By Suzanne Sparrow Watson

CU Campus

     CU Campus

We’ve just returned from a wonderful trip to Denver to see family.  We enjoyed fabulous times in their spa-like back yard, a great meal at Shanahan’s, and a lung-collapsing walk at the 5200 foot elevation.  It all seems like a dream now that we are experiencing record heat in the desert.  Were we really feeling chilly just a week ago?  To compensate for today’s triple-digit temps, I’m going to harken back to that time long ago – last week – to describe our day trip up to Boulder.  Maybe just thinking about it will make me feel cooler.  Or more confused – read on.

First, it must be said that Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the country.  It’s little wonder that Denver is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation – good jobs, good housing and spectacular surroundings.  We have been to Denver a few times so this trip our daughter thought it would be fun to venture up to Boulder.  We were excited to see a city that we’ve read so much about – a burgeoning tech community, fun college town, and haven to hippies and retirees alike.

The beautiful Flatirons

The beautiful Flatirons

So off we headed for the 45 minute drive and decided to take Dash the Wonder Dog along for the ride.  After all, Colorado is one of the more “outdoorsy” states; you can hardly walk a block without seeing someone with a dog.  Or two.  In Boulder more than a third of the population owns a dog so we expected Dash would be in his element.  As we approached the city the first site that came into view was the Flatiron Mountains, a range of five peaks that have a sheer upright face.  Images of the Flatirons are ubiquitous symbols of the city of Boulder.  The city government, the University of Colorado, and many businesses make use of this symbol in their logos, advertisements, and marketing materials.  The mountains form a perfect background for the CU campus.  Combined with the hundreds of trees and the park-like setting, it has to be the most idyllic school in the country at which to goof off rather than go to class.  The center of downtown Boulder is home to the Pearl Street Mall, a four-block pedestrian mall that has cute shops, numerous restaurants and more than it’s fair share of street “performers”.  We found a parking spot close by and embarked on a tour.  We drifted in and out of many of the stores and in each one, Dash the Wonder Dog received oodles of attention.  In one store the clerk asked to have her picture taken with him.  In the kitchen and home store the clerk engaged me in a long discussion about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  So far, we were loving Boulder.  For a fleeting moment, recalling the forecast for Scottsdale this week, I thought perhaps we should go home, pack up and move to Boulder.

Pearl Street Mall

Pearl Street Mall

About half-way through our tour of the mall we came to the restaurant that our daughter suggested for lunch.  My husband ran in to take a look at the menu (to say he’s not an adventurous eater would be an understatement of gargantuan proportions) and to see if we could sit at one of the tables on their patio that abutted the mall.  He came out of the restaurant with a rather stunned look on his face.  I assumed that the “special of the day” was elk ear or moose gizzards.  But instead he told us that not only was Dash not welcome on their patio, but that dogs were not allowed AT ALL on Pearl Street Mall.  Whaaaaat?  Just five minutes before Dash was sashaying around the place like he was the mayor.  And now he’s not allowed?  Sure enough, we looked at the signs on a pole at the entrance to the mall and in addition to No Spitting, No Loitering, and No Bikes was the sign I hate most of all – No Dogs.  You’d have thought one of the people who worked in the stores might have said something.  I’m guessing that they are secretly dog owners who think the rule is stupid.  We finally found a restaurant perpendicular to the mall where Dash could join us as long as he was tied up on the street side of the patio.  He was not amused.  After we got back in the car, I did a quick Google search and sure enough, Boulder, contrary to what one might expect, is not a dog-friendly town.  Turns out that “man’s best friend” is not allowed in any restaurant patio or to be off-leash at any time.  Uniformed Animal Control agents patrol the city and are quick to give out citations for any violations.  Geez, I guess we were lucky that Dash didn’t end up behind bars.

So, what was my impression of Boulder?  It’s truly a spectacular city with beautiful views, a vibrant college campus, great shopping…and stupid dog laws.


9 comments on “BUSTED IN BOULDER

  1. I’ve only been to Boulder a couple of times and it’s been some time ago. I remember thinking it was very dog friendly – and wonder if this is a recent regulation? Love you blogs!

    • Yep – that’s what we thought. Maybe too many college students letting their dogs run wild or not picking up after them. Whatever the reason, seems like the pendulum has swung too far to the other side ; )

  2. Our daughter and son in law are University of Colorado grads so we spent many years walking Pearl Street….what amazes me is that you could not have Dash share your out door dining but probably could sit next to someone smoking marijuana! Talk about inequality…Dog Lives Matter

    • Love that, Pam! DOGS LIVES MATTTER! Maybe I should put that on a tee shirt and sit with one of the street people who had F*&K Trump signs all over the place. Somehow the signs didn’t offend the delicate souls in Boulder!

  3. That is ridiculous. I’m never going to Boulder. Wait. I don’t have a dog. Still, it’s the principle of the whole thing. It’s so unfounded anyway. Is it considered a health violation? I’d rather eat with dogs than a family where at any given moment tuberculosis, whooping cough, or pink eye might be present. I’ve never caught anything from a dog. Wow! I’m angrier than I thought. What about service dogs? Huh? Do the discriminate against those? Time to get Dash a certification. Let’s see. Maybe he can help you deal with your husband’s neuroses. Is that certifiable?

    • Ugh. A typo. I hate those more than dog-unfriendly establishments. “Do they discriminate…”. Too early. I’m bleary eyed. It’s the altitude

      • In my heat-related stupor I didn’t even catch it. It’s like those ads where they ask if you can make sense of half-completed words and sentences. In any event, thanks for your support in boycotting Boulder. If we ever venture there again I am going to have Dash don his “Pets on Wheels” uniform and really test the boundaries of their stupid law. So there.

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