VAIL, Colo. (CBS4) – A popular piece of artwork in Vail has gone missing even though it sat right in the middle of town.

The sculpture of a golden retriever is important to the community.

“I came in in the afternoon and just noticed the dog was missing. It will just lift out of there but it’s been there for years and no one has ever taken it.” Cogswell Gallery Manager Jason Leach said.

The dog is part of an iconic scene that seems distinctly Colorado.

“We sometimes put a little some soap suds in it, or dish soap, it suds up and and kids play with it and wash the dog,” Leach said. “The piece doesn’t really work without the dog.”

The detachable 150-pound dog was taken sometime last Monday night.

“My first action was to call the owner and say, ‘Did you take it to get cleaned or something because we can power wash them?’ But in this case he said ‘No,’ ” Leach said.

“This particular piece is beloved by the community. It’s been on display for a while and often folks would stop and take their photo with it,”  Sgt. Annette Dopplick with Vail police said.

Dopplick has been scouring art theft specific websites as well as surveillance video from around Vail Village.

“We’re not finding anything that’s been useful in that video canvas so far,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

So as the children wait for their best friend’s return, hopefully help from the public will bring the pup home.

“You can see why someone would be attracted to come over and check it out. You can’t steal things just because it’s attractive to you,” Dopplicks said.

“I hope it wasn’t actual theft and just some criminal mischief, but I’d like to get it back, that’s all I hope to resolve,” Leach said.

Without a known motive the dog could be anywhere. Vail police notified scrap yards in case someone is looking to cash in. Anyone with information is asked to call Vail police.


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