Sled dogs beat the heat |

Sled dogs beat the heat

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Neighbors and friends came together Tuesday to make sure 30-plus dogs were safe during the Dry Park Fire.

Bill Pinkham said he was trying to decide what to do with his 39 sled dogs on his property, two miles north of the Dry Park Fire, when help started coming up his driveway.

Passing motorist Mary Weaver, whom Pinkham had never met before, drove up his road just to make sure that everything was all right.

Mark Hatch, a fellow dog sledder, also showed up with a dog truck ready to take some dogs from Pinkham.

“I wasn’t that worried, but they showed up and got me all worked up,” he said.

Together, the three enlisted enough help from family and friends to find a place for each of the dogs to stay for the night.

In addition to private homes, 26 dogs went to The Skyline Ranch and Kennel.

Martha Collison, Skyline’s owner, wasn’t sure if she had space for the dogs on top of the 15 she was already boarding. But when Weaver called, she said, “Bring them over, we’ll find out.”

“We had them everywhere we could put them,” said Collison.

Collison didn’t charge Pinkham for the night.

“I said, `You don’t owe me anything, but just tip the kennel person,'” she said.

“Twenty-six dogs is a lot,” said Collison’s assistant, Jodi Faye, who cleaned up after the dogs. “It was a good sized mess and a lot of work.”

Pinkham made the rounds to the kennel and five houses where the dogs were staying early Thursday, and had them all home by 1 p.m.

He wasn’t sure that the dog evacuation was necessary, but thought it was worthwhile.

“If the wind was just right it wouldn’t have taken that long to get over here,” said Pinkham. “Better safe than sorry.”

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. 535

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