Tag Archives: Colorado

Announcing the National Fire Dog Monument

The winning design features a firefighter looking upon his detection dog, who is ready for duty

The non-profit organisation National Fire Dog Monument has been successful in its fundraising to build a monument to Certified Accelerant Detection Dogs.  The bronze statue is entitled “From Ashes to Answers” and will be permanently displayed in front of a fire station in Washington, DC.

The inspiration for the dog in the sculpture is Erin, Colorado’s first arson dog who died from cancer.

As the statue is transported to its final home, there will be a roadshow from June 21 to 28, 2012 stopping in 12 cities starting in Denver, Colorado and ending in Washington, with other stops in Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York.   The full schedule of stops  can be found here.

Arson dogs are trained to detect hydrocarbons and other accelerants that are used to deliberately light fires.  The use of dogs in this service is yet another way that working dogs are used to benefit communities and the new monument is a fitting tribute to their contribution.

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Dog friendly shopping in Colorado

****This is a re-print of my column that appeared in the December 2010 issue of NZ Dog World magazine.  Since that magazine is currently available to NZ Kennel Club members only, I’m re-publishing it here because it is a topic I’m passionate about.****

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I thought I’d share my experience of dog-friendly shopping in the state of Colorado, where I recently traveled for my business.

Colorado is a state that clearly values the companionship of dogs.  They were everywhere:  in trucks, cars and – unlike New Zealand – they were welcomed in many shops and public shopping areas.   On my flight from San Francisco to Denver, there was even a passenger who had a small dog in a carrier.  (Many U.S. airlines now allow small dogs into the cabin as carry-on luggage.)[1]

I wished my Daisy could have traveled with me to enjoy the sites (but she wouldn’t have appreciated the long flight or the required three-month quarantine on our return to New Zealand).

Dogs welcome

Dog owners could easily identify shops where their dog would be allowed to enter.  These shops displayed a Dogs Welcome logo in their window.  Interestingly, these shops sold clothing and footwear for people and were not just pet stores.  An outdoor mall in Castle Rock went a step further by providing grassed park areas and dispensers of plastic bags for dogs to have a ‘comfort stop.’

Other shops made up their own signs, such as one retailer whose sign proclaimed, “Four Legged Friends Welcome.”

I asked a shop attendant if they get many shoppers accompanied by their dogs.  She replied, “Yes.  Lots.  Particularly on weekends when people who work all week want to be out with their pet.”

Dog rest stops

I noticed that many communities welcomed dogs in their shopping areas by providing bowls of water for passing dogs to drink from.  I quickly became accustomed to seeing these ‘dog rest stops’ in virtually every town that we visited.

Rest stops varied in style and offerings.  Some were simply a single water bowl or raised water bowls.   Pet shops would often include extras, such as a bench for owners to sit in.  In Manitou Springs, a popular tourist destination at the foot of Pike’s Peak (elevation 4,800 m), a sweet shop provided vending machines with dog treats.  For 25 cents, a passing dog owner could purchase a handful of treats.

Good behaviour required

In all of the communities I visited, dogs and owners acted responsibly.  There was never a pile of poo left on the footpath and dogs didn’t jump on passers-by.  Responsible dog ownership is clearly essential for communities to embrace dog-friendly shopping.

And so, I leave you with good wishes for the summer holiday season and encourage you to think:  Is dog-friendly shopping appropriate for New Zealand and, if so, what will it take to get dog-friendly shopping established here?


[1] The dog carrier is considered the single piece of carry-on luggage for the owner; the dog must have current vaccinations and is not allowed out of the carrier during the flight.

Additional photos of my trip can be found in this blog post.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Kandu, the two-legged dog

There are special needs dogs and the special people who take care of them.  Today, I’m sharing the story of Kandu, a Jack Russell who was born without his front legs.

Kandu’s initial owner thought that he should be euthanised but a welfare agency put out the call for owners willing to take on a special needs dog and the rest, as they say, is history.    Kandu is fitted with a special cart that allows him to run and play like all other dogs and he even has a special snowboard for winter play.

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand

Dog-friendly shopping in Colorado

I’m now writing for New Zealand Dog World magazine, the magazine of the New Zealand Kennel Club.  For the December/January issue, my column The Last Word is about dog-friendly shopping in the State of Colorado (USA).  Because we had limited space, I couldn’t include most of the great photos I took of dog-friendly shops during my business trip there.

So, I’m mounting them here so you can share them and take a good look.

Dog owners know when a shop is ready to welcome their dog when they see a sign like this one.

At the Outlets at Castle Rock, there are grassed areas throughout the complex which offer these plastic bag dispensers and the clear message:  PETS ARE WELCOME

Many shops and restaurants offered rest stops for dogs.  These varied in style and offerings.  These simple raised water bowls were provided outside a café in Golden.

The Green Paw, a pet shop on the same street, laid out these raised bowls accompanied by a doggy mascot.

In Manitou Springs, a popular tourist destination at the foot of Pike’s Peak (elevation 4,800 m), a sweet shop provided vending machines with doggy treats.  For 25 cents, a passing dog owner can purchase a handful of dog  treats and their dog can have a drink as well.

As I mention in my article (if you don’t subscribe yet to this magazine, you should!), these communities welcome dogs because their owners are responsible for them and, in turn, the community provides  facilities to make it easy to do the right thing.   Well done Colorado!

Kathleen Crisley, specialist in dog massage, rehabilitation and nutrition/food therapy, The Balanced Dog, Christchurch, New Zealand