The Captain's Dog [A Dog's View of The Lewis and Clark Expedition Part 1] [MultiFormat]
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eBook by Robert Scott McKinnon
eBook Category: Historical Fiction/Mainstream
eBook Description: The Captain's Dog: A Dog's View of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is a classic canine adventure in three parts by veteran dog writer Robert Scott McKinnon. This is Part 1. The three parts cover the entire Lewis and Clark journey, and more, from before Washington and President Jefferson, then the American Odyssey to the Pacific and back, a unique perspective of how it might actually have been, the laughs, the cries, the love of a dog for his Captain, and the love of the expedition for the dog. McKinnon has not only penned well over 200 published dog stories, he has made three extensive river trips, two of them with dogs. 3200 miles on the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Savannah rivers; 1100 miles on the Salmon, Snake, Columbia, Willamette, and Sacramento rivers; and he was the first to take a boat up the famous Salmon River, The River of No Return, in which a movie was made called The River Busters. McKinnon (and his dogs) know what it's like down in a windblown, cold, wet river trench where even with maps you don't know one creek from the other, and you have no idea where you are ... until you get there. "And the dog would put his head on Lewis' lap, with adoration that indicated he would do anything, go anywhere with this man." The Captain's Dog: A Dog's view of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is a unique adventure of how it might have been, the laughs, the cries, the love of a dog for his Captain, and the love of the Captain and the expedition for the dog. "Our dog, Captain. Our dog."
eBook Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press, Published: 2010
Fictionwise Release Date: December 2010
5 Stars! "The Captain's Dog is the story of Seaman, a big black Newfoundland, who became the companion of Meriwether Lewis and traversed the rivers and streams with Lewis and Clark on their many expeditions. As the story opens we find an aged Seaman lying on a bluff above the Missouri River along with two old friends, Pepe the Papillion and Bothwell Rutherford III, the old Bulldog, as he thinks back and remembers his journeys.
After a long and boring trip across the Atlantic Ocean, Seaman finally arrived on the shores of America. Sent as a gift from Spain to President Jefferson, Seaman soon had a new owner. Meriwether Lewis, ready to leave for the Louisiana Territory and all parts west, ended up with Seaman for the amount of .00. From a trip to the new world to a trip across the United States, we follow Seaman as his adventures take him from the making of a canoe to the actual journey; capturing squirrels to feed the crew; meeting back up with old friends, and fighting with a killer pit dog. I have read several stories about Seaman and this is one of the best. It immediately caught my interest. This book was written for youth, but adults will enjoy it also. The Captain's Dog is filled with good times and suspense. The reader will also want to read part two, The Captain's Dog. This is a great lesson in history for all readers." Readersfavorite.com
St. Louis: 1809
The coal-black dog Newfoundland had an ache in his chest, an emptiness, as he sniffed around Camp Dubois, at the meat house, at the old fires, at the log-dirt cabins, at the creases in the sand where the keelboat, the red pirogue, and the white pirogue had rested that cold, cold winter. He had been a young dog then, ready for anything.
He was not a young dog now. His gray muzzle sniffed the great cottonwood where on the warmer days he had napped, waited impatiently for his Captain, across the river in Fort St. Louis, during that winter of 1803.
The Mississippi rolled on by.
He sniffed the flagpole, and then stood on the bank, gazed across and downriver: Fort St. Louis.
The Missouri, flowing endlessly into the Mississippi from the west, once again, sang its song.
Seaman waded in to the Mississippi, swam easily for the opposite shore, scrambled up the bank, and shook himself. Water sprayed everywhere, and then he trotted up a ravine, walked along the south bluff, sat, gazed down on the Missouri, endlessly rolling on to join the Mississippi.
For a long time Seaman sat, looked out over the prairie grasses. A soft breeze moved the grasses ever so slightly, and rippled the currents of the Missouri ever so lightly, enough to make the dog occasionally see the ghosts of his Captain Lewis, and Captain Clark, and The United States Corps of Discovery crossing the Mississippi.
He could hear even now the cries of the men as they struggled against the Missouri. He could hear his Captain Lewis. "Come, Seaman. Come, boy. President Jefferson's Corps of Discovery has begun."
