A dog named Snoopy received 66 stitches during the course of a three-hour surgery Monday, but his injuries weren't because of a brawl with another canine, an attack by a wild animal or being struck by a vehicle.
Instead the 50-pound cattle dog was, according to his owner, kicked by a skier in the Tiehack area of Buttermilk about one minute after Snoopy snapped loose from a leash. Three of Snoopy's ligaments were severed and the violent encounter left what owner Danny Brown called a "bloody mess" on the slopes of Tiehack.
Aspen Skiing Co., which operates Buttermilk, has a no-dogs policy during lift hours. The Tiehack lift closes at 3:30 p.m. The Summit Express lift — which runs top to bottom from the base of Buttermilk — closes at 4, meaning skiers can access the Tiehack area on the mountain's east side.
"Hikers with dogs need to be aware that there are skiers coming downhill until after 4 p.m.," said Skico spokesman Jeff Hanle.