Second Chance: Aconcagua & the Dog Den

Second Chance: Aconcagua & the Dog Den



“The Hills are Alive….With the Sound of Muuuusic…!”

My favorite song from my favorite movie musical, “The Sound of Music” and the first thing that entered my head when I heard about the dude climbing the BIG mountain in Argentina (Aconcagua, one of the Seven Summits; at 22,841 feet, it’s the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres) to help fundraise for Second Chance Humane Society’s new Dog Den. The structure is being built right here in Ridgway for the region’s homeless dogs.

What do the Second Chance Dog Den and Aconcagua have in common?

A dog named Cub.

Cub was the loyal and loving companion of Jonathan Blum. Jonathan is a hard-working attorney in New York City by day, who occasionally likes to download by going to remote places to stand atop tall mountains. And, although Cub passed away earlier this year after a long and happy life at the age of 17, his spirit will accompany Jonathan up Aconcagua.

Still not seeing the connect to the Dog Den?

Ok, well, Jonathan had decided he wanted his climb to mean something extra this time:

“To do something that would be a meaningful tribute to him (Cub), something that would honor his life and leave a lasting impact in some way, much like the impact my dog had on me,” he explained.

Serendipitously Jonathan heard about the efforts of Second Chance Humane Society – from me, Second Chance director Kelly Goodin, who trekked with Jonathan in Nepal four years ago – to build a new facility in order to more than double the number of dogs we could rescue, giving the dogs cage-free living and access to plenty of space to run while they awaited adoption.

Hopefully the connection is becoming clear now…

Gracie with Santa

Gracie with Santa

So Jonathan is asking his friends, family and animal lovers in general to make donations to Second Chance in Cub’s name to support the construction of the Dog Den. As he stated in an email to his peeps: “Doing this now will not only be doing right by homeless dogs who deserve to be treated well (not to mention the people who devote their lives to helping them)—it’ll also be incredibly meaningful to me and will provide me with the emotional lift I know I’m going to need to make it to the summit.”

Jonathan departs NYC for his climb on February 22. Second Chance will be posting photos of his adventure and sharing some of his stories from this trip on our website (below).  Said website is also the place where you can make a donation to the Dog Den, as well as learn more about adopting a super rad mountain-climbing-loving dog like me, Shay.  I am the kind of dog that everyone dreams of: fun, good mannered, loving, great with other dogs, and a true fan of hugs and hugging.  And the kitty of the week is Gracie, she is my favorite…

Hi, I am Gracie.  I am relatively quiet and contemplative for a kitten, but still playful and curious.  My life started out scary and alone out on the streets. I shiver just thinking about it.  Sure I like some adventure, but a kitten shouldn’t have to worry about whether there will be a next meal or how to keep warm.  So I am seeking a loving forever home, where I can feel like the world will forever be a safe place for me.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services

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