David E. Steiner

Retired USAF, Teacher, Dad, Grandfather, Curmudgeon

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I like dogs. I have always liked dogs. I had dogs when I was a kid, and when I was grown up, and I was nice to them and they liked me. Dachshunds and American Water Spaniels and Springer Spaniels and three racing greyhounds I saved from carbon monoxide boxes. At one point there was a charming beast of indeterminate ancestry called Sam. So I don’t have anything against dogs.

Please don’t write to tell me I’m just a hopeless dog hater. Not true.

Years ago I read Dorr Yeager’s book, “Chita,” the story of a mountain lion, which is a wonderful children’s book, still available in our library. [Alas, no more] In it, Chita was terrified by the dogs owned by the ranchers, and the story took place in our own Tahosa Valley.

I didn’t think much about it at the time, because Tahosa Valley had few year-round residents when I was a child and I rarely saw a dog, other than the lap variety which accompanied a few summer residents.

In the last few years, however, we have seen a big change. Almost everywhere you look, you see dogs running loose, of vaguely Doberman/ German Shepherd/Husky extraction. We now have leash laws, which were not needed in the past, and which are now freely ignored by almost everyone.

Complaining about a dog is a dismal process; law enforcement people dislike being involved, and I can understand their reluctance. They don’t like to be thought of as dog-catchers, and dog complaints, though numerous, are pretty low on the priority list, for obvious reasons. Still, the dog problem is a serious one, and it isn’t getting better.

Tourists come here and say, “Why isn’t there more wildlife?” The answer is a simple one: dogs. As long as dogs are allowed to run loose, you will not see the marmots, deer and elk we saw 30 years ago.

I wish I knew what the answer is.

My neighbors have dogs, and for the most part the dogs stay in their own territory. But it’s also true that deer and other shy animals aren’t going to come to my salt lick while an 80-pound dog is within a quarter of a mile. One of the attractions of living here ought to be the opportunity to see the wild animals living, as Chita once did, free to roam, with as little interference from people as possible. That seems to me to be one of the most important aspects of mountain living.

I like dogs, but I don’t like dogs running loose or barking all day and night.

The sad part of it is that it’s not the fault of the dogs.




© 1985 – 2003, David E. Steiner

Allenspark Wind Columns:


Why Allenspark?

Going Riding [August, 1985]


Used Cars

Peace and Quiet [1986]

Liberals & Conservatives

Going to the Movies

The Screened Porch

The Beginning of The Season

The Weather

The Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The End of The Season

The Gift of Time

The Beavers

Addresses [1987]


Watching the Trees Grow

Postal Rates

Changes in Estes Park

Square Dancing at the Pow Wow

Back to the Hilltop Guild Bazaar

The Solstices

Bird Feeders


The Estes Park Hardware Store [1988]


Limousine Service

A Memorial Service

A Hummingbird


A Hiking Trip

The Estes Park Public Library

Wild Life

Riparian Rights [1989]




Mountain Friendliness

A Motorcycle Trip

Satellite Television

“Weaving Mountain Memories”

Hotel Rates in the Old Days

The Price of Propane [1990]

The Front Range Almanac


Modes of Transportation

Miller Moths

My 50th Column

Modern Conveniences

Rock Climbing

On the Death of Otto Walter, Postmaster

Otto’s Memorial Service

A Big Owl Pot-Luck Dinner

A Whine About Telephone Service [1991]

After the Persian Gulf War

Some Changes in the WIND

The Trip to the Mountains

The Mountains in the Summer


Of Dogs, Music, and Children

Muhlenburg County

To My Grandson

The Sale of Longs Peak Inn

World War II  [1992]

Murphy’s Law and the Computer

The South St. Vrain Canyon


The Hazards of Volunteering

Crime in Our Valley


On the Death of Charles Eagle Plume

Can We All Get Along?

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Lost Horizon [1993]


Rumors About a Visit by the Pope


More About Fences


The Visit of Pope John Paul II

Forest Fires

The New Sewage System

The Snow Pool

The Good Old Days [1994]

The WIND’s 20th Anniversary

The Bunce School

The Shooting Gallery

The Estes Park Museum

Our Government

U.S. West Takes a Hit

The Year of the Hummingbirds

A New “Yield” Sign

Growth in Allenspark

Private Telephones?

The Salvation Army

Creation Science [1995]

Devolutionizing Big Government



Fort D.A. Russell

Domestic Terrorism

Old and New

Barney Graves

Life in the Wilderness

What’s In a Name?

Arthur C. Clarke


The Estes Park Trail-Gazette Columns:

July 1983


Estes Cone

Johnny Grant

Observations in Estes Park

The Bath House


The Sutherland’s Ice House

How Old is Charles Eagle Plume?


Christmas Trees

Tree Murder

Mountain Driving


Mail Boxes

More About Mail Boxes

“Are you related to ....?”


An Accident

The Wild Cat

A July Reunion

A Visit to Baldpate Inn

Opening Cabins


The Times, They Have Changed

Death and Transfiguration

The Population Explosion

The March of Time

Faith-Based Social Services

Looking for Pitch

Recent Writings I

Recent Writings II

Recent Writings III

Recent Writings IV

Recent Writings V

Recent Writings VI



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