreation Center's dog
park on a Saturday afternoon. If more facilities are needed, then we
should create them."
Speaking about transportation, he says, "A few years ago, I visited Austria and was struck by the fact that buses in that country have designated areas for dogs and their owners. I would be interested in investigating the possibility of implementing a similar program for busses in Boulder."
Gordon Riggle confined his response to the statement, "Boulder's parks and open space areas belong to everyone. As champions of responsible dog owership, FIDOS plays an important role in protecting wildlife and promoting the peaceful enjoyment of these areas by everyone.
Tom Eldridge says he would like to see improvements in compliance - both in poop pick-up and voice and sight control. He wonders if more bag dispensers, better signage and more trash cans would help. Overall, he thinks that the dog management plan is working and that FIDOS has done a good job with dog and guardian issues. He is particularly pleased with the establishment of the dog parks.
Mark Ruzzin expressed concern about dogs on open space. "While great
work has been done to proactively address concerns, dogs on open
space remains a passionate issue in Boulder. While dogs on open
space may be one of those issues that will always raise emotions,
this does not mean that it cannot be addressed practically and
productively in a fashion that balances the desires of dog guardians
with those of the community at large.
"Should it be determined that the Dog Management Plan is not meeting
its goals and objectives, I would support using a stakeholder-driven
process to revisit the planand the tools needed for it to be
Ron Bain supports the conditions and agreements, negotiated by FIDOS,
allowing dogs to be off-leash in designated areas. "Dogs require
space in which to run and play;" he says, "they're not happy without
Mark Swanholm describes himself as a "cat person," but relates an
anecdote in which he rescued an at-large Husky who was nearly run
over in traffic, checking on the dog at the Humane Society each day
until his owners claimed him.
Julia Perez would like to see a greater attempt to reach the CU students concerning pet care, problems, and responsibilities. She says that she could help reach the student population through University groups, the student union, residence halls, and the housing director. She is also concerned about homeowners in mobile home parks who are often forced to either abandon their pets or face eviction.
Michael Hamann says, "I believe that government is best that governs
least. For this reason I feel that dog owners should be allowed to
take their dogs into parks, onto trails and even along city streets
unleashed so long as it is not dangerous and the dog is not a public
Lynn Segal suggests dealing with the dog defecation issue using
"restorative justice circles with dog owners, dog offenders and law
enforcement in attempt to dissipate animosity and create new
Fred Smith says, "The plan sounds great. I also believe strongly in picking up after your dog. "By the way, I love dogs and believe they should be included in open space but would like to see misbehaved dogs filtered out."
Nabil Karkamaz says, "I really don't have any problem with dogs that listen to commands such as come and stay. But dogs that are aggressive should be on a leash at least."
After a month of beautiful spring weather, we awoke last April to a
cold, wet, and snowy Sunday morning-coincidentally also the morning
of Boulder's first Canine Classic, a race at Boulder Reservoir in
which dogs were allowed to bring their humans along. FIDOS had been
working hard with the Rape Crisis Team preparing for the race, and
our spirits were low as we drove through the slush to the Reservoir,
prepared for one of the great flops in Boulder racing history. But we
didn't count on the spunk of Boulder's runners or the
weather-independent zeal of our dog friends (when will we learn?),
and it wasn't long before runners and dogs began arriving in droves.
In spite of the weather, over 500 teams ran in the race. The
enthusiasm of the dogs for such an obviously neat event was
infectious and soon dogs and runners were happily splashing through
slush and mud around the reservoir.
Nov 3 11 AM Doudy Draw
Moe Sampsel and Cheri Hoffer
FIDOS membership is growing by leaps and bounds (no pun intended) and so are FIDOS' responsibilities to dog lovers of Bounder county and beyond. Here are some simple ways to assure us dog lovers that trails and Open Space will remain dog friendly for years to come. There ARE movements afoot on a continual basis to change that reality and our work is more important than ever.
TO MY POOCH, by Elizabeth Barret Browndog
In spite of the fact that 88 of 126 US medical schools no longer use dog labs, CU continues to resist removing them from the curriculum. Letters and phone calls allow your voice to be heard. The individuals below have the power to close the dog labs. Please be courteous.
Dr. Elizabeth Hoffman, President
Dr. James Shore, Chancellor E-mail: J.Shore@UCHSC.edu
Dr. Richard Krugman, Dean
The International Wildlife Film Festival is based in Missoula, where every spring top films are selected from more than 200 entries from around the world. For the past two years, we have sponsored the FIDOS International Wildlife Film Festival in Boulder, each year experimenting with a different site and mode of presentation. This year we decided to simplify the presentation, emphasize the films, and reduce the admission fee to make the event as accessible as possible to people interested in top-quality wildlife films. On Friday, October 19, we will be showing two hours of the finest films from the 2001 International Wildlife Film Festival, starting at 7:00 PM. The location is the Boulder Unity Church at 2855 Folsom (Folsom and Valmont). Admission is $5, with children under 12 admitted free.