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Barking up the wrong tree

Tom Boyd

Woof.Also: growl, bark, yip, groan and howl.Grrrrreat.Dogs are on the hot seat lately, from mountain top to neighbor’s yard, reaping the consequences of their menacing, slobbery, evil-toothed ways. It seems members of the canine world have been causing all sorts of commotion in the backcountry of our state, making headlines in all the major doggy publications.For example, a year ago a St. Bernard was evacuated (by helicopter, no less) from the slopes of Mount Quandry, and another dog died this summer of a heart attack after a dog fight broke out atop Mount Sherman. Lycra-clad body-Nazis are prowling the trails, using their high-performance walking poles to shoo away drooling canines while simultaneously crying foul and dishing out dirty looks to Fido’s owner.The latest is this: Bambi and his ever-imperiled friends are now under pressure from a vicious, snarl-toothed Labrador retriever named Bachelor. Bachelor, I have heard first hand, is actually a doting, caring, lovable dog of high pedigree who is available to guests of the new Ritz-Carleton for the purposes of outdoor companionship.The dog-o-phobics, however, are on a mission to paint poor Bachelor as a devilish killer, a wolfish predator who causes “stress” among the ailing populations of four-legged prey.Not surprisingly, the people who fear and loathe dogs also tend to brand themselves (unfairly, I think) as environmentalists. These are the sort of enviros who use “green” as a reason to cry wolf in every conceivable scenario, debasing themselves and the entire movement with their ceaseless nagging and unjust, under-informed complaints. Instead of trying to protect nature in a viable, reasonable way, these green gremlins use nature as the default excuse for advancing their own fickle agendas at every conceivable juncture.Woof.I have absolutely no doubt that the people fighting the PR war against Bachelor haven’t spent very much time examining wintertime tracks away from the trail, otherwise they would be aware of a very simple fact: deer and elk are always under pressure from predators.That’s why they’re called “prey.”Furthermore, humans are the most prolific and proficient killers in the history of the world, so if you really want to keep Bambi in a happy, domestic and bucolic haze (not his natural state, by the way), start by banning humans from wild areas not dogs.Woof, bark, howl.There’s are multiple good reasons for keeping humans out of certain areas during, say, the elk-calving period. And there are many other agendas that rank highly among the list of top conservation concerns.But when a conservationist tries to bring a valid issue to the table (at a policy meeting, during an election debate, at a dinner or in other political situations), he or she will be mocked, ridiculed, and chastised because of an unwanted affiliation with the green gremlins.Down with gremlins!The entire environmental/conservationist/tree-hugging movement is debased by the green gremlins, and on behalf of those who want to see a happy marriage between industry and nature, finances and fauna, growth and greenery, I say this: don’t get dogmatic on doggy issues.And this is a message to all you cats out there: the jig is up. I’m wise to your scheme, your endless plotting against your canine enemies. It’s clear to me that this effort against Bachelor and his buddies has been perpetrated by your feline ruling class, the de-clawed indoor cats that secretly manipulate their owners in a war for power over mankind. Well, no more Mr. Vittles, you sandpaper-tongued rouges we’re going to fight this thing all the way to the vet!Woof.Tom Boyd is a lifelong local, writer and editor. His latest book, “Why dogs like Coke and cats like Pepsi,” is available in paperback for $3.95 through Fictional Press, 00100 New York, NY.


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