Tag Archives: Lake County Colorado

Leadville News – February 16

The Year of the Dog: Happy Chinese New Year!

By Ted B.K. Halley, Leadville Today Contributor

Happy New Year! es, today, Friday, Feb. 16 marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year celebrated enthusiastically on the other side of the world with fireworks and fanfare. And 2018 is the Year of the Dog, the “Earth Dog,” specifically.

If you’re like most peo­ple, your understanding of the Chinese zodiac doesn’t extend beyond what you see on the paper place mats at Szechuan Taste II in downtown Leadville.  While you’re waiting for your won-ton soup and egg roll, you refresh your memory as to whether or not you are a rabbit? Or maybe a rat? But if you’re a dog, then this is your year.


Legend has it that the 12 creatures represented on the Chinese Zodiac calendar were the animals that Buddha invited to a celebration. While there the animals participated in a race across a river. The order of the animals on the calendar reflects their completion of the race – the rat placing first and the pig finishing last. The animal signs are repeated every 12 years. The Chinese believe that the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influ­ence on personality.

If you’re born in a Dog year, you’re a Dog, and the following are deemed lucky for you:

  • Lucky numbers: 3, 4, 9
  • Lucky colors: red, green, and purple
  • Lucky flowers: rose, cymbidium orchids

Five Types of Dog; Which One Are You?

In Chinese element theory, each zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elements: Gold (Metal), Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. For example, a Wood Dog comes once in a 60-year cycle.

It is theorized that a person’s characteristics are decided by their birth year’s zodiac animal sign and element. So there are five types of Dogs, each with different characteristics, this year’s Earth Dog is “communicative, serious, and responsible in work.”

Famous Earth Dog celebrities include Madonna and Michael Jackson. However, those born under the sign of the Dog should be advised, because astrological forecasters predict 2018 is an unlucky year for Dogs.Dog Compatability

According to Chinahighlights.com, people in the year of their birth sign will offend Tai Sui, the God of Age in Chinese mythology. They are believed to have bad luck in this year. Therefore, dogs should be more careful about all aspects of their lives in a year of the Dog.

The animal signs also serve a useful social func­tion for finding out people’s ages. Instead of asking directly how old a person is, people often ask what his or her animal sign is. This would place that person’s age within a cycle of 12 years, and with a bit of common sense, you can deduce the exact age.

In honor of the Year of the Dog and today’s Chinese New Year, Leadville Today is posting some useful information about your four-legged, furry friends, your actual dogs! Do you ever wonder if they suffer from altitude sickness? What are the signs and what should you do? To find the answers to that and other questions for your “best friend” see the following post.

Signing off:  Kung hei fat choi! (Happy New Year)!  

LT Contributor is Ted B.K. Halley is a mole on the Chinese Zodiac place mat. His characteristics are aloofness, persistence, and powerful forelimbs with large paws adapted for digging up the truth.


2018 is the Year of The Earth Dog, so be sure to celebrate regularly at the Lake County Dog Park. Photo: Brennan Ruegg/LeadvilleToday

Dogs in High Places: How Altitude Affects Canines

By Mary Jelf, Leadville Today Contributor

Mountain enthusiasts are aware of the possibility of altitude sickness for themselves, but how often do we think of this possibility for the pets that accompany us on the journey? 


Dogs, like people can be affected by the altitude. Be aware of the signs your pooch could be suffering from Leadville’s 10,200 feet. Photo: Leadville Today.

It turns out that dogs (yes, cats, too) can be affected by the thinner air and lower oxygen levels in much the same way as humans. Some dogs may show no adverse effects from an ascent, but it is always prudent to keep eyes open for changes in your dog’s behavior and potential signs of distress.

In humans, altitude sickness can cause fatigue, dizziness, headache, thirst, and nausea.  Dogs don’t use words to tell us they are feeling ill, so we must watch them closely for symptoms.  Here’s what to look for:

  • easy tiring
  • excessive panting
  • less interest in food
  • vomiting
  • excessive drooling
  • coughing that sounds dry
  • sudden collapse
  • lack of coordination or stumbling
  • lethargy or an unwillingness to move

In extreme cases, a dog’s gums may be pale or turn blue, he may have a fever, or his pulse may be rapid. His feet and maybe even his face may swell and there may be bleeding from his nose and eyes.

If your dog does seem sick, how can you tell if it is due to the altitude or something else?  Think to when the symptoms started. If your dog is generally healthy but got sicker as you travelled higher, the altitude is a likely cause.  Most often, altitude sickness starts above 8000 feet, with problems more likely above the 11,500 feet threshold.

