OK, so you live in Boulder and want a dog. That's completely understandable.
I have a doggo and he's great. He spends most of his time as a dog-shaped rug on my floor, and he can't help but shake his leg when you rub the white spot on his belly. He's a h*ckin' great smol pupper.
I totally get why you would want to emulate me and my completely adorable G O O D B O Y E.
But as with everything these days, first you need to study up on how not to be a garbage hoo-man. All borkers are 11/10 good dogs. But you need to earn your fren's respect. Here's how.
Dogs aren't cats
I know this may seem obvious, but apparently not. Cats like to eat, sleep and plot your destruction. They need some attention, but they will generally be fine if you care for them the same amount as a finicky house plant.
Dogs aren't cats. Owning a dog means taking on responsibility for a life form that is pretty dependent on you for food, exercise, love, the whole kit and canine-oodle. They are sad when you leave and happy when you return, no matter how long you're gone. They dig holes and chew shoes, and some shed all over the place. So don't take on a new puppy or a senior dog lightly.
It's a commitment, is what I'm saying (and so does the American Kennel Club). So give it more thought than you would a drunken tattoo. You can't laser off a dog. Or maybe you can, but I don't advise it.
Your dog can't go everywhere with you
So you're a good, thoughtful, responsible dog-owner. Great! But even though your dog might literally cry when you leave, you can't take that pupper everywhere.
For example, CU Boulder does not allow dogs in dorms unless they are service, therapy or assistance animals. You can't even bring your dog into a dorm if you're visiting someone there. It's a no-go, OK?
All right, but what about out in the world in general? A lot of places in Colorado are dog-friendly, but not all of them. Double check with any privately owned business before taking a dog inside, especially if they serve food. Remember that some people just don't like woofers or may be allergic. It's not your right to take your nonservice/assistance/therapy dog into a place you don't own.
But you can leave them in a car right? NO! Bad human! DO NOT DO THIS. Colorado has a new law that allows someone to break into your car to rescue a dog if they think the animal might die. Granted, there are some more restrictions — they have to try to find the owner first and call police — but still, don't risk it.
Also, that's a dick move to your dog. How would you like to sit in a hot car for an indeterminate amount of time?
Lastly, trails. Dogs actually can't go on all trails or in all parks. They spook the wildlife or their poop can endanger our water. Just check bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/dog-regulations-by-area before you clip on that leash and head out.
Get that bitch a license. Bitches love licenses.
To keep tabs on pets in the community, the city requires that all dogs older than 4 months who call Boulder their home must be licensed. You have 30 days after you move to Boulder to get your pooch licensed (or 30 days after you get your pooch, if you're getting him or her or zie here), and dogs need to wear their license tag at all times to help city officials reunite your dog with you if they get lost.
Getting a license is pretty simple. Your dog must have a current rabies vaccination, and while you're at the vet's office, you can purchase your license, too. You can also mail in a license registration form found on the city's website. For a spayed or neutered dog, a license for one year is $15.
If your pets are still, er, intact, it'll cost you a bit more: $30 for a year.
For more information on licensing, visit bit.ly/dog-licensing.
If your female dog is in heat, the city's website kindly asks that you leave her at home (out of respect for the other dogs, of course).
Go Green (Tags)
Boulder's voice and sight tag program, more commonly known as the green tag program, allows pet owners to walk their dogs off leash by meeting certain standards. Owners must watch a video about voice and sight control, register with the city's Open Space and Mountain Parks department, and purchase the tags, which cost $13 for Boulder residents and $33 for people who live in Boulder County but not within city limits. Non-Boulder County residents are going to have to shell out $75, but I mean, you moved to Boulder. What did you expect? Renewal fees are a little bit cheaper.
To purchase tags, make sure your dog has an up-to-date rabies vaccination and you have proof of that vaccination.
If you're going to take your doggo out in Boulder, he or she cannot be aggressive toward other people or dogs, according to the city's website, and you must pick up your dog's poop immediately. Don't be a doo-doo derelict. No one likes those people.
Boulder has four dog parks where you can take your pup to play. All city ordinances about dogs are enforced, and you must have your dog on a leash as you approach and exit the dog park.
Boulder dog parks are free and open from dusk to dawn.
The parks are East Boulder Dog Park, Foothills Dog Park, Howard Heuston Dog Park and Valmont Dog Park. Remember: Dogs aren't allowed on Pearl Street Mall, leashed or not.
Scott Carpenter Pool also turns into a dog park for two weeks in September for Dog Days (Sept. 11-23). At the end of the swimming season, city officials close the pool to humans and let dogs swim. As it should always be.
You can also take your dog to the south shore of the Boulder Reservoir during off-season, which is Labor Day, Sept. 4, to Dinosaur Day, May 15.
Karen Antonacci: twitter.com/ktonacci