Dog power — definitely iconic 

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Who let the dogs out?

Well, that'd be everyone. Or so it seems sometimes.

Assuming I can shake this dizzying feeling of my head being in perpetual spin cycle, I will have argued Wednesday evening that dogs are, indeed, most iconically Whistler. If my arguments didn't prevail at the Whistler Museum's Icon Gone faceoff, it'll be the misguided fault of those in attendance... or my pathetic presentation... possibly both... but more likely I'll blame it on the audience.

After all, who in this town doesn't like dogs? Whistler is a doggone town. No question about it.

Now before you get all worked up over the fact that the Museum's event is called Icon Gone and, clearly, dogs are not gone in any sense of the word but in fact walk among us, let me explain. Yes, the original idea behind the event was to argue which of Whistler's various iconic people, places, things or events that are WITH US NO MORE were more iconic — whatever that means — than others. That idea lasted right up until the very first presentation many years ago. It was Stephen Vogler's fault.

At the first Icon Gone, Stephen argued in favour of gravity. Yes, gravity. The motive force that makes skiing more fun than, for example, floating aimlessly above terra firma like so many hot air balloons. He won, or perhaps more accurately, he beat me. I was arguing the Toad Hall poster was a true icon gone, notwithstanding the fact you can still see several of the participants more or less daily at Tapley's, fortunately clothed. But the fickle audience would have none of it and gravity won.

So don't give me any grief about dogs not being gone.

Why dogs?

Why not?

In a town where people grow old but not up, dogs are symbolically iconic of endless youth. Dogs make you feel like a kid. And like kids, some of us are irresponsible when it comes to dogs and some of us are grudgingly more responsible than others. But even the irresponsible ones — and you know who you are — add to the Whistler Experience. Particularly in spring. If it weren't for irresponsible dog owners, we wouldn't have the annual Poop Chronicles that appear each spring in the Letters section. I for one would miss them.

Everybody loves dogs. Even people who hate dogs love dogs. They just won't let themselves show it. Nothing melts even the most curmudgeonly heart like a puppy. If a puppy isn't enough, a puppy pile certainly will be. If it isn't, that heart has probably stopped beating and it's only obstinance keeping that shell of a person from falling over.

Outside the world of zombie curmudgeons, there is nothing as appealing as a cute, ball-o-fluff puppy. They don't call them chick magnets for nothing.


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