The park is designed as two parks in one. "Dundee's Walkabout" is a separately fenced area where people can exercise, play and socialize with their dogs off-leash. Dundee Memorial Park is designed for people to walk the meandering paths while enjoying spectacular gardens, mountain views, and unique art by local artists. Benches along the paths and in the garden areas offer the opportunity to socialize or sit and reflect, read a book or listen to the birds sing.
Twenty years ago we moved to the Wet Mountain Valley to retire and enjoy having a ranch with horses and dogs and cats. We chose Australian Shepherds because of their personalities and athletic abilities. We brought home an 8-week old blue merle female we named Dundee, and a 9-week old blue merle male we named Cutter.
Both Dundee and Cutter loved their ranch life. Dundee had a grin for everyone and never tired of running and leaping for a frisbee. Cutter was happy to allow Dundee to be "Queen of the Pronghorn Ranch". Dundee and Cutter welcomed the addition of Lady Wylie, a tri female Aussie into the family and few years later Cutter and Lady Wylie became the proud parents of "JR" and two years later Lady Wylie and Cutter became parents again and Alban was welcomed to the family.
It was our custom to go for walks together every day. We never saw the rattlesnake that bit Dundee one Saturday morning in early May. We didn't even know she had been bit until we noticed the blood and fang mark on her lip when we got home. Sadly, the out-of-town veterinarian we took her to didn't think she'd been seriously bitten because there was no swelling. We weren't asked if we wanted antivenim until 8 hours later when we returned to the vet when it was obvious she was very sick. By then the damage to her internal organs was too severe, though she bravely fought to live for 23 days before she could no longer fight.
Two days before she died she rode in our stagecoach with Cutter and JR in the Westcliffe Memorial Day parade. She rode proudly with her head out the window smiling at all the friends she had made in her seven short years with us.
In 2002, in memory of Dundee, we built the Dundee Memorial Animal Care Center veterinary clinic with the goal of bringing a small animal veterinarian to the Valley who would offer 24/7 emergency services for small animals. In January of 2012 Dr. Kayla Ingram took over the veterinary clinic and has been offering emergency services and hospitalization for small animals together with routine veterinary care.
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