Lundell Memorial Dog Walk 2

Dogs big and tall, and long and small, are affected by high altitude. Make sure that your best friend has everything they need to enjoy that walk or hike! Photo: Leadville Today

What should you do if you think your dog is suffering?  First, encourage your pet to drink water to rehydrate. Some dogs won’t drink more in response to dehydration, so switching from a dry kibble to a wet food can help them get more moisture.  Provide rest time to help with temporary recovery.  Move to a lower elevation, because that is ultimately the only thing that will solve this problem.  Then, keep monitoring your pet’s symptoms and seek veterinary help if they persist.

Dr. Dennis Linemeyer has been practicing veterinary medicine at the Leadville Veterinary Clinic since 1972.  He says he rarely gets calls from dog owners about high altitude sickness, probably because most pet owners recognize the symptoms in their animals and are prepared to take measures to help them get better.  He clarified that fatigue when arriving at high altitudes is caused by the body needing to take some time and extra energy to produce extra red blood cells to efficiently process the thinner air. 

Dr. Linemeyer

Dr. Dennis Linemeyer (center) looks out over the Leadville Ski Joring course where he is the official vet-on-duty for the annual Wild West Show on historic Harrison Avenue. Dr. Linemeyer can be found at the Leadville Vet Clinic down on Front Street.

How can you prevent or lessen bad effects of altitude?  Some effects can be lessened by gradual acclimation to elevation.  Driving into the mountains, instead of flying, can help with a slower transition, as can stopping for a day or two at a mid-level destination.  For example, spending a day nearer to Denver, at 5280 feet, before continuing on to higher elevations can be a great way to take the change more gradually.

After you arrive at your destination, take it easy at first.  If moving to a mountain area, take your pet on easy hikes first, then slowly build their endurance.  Their body’s blood will change in response to the new environment.  Be extra vigilant if you already know your pet has heart or lung problems.  Be aware that if visiting during the summer months, the heat and intense sun can compound the effects of altitude.  Watch over time, because each outing can be different.

It is also a good idea to be very familiar with your pet’s regular habits.  How far and long can they usually walk?  How much do they usually drink?  What color are his gums under normal circumstances?  It is the changes in behavior that will indicate to you something is wrong.

When planning a hike or other mountain adventure, think ahead.  Watch the weather.  Pack enough water and snacks for both you and your dog.  Map and know your route.  Have a plan for emergency action.  Could you carry your dog down the trail if needed? Would you be willing to change your plans to take care of your sick animal?  If you are uncertain about it at all, it might be best to leave your dog at home to be safe.

Dr. Linemeyer stressed the importance of owners knowing their pet’s medical conditions, especially with regard to potential heart problems like murmurs or leaks.  Some dogs (and some breeds of cattle) can be prone to developing HAPE – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema – which can be life threatening.  Animals with those conditions would be best left at lower altitudes to minimize further risks to their health. 

Lead Vet Clinic

Leadville Veterinary Clinic is located at 728 Front Street.

He also reiterated that when an animal is showing distress in this way, the best way to help get them well is to get them down to a lower elevation. 

Dogs love to hike and can be a great addition to a fun mountain adventure.  We owe it to our four legged friends to take as much care for them as we do all of our companions.  The key is to be vigilant and have a plan in case of trouble

In conclusion, if you are concerned about your pet’s health, you can contact Dr. Dennis Linemeyer of Leadville Veterinary Clinic at 719-486-1487.  Emergency care is often available and instructions for contacting Dr. Linemeyer after hours are available when you call the office line.  The clinic is located at 728 Front Street in Leadville, Colorado.  

LT Contributor Mary Jelf practices living joyously in the high country. She relies upon beginner’s luck and the kindness of strangers. Some days she turns thoughts into words to share to make the world a better place.  She would like to attribute the following links which provided great resources for this article. 

Leadville News – February 15


Historic Harrison Avenue sees a winter snow storm move through Leadville’s downtown district.

Derby Draws Big Crowds to Twin Lakes

If you think that sitting on a frozen lake plunking your line into a fishing hole carved more that 12 inches into the icy tundra is all there is to the sport of ice fishing, think again! There are the good times and socializing, not to mention the nature-loving and fresh air. Of course, the sport itself as its own rewards, but judging from the overwhelming success of the 2018 Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby last weekend, ice fishing is becoming increasingly popular across Colorado.

