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Paws to think 

Street Smarts

Pets offer us companionship, entertainment and unconditional love. But is owning a pet a right or a privilege?

click to enlarge Ray Wiik

Ray Wiik of the west side is a student.

Describe the strongest bond you've had with a pet. My dog Jazz is the closest connection I've had with a pet. She's kind of nervous but really sweet, and she's always on guard.

What's the deepest relationship you've seen someone else have with their pet? I knew a girl who had a little Pomeranian; she adored that dog. Maybe a little too much.

Is Colorado Springs more dog-crazy than other places you've been? It seems like I see a lot of people out walking their dogs, and lots of homeless people have dogs as companions. That says something about the nature of dogs and their loyalty.

Why are animals so important to so many people? It's something to hold on to, and my dog is always wagging her tail when I come home.

click to enlarge Isaac Bryant

Isaac Bryant of Security is a heavy equipment operator.

Describe the strongest bond you've had with a pet. I had a Rottweiler once and he liked to jump, but he jumped the fence and hurt himself, and he didn't make it. I haven't had a dog since.

Do you think this is more dog-crazy than other places? Yes, I do. It seems like just about everyone in town has a dog.

Why are animals so important to so many people? They're good for companionship, especially if you live alone. And to a lot of people, pets are like kids.

Do you feel homeless people should be allowed to have pets? I have mixed emotions on that. If you're homeless, a pet would be an extra mouth to feed. But on the other hand, a dog would be good for protection and companionship.

click to enlarge MJ Hodges

MJ Hodges of the west side is an artist.

Describe the strongest bond you've had with a pet. It would be with my pet right now, Mr. Buddy, a little orange kitty. He's my best friend.

What's the deepest relationship you've seen someone else have with their pet? The only thing that comes to mind is that Internet video about the man who has a relationship with a lion. After being apart they reunited, and the lion gave him a big hug.

Is the Springs more dog-crazy than other places you've been? I think it's pretty average. I've lived in Seattle and Atlanta, and they're about the same.

Why are animals so important to so many people? The companionship, and their fur feels good. Maybe it's a connection to more primal instincts.

Do you feel homeless people should be allowed to have pets? Of course. Everyone has the right to have a pet. It's freedom of choice.

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