Mountain Men and Life in the Rocky

Subject Guide


Mountain West

Malachite’s Big Hole

Dog - A Culinary Delight:

Lewis Garrard (Reference) describes preparation of dog.  "First, a pup of four months' sojourn in this world of sorrow, so fat he could scarcely waddle, was caught by the affectionate squaw and turned, and felt, and pinched, to see whether it would do.  Then it's neck was invested with one end of a buckskin strap, and the other tied short up to the projecting coupling pole of our wagon, while the poor victim to savage appetite, dangling between earth and sky, ki-ed until his little canine spirit departed for the Elysium where neither squaws molest nor dog meat is eaten, to the very apparent satisfaction of the laughing women, and delighted children...  After hanging for half an hour, the pup was taken down and laid on the fire.  What! thought I, they are not so heathenish as to offer sacrifices?  He was kept on the blaze, with constant turning, until the hair was well singed off, and then cleaned, beheaded, and divided into all imaginable shapes and sizes, and cooked in water for six hours.  It was then fished out, and a portion set before us - slimey, glutinous mass, uninviting to the eye, but, nevertheless, most delicate and sweet."  See also Tricked into Eating Dog, another series of passages by Garrard describing how one of the old hands tricked him into eating dogmeat and proclaiming it to be the best.  


Garrard, who assisted a trader amongst the Cheyenne Indians, notes that during a hungry time: "Snow was deep; "fat cow" a luxury not to be thought of; horses too poor to "run" meat; and a scant supply of "poor bull" was all the provision with which to satisfy hunger.  In this emergency, the inroads upon the dog population were most alarming and destructive."   

Back to Everyday Life