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Letters to the Editor

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Cut and runJune 22’s Senate votes prove only the most extreme liberals advocate a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq. Only the most vocal Democrats have expressed calls for immediate pullouts and short timetables, the mass media repeatedly regurgitates the same message, and since that is what everyone hears a great many gullible individuals have come to believe it. Fortunately for us, some members of the party still in possession of their sanity, all but 13 Democrats voted against John Kerry’s idiotic proposal, and that excludes an abstention by Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V.. Hopefully the moderate Democrats will find their voice, squelch the barking ultra-liberals and bring reason to their party. Thomas AndersonHero to meTo Thomas H. Kirk Jr.: As a mom of a U.S. soldier leaving for Iraq on Aug. 5, who has already served in one war going now to another, I wish to thank you for your letter. You put into words what I could not. My son may not be a hero to everyone, but to me and his brothers you better believe he is. Again, thank you for your words.Theresa Ladenburger GypsumReflection of ownerResponse to “Mean or misunderstood?”: As a previous student and continual avid fan of Pets Inc. and Mark Ruark, I wanted to comment on the article regarding pit bulls and the possibility (albeit I prefer to think very remote possibility) of a ban in Eagle County against this dog breed. Mr. Ruark states it is “owner’s responsibility” and primarily the lack thereof that is the largest problem in dog control. In my opinion, this responsibility continues throughout the life of the dog and is often in our busy lives shirked and diminished to our dog’s detriment.As the proud owner and parent of a large border collie, I feel strongly that our dog’s behavior is an extension of our own behavior. With a large dog there is added responsibilities. These dogs by their very size are intimidating no matter what breed they are, no matter how friendly they are and they can and will use their size sometimes not to our liking. It is very much our responsibility as the caretaker of these animals to recognize this fact. Even if your dog is friendly to people, friendly to other dogs and very obedient, others that come in contact with your dog do not know that and have a whole set of fears that you may or may not agree with. Dog owners should always respect a person’s right not to be molested by your dog whether it’s from being licked and slobbered on, jumped on, ran into as your dog is running by, or at the very worst, bitten.Even though there are no leash laws in certain areas in Eagle County, dog owners owe a duty to all persons and other dogs that your dog may come in contact with. I have had more bad experiences with large dogs not in control (the dog does not immediately respond to your command to sit, stay, down or whatever) and with the owners who don’t care and simply state, “Oh don’t worry, he won’t hurt you.” This is an irresponsible means to be responsible for the behavior of your dog. Not everyone is a dog person. And it is the owner’s who think this response and level of dog control is OK that creates even a remote possibility that Eagle County voters would place a ban on a particular breed. I would suggest to any dog owner with a large dog that you need to step up your involvement in your dog’s life and behavior and continue to work on your control skills and discipline of your dog no matter what age the dog. This is particularly true when you and your dog are in public or come in contact with other people and their dogs. We (hopefully) don’t tolerate our children running amok in public places why should we tolerate our dogs doing the same? I am not necessarily suggesting we require leash laws, but if you call a command to your dog and the dog ignores you, then perhaps your dog should be on a leash or you need further dog and owner training.It is dog owners who have perpetuated the problems that arise with dog control. The average dog, whether large or small, is less able to control their behavior than a 3-year-old child. We wouldn’t expect a 3-year-old to teach itself good behavior. Rather the dog and the child must learn and be taught by someone. You may feel pet training and owner education is frivolous or unimportant or only for puppies. But in fact it reiterates to your dog that your relationship is important. Especially if you are in a situation where your dog must spend most of its days alone at home. And to think we make up for that with a longer walk on the weekend. Do more. Take another class, even if the dog is getting older. It demonstrates to the dog how important they are in our lives and will reap great benefits to the community at large. Before Eagle County or any community places a ban on a particular dog breed, the county should require continuing education for dogs and owners as a requirement for licensing and perhaps even for each annual renewal of your dog’s license.Mankind decided to domesticate these compassionate and loyal animals. We owe them a duty to stay involved in their lives beyond feeding them once a day and to remain owner educated to keep them at peace in this otherwise busy world where they are lost in our busy daily lives. Even if your dog is with you at home or on the job 24/7, we still have more that we can learn together if we take the time. If you don’t have the time or think more involvement in their lives is a waste of time, then reassess whether you truly should own or parent a dog and whether your dog really is well enough behaved to confront the outside world without your control and responsibility for their actions. If you don’t have time find someone who does have time, a dog walker, doggie day care, or some way to break up their boring days with attention and a learning experience. A dog may by law be entitled to their “first bite” without violating Animal Control laws, but dog owners should not get off as easy.Jill E. KovacevichGod with U.S.God bless Butch Mazzuca! I’m sending his commentary to people who need further ammunition to fight the good fight to keep America a place that trusts in God.I’m also sending his commentary on to the young’uns in my family who need to know that, throughout her history, God has always been with America.Joanne DunaganOcala, Fla.Vail, Colorado


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