Vending machine dog raises father’s ire |

Vending machine dog raises father’s ire

Scott N. Miller
Preston Utley/Vail DailyA toy dog bought in a vending machine at City Market depicts the anatomy of a male dog more accurately than Moises Sanchez feels is appropriate for young children.

VAIL – Five-year-olds ask a lot of questions. Moises Sanchez wasn’t ready for this one.Holding a new toy, a little dog she’d gotten out of a vending machine at the Vail City Market, little Shania Sanchez asked:”Dad, what’s that?”There was a pause, and finally:”Uh, that’s his pee-pee,” Sanchez told his daughter, “and he’s going pee-pee.”That’s when Sanchez took a close look at the toy Chihuahua his daughter had bought that day.

The toy dog is lifting its plastic leg, as if looking for a fire hydrant or tree. The little plastic dog is also displaying genitalia that can only be described as very lifelike.”There would have been a proper time to show her what that is,” Sanchez said. “But not like this.”If the toy had come from, say, a truck stop men’s room, Sanchez wouldn’t be all that upset. What bothers him is it fell into his daughter’s hands at City Market, a place where the two of them go nearly every day. It’s also where his wife works.”Every day (Shania) asks me for a quarter for the machines,” Sanchez said. Since Shania is Sanchez’s only child, the doting dad always says yes.”It makes me feel bad,” he said. “I should have been more careful.”The toy was easy enough to take away and put on a tall shelf, but Sanchez is glad he saw the dog before any of his daughter’s playmates did.

“What if she takes it to school, and another kid sees it and tells her parents?” he said. “The next thing I know the cops are knocking on my door.”City Market doesn’t own the vending machines in the lobbies of its stores, said Vail store manager Doug Miller.”We rent space for those like we do to Starbucks, or the liquor store,” Miller said. “I’ve called our main office about this and asked them to ask the vendors to take the machines out.”Sanchez said that’s a good step. But he also had some advice for other parents.”Look at what’s in the machines,” he said. “Look at the toys. The machine doesn’t say what ages the toys are appropriate for.”We have to be careful,” Sanchez added. “It’s not just drugs. These kinds of things can bring a lot of trouble to your home.”

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 613, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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