Hi there, folks! My name is Baxter, and I’m delighted to be Phileas Dogg’s first-ever U.S. correspondent, bringing you the lowdown on what’s hot and what’s not in my hometown of Aspen, Colorado. I’d also like to extend a friendly paw across the pond to all my British colleagues and fellow re-paw-ters.
I’ve pretty much lived in Aspen my whole life, and I guess you could say I’m the premier pup about town. My early life didn’t start off too well, but when I was adopted from Maxfund Animal Adoption Center by pet shop owner Steve Fante, I really struck lucky. Now, I work in one of Aspen’s top pet shops, C.B. Paws, as chief toy tester and general consultant. It’s a busy life, but I know Steve relies on my opinion when it comes to buying new stock for the shop – every item carries the Baxter pawprint of approval.
I’m pretty famous, too – I was once featured in local newspaper The Aspen Times for being banned from my own shop! (It’s a long story, and one I won’t bore you with. Fortunately, Steve soon realized he couldn’t run the shop without me, and promoted me to my current position.) I love working in C.B. Paws – at first, I got a bit agitated whenever Steve sold one of MY toys, but now I’ve trained him to give me a treat every time he makes a sale. It took him a while to catch on – he’s sure not as smart as me – but now we make a pretty good team.
So, what advice can I give to fellow canines wanting to visit my beautiful home? Well, the first piece of good news is that almost all Aspen’s hotels are dog-friendly. My personal paws-up goes to the St Regis for their dog-friendly staff and great welcome, and the Sky hotel, who provide “beds, bowls, toys, treats, and love free of charge”. Unfortunately, there’s a State law that prevents dogs going into any area while food is served (boo!), but we’re welcome in most other places.
When you’ve done relaxing in your hotel room, pop your walking paws on for a stroll around my lovely hometown.
Aspen used to be called Ute City, named for the Ute Indians indigenous to the area. In the late 19th century, it enjoyed a brief boom period as a silver mining town, supplying 1/16th of the world’s silver, and many of the town’s most attractive buildings date from this period. After a quiet few years, the town, now known as Aspen, became popular as a ski resort and grew into the thriving community it is today. The name ‘Aspen’ comes from the beautiful aspen trees that cover the mountain slopes and grace the town itself. Set in a valley and surrounded by mountains, it really is a lovely spot – although I might be the tiniest bit biased.
Continuing with the tour, my favorite haunt is Wagner Park, where I can hang out and try out any new toys before I have to go to work. At the weekends, I sometimes like to head up the mountain and hike Smuggler’s Trail or the Rio Grande Trail down to the valley. We dogs can ride the Silver Queen Gondola up Ajax mountain, but I find that area a bit crowded and prefer to stay nearer home.
So if you or your humans ever find yourself in Aspen, CO, call in and see me and Steve at C.B. Paws – I’ll be happy to show you our latest range of toys, but paws off my treats!