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For the Love of Dog

Our Endless Affair with Man's Best Friend

Ruby Matisse offers herself as a model at Tails West Gallery in Ketchum.

Ruby Matisse offers herself as a model at Tails West Gallery in Ketchum.

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He is your friend,
your partner,
your defender,
your dog.

You are his life,
his love,
his leader.

He will be yours,
faithful and true,
to the last beat
of his heart.

You owe it to him
to be worthy of such

—Author unknown, from Not Bartlett’s, a collection of quotes edited by local author Elise Lufkin.


Given such lofty responsibility, we hope you find in the following pages some tidbit of information that helps you prove to be worthy enough for your dog.

So SIT and STAY and READ!

Bad Dogs are Legend, Laws are Their Legacy.

Back in a quieter time, Thelma Ray Bob and her sister roamed Ketchum together, stopping for a snack in Louie’s dumpster, splashing in the river and building up a 15-year reputation for mischief.

Thelma had a collar with a compass, Swiss army knife and maps around her neck, which made her a hit with the kids, but the black Lab was destined to be part of the “if there is a law against doing something, it’s because someone did it first” club.

When dog-at-large and leash laws were developed within the last decade, with a mix of success and protest, Thelma’s owner, criminal and family law attorney Michael Kraynick, was forced to take a position. Or, at least, make amends. 

Kraynick’s friends playfully took out an ad in one of the local phone books listing him alternately as “Dumpster Diving Defender,” “Dr. Rando, pet psychotherapist” or “Camp Mikey.”

The joke was on him, but the law wasn’t on his side and so, as he fenced his yard, he had to resign himself to the fact that “more and more people mean different attitudes and ideas about what civilized community means. It’s the sanitizing of the Wood River Valley.

“The day of one free bite is over,” he says. In all seriousness though, Kraynick knows that more people mean more irresponsible people and unpredictable conflicts.

In fact, as he took time out for this interview, he had just returned from court where he helped settle a tragic case involving a pair of usually tame dogs that mutilated two of Bellevue farrier Tom Riney’s miniatures—a horse and a donkey—and killed a small horse.

“It was bad for everyone involved,” Kraynick says.

The cost of dog-at-large tickets has been steadily increasing, with first offenders paying fines of several hundred dollars. Add to that a penalty if your dog is not licensed with the county and your costs keep going up.

Kraynick says that while he hopes the Valley will always remain somewhat lawless and leashless, it doesn’t mean he advocates letting dangerous animals roam or being a scofflaw.

The way he sees it, you can abide by the law, pay for violating it, fight to change it or look him up under “Dumpster Diving Defender.” >>>


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