We love our Stapleton Dogs, so we’ve been doing a monthly blog about our “Calendar Dogs” – the winners of our Dogs of Stapleton calendar contest and their families.
This month, we feature Blaze, part Beagle, part Shiba-Inu, our 2016 May winner submitted by Colleen Lampron and her family. I visited with Colleen and Blaze on the fourth day in a row of cloudy, rainy May weather and we chatted while taking a walk (I brought my dog Barley along, too).
How did Blaze get his name?
We adopted Blaze from the Dumb Friends League, and that was his name, so he responded well to it.
Tell me a little more about adopting Blaze.
About three years ago, our oldest daughter wanted a dog, and she even made a PowerPoint presentation about it. We decided as a family to adopt, but we had a specific list of traits that we wanted. We took that list to DFL and they selected Blaze. He had actually been returned by the first family who adopted him. He was the perfect dog during the first month we had him, but then we noticed behavioral issues. He started jumping the fence and wouldn’t come when we called unless we were holding bacon. We went through a number of trainers, but then found help with “Sit Means Sit”. They trained him and trained us, too. We’re still working on a few things, but he doesn’t jump the fence anymore.
How did your photo come about (and were you thinking about the calendar when you took it)?
Since we adopted him, we’ve submitted a photo each year. We realized that the pictures we took with our phones weren’t a high enough resolution, however. Last year, when we hired Lauren Wright for our family photos, we had her take some of Blaze.
Did you have a lot of potential photos, and what made you choose this one to submit?
We had a few, and we took a vote as a family to decide which one to send in. We were so excited when he won. We got lots of extra copies of the calendar for our friends and family and had Blaze “autograph” them with his paw.
Tell us a little about Blaze – what’s his favorite toy, or treat, or game?
The kids like to play “Blaze Tag”. They run around the dog park and the one Blaze “tags” first has to sit down. Blaze also likes to play tug-of-war, and loves to take the stuffing out of his toys (and then Mom puts it back in). He also likes to play with Nala the cat (who thinks she’s a dog).
What do you like about owning a dog in Stapleton?
I love taking him on sunrise walks in the Greenway Park. I take him every day and each time I think about how grateful I am to live in such a beautiful neighborhood (Colleen and her family are the first owners of their home, and have lived there for 12 years).
What’s the best tip you can give to others when submitting their photos for the calendar?
Use a good camera, pick a time of day with good light, and find a good Stapleton landmark for a background. The hardest part was getting Blaze to look into the camera. We tried treats and saying different words to him. In the end, the word he responded to was “squirrel”, and then “bacon”.
And, when I was leaving their home, and the sun was coming out, I turned back and mentioned what a great story this was (about a dog who got a second chance), and how much their hard work paid off with such a sweet family dog, and Colleen responded: We’ve learned a lot since we got him. You know, we all have our flaws, and he taught us that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved.
We hope these answers will inspire others to submit their photos for the 2017 Dogs of Stapleton calendar. Don’t forget to take those snow photos while you still can, and remember to post on social media under #dogsofstapleton.