And so it went for 215 participants at last weekend’s event, a sizeable jump in the 129 competitors the event saw just one year ago. And perhaps it was all that additional above-ice activity that caused those big mackinaw monsters to rise up for a snack, skillfully baited on a line and hook, because by high noon on Saturday, Feb. 10, four sizeable fish were pulled from the icy waters, all tipping the scales in an impressive manner.

But in the end, it was Charlie Black’s 30 lbs 5 ¾ oz mackinaw that won the blue ribbon of the derby! Rounding out the podium for that category were Chris Gonzales in second place with his 27 lbs 3 5/8 oz prize catch which was the first one in to the weigh station, and so impressive that many wondered if it could be beat. Black’s catch about an hour later put that debate to rest.  And finally in a third place was Danny Martinez’s 21 lbs ¾ oz mackinaw.

Twin Lakes was definitely giving up some beasts early in the derby, but word musta got around because those trophy mackinaws laid pretty low for the rest of the weekend. Congratulations to the winners and Cheers to all you #PlayByTheRules fisherman who promptly returned their catches back into the depths of this glacial body of water! Readers should be advised that the rules of the Twin Lakes Derby state that “ANY MACKINAW between 22” – 34” must be returned to the water immediately and will not be weighed.”

Mackinaw2_Ice Fishing_Charlie Black_Twin Lakes

Charlie Black’s 30 lbs 5 ¾ oz mackinaw took top prize at the 2018 Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby sponsored by the Leadville Rod and Gun Club.

While the #BigMacDaddys tended to dominate the photo feeds, other competitors weighed in with impressive rainbows, some almost too beautiful to harvest! But it was Lynn Kopasz’s 1 lbs 4 1/8 oz beauty that swam to the top of the leader board, followed by Jan Estep’s 14 5/8 oz rainbow, with Bill Jury’s 13 7/8 oz catch took third place.

There was not a brown (fish) hooked the entire tournament, and the only cutthroats that made it to the record books literally came in within minutes of the High Noon cut-off time on Sunday. Michael Fortner took first place with his 12 1/8 catch and there was only one other cutthroat recorded in this category which was Brian Gross’ smaller fish at 8 7/8 oz.Results_2018_Ice Fishing Derby_Results

The girls dominated the winner’s circle when it came to the kids competition, with Lizzi Savron taking the top trophy for her 12 1/8 oz rainbow fish. Dawson Martinez was the only other kid who made it to the leader board with an impressive 20 lbs ¾ oz mackinaw. It should be noted that the kids have a special area of the lake to fish for their competition. The next generation of champions!

This year the Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby saw a notable increase in big sponsor support in the form of cash and prizes. Dick’s Sporting Goods, Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle CO, Sportsman’s Warehouse and Scheels definitely augered up to the fishing holes, by plunking down some incredible swag for entrants.

Justin Dober Ice Fishing Derby

Justin Dober of Leadville shows off his 18 inch mackinaw caught at the Twin Lakes Fishing Derby. Unfortunately, weighing in at just a smidge over one pound did not make this catch a podium contender. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

“We gave away over $8,000 in prizes,” reported Salazar. Part of those are for winners, other s are door prizes, so be assured that no one went home empty handed!  Also for those still holding their raffle tickets, those prizes were drawn last weekend as well. Here are the winners:

  • Winner of 270 Remington Riffle – Jonathan Ricks
  • Winner of Ice Shack – Joseph Hammas 
  • Winner of Ice Auger – Alejandeo Martinez                               

Organizers also noted that this year’s individual competitors came from as far away as Seattle, WA (997 miles) and from Nebraska traveling over 300 miles. There was also a prize for the top Registered Group that traveled the furthest which went to Jenna Gurule & Anarah Ashcraft who traveled over 400 miles to the derby from Grants, N.M.

Post_Giveaways_Ice Fishing_ 2018 copy

The sponsorship prizes and giveaway table was overflowing at the annual ice fishing derby in Twin Lakes, Colorado.

The added participation and prizes were great ways to mark year 20 for the annual contest put on by the Leadville Road and Gun Club (LRGC). Readers may remember that it was only two years ago that the tournament took a “pass” year often signaling a downward spiral to the point of no return. Fortunately that wasn’t the case for these hard ice warriors!

However, hosting the longest ice fishing derby in the state – starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday and running until noon on Sunday – takes a lot of effort and support. And that’s where true family tradition helped to strengthen the efforts of organizers Angelina Salazar and Danny Gurule, Jr. The two LRGC members relied heavily on help from cousins, and aunts and uncles, all people who already enjoy the sport of ice fishing.

“We had a lot of help from family, and we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Salazar. “And the fisherman all seemed to really appreciate that!”

© Leadville Today