The dog whined.
Neither a French pirogue drifting by Camp Dubois, nor the small paddle-wheeler, a freighter, tooting and docking at Fort St. Louis, down river interested him.
He whined. He was older. He was tired. His youth was behind him. Washington. Pittsburgh. St. Louis. Mandan. The Great Falls. The Pacific Ocean and Fort Clatsop. Praetorian. The journey was all but memory. Grinder's Stand.
He was alone.
He was lonesome.
He looked longingly up the Missouri River, the trail back to Che Koka Cici, the Mandan wolf dog. He dreamed of her, constantly, of that winter, of the hunts, her friendship, her wolf-laugh, her intelligence, and on the return trip, the boys. The village of the Mandans was a long, long journey up the Missouri, and even then, even if he made it in one piece, he had no guarantee that she and the pups were still there.
A yap interrupted his daydream. Another yap. All kinds of yips and yaps. He stood up. Coming at him, through the tall grass, jumping up and down like a bouncing ball to keep his bearings straight, yapping away, tongue hanging out, eyes shining in the afternoon sun, Pepe the Papillon!
The little white and black patched dog, on his morning tour of the outskirts of Fort St. Louis, had picked up the scent of his old friend Seaman, and there was no way the big Newfoundland was going to pass through without so much as a wag of the tail, a touch of noses, a woof.
On Pepe came, bouncing along, butterfly ears flapping, yapping.
Seaman wagged his tail.
And they were together again.
In spite of his arthritis, Pepe danced around the big dog like a puppy, jumped up on Seaman's back, jumped down, threw kisses lavishly his way, on his nose, in an ear, over an eye. Seaman responded by washing down his old friend's face with syrupy kisses.
The reunion lasted until Pepe exhausted himself, collapsed, took a moment to catch his breath. Then the little dog stood on his hind legs and curiously sniffed the gray of Seaman's muzzle.
Seaman touched the little dog on the side, licked him, lay down beside him, sniffed at the gray muzzle, at the gray, spiked eyebrows.
Pepe too had grown old.
The prairie breezes changed, out the north, cooler. Time to move on. Seaman stood, gave his old friend a wet smack, whined, wagged his tail.
Pepe started to follow, hesitated. He yapped.
Seaman turned, woofed, wagged his tail. Pepe ran to the big dog, jumped straight up, yapped in Seaman's face, turned and raced back for Fort St. Louis, jumped up from the deep grasses every once in a while to keep his bearings.
Che Koka Cici.
Seaman would find Che Koka Cici near the Mandan Village. It was a long, long way.
Seaman moved on up the river, traversed three ravines when he heard that familiar yapping again.
At the top of a ravine, he turned, waited.
Pepe, on the adjacent ravine ridge, in the tall grass, jumped up and down, yapped at him, but he was yapping at something else, too. Seaman could see the grass parting beyond Pepe; something was following Pepe; he could not be sure what it was.
Pepe yapped, raced down the side of the ravine, through the brush at the bottom, up the other side to perform a second reunion with his old friend.
Then, together, side by side, Seaman and Pepe gazed across the ravine.
The old bulldog stepped from the grasses to pause on the wind-blown, rocky rim, stared back at Pepe and Seaman.
Another friend from the past.
Bothwell Rutherford III!
Bothwell did not stand on ceremony. He started right down, made his way through the brush at the bottom, switch-backed his way up the incline.
Pepe could not contain himself; he danced and yapped himself into a frothing dither. The bow-legged Bothwell Rutherford III swaggered up, took a big slurpy kiss from Seaman across his wrinkled face.
Seaman then slurped Pepe.
The good old days.
Bothwell Rutherford III, the bulldog, old stone-face himself, dour Englishman to a fault, wiggled his corkscrew knot of a tail, which Seaman sniffed. His old friend had been old the first time they had met in Washington. Now, by any dog's standards, he was ancient.
The three dogs, Seaman the coal black Newfoundland, Pepe the Papillon, and Bothwell Rutherford III, the English bulldog, stood side by side on the ridge, watched the Missouri roll along below. Their ears perked, and their breathing hesitated, and they listened carefully, as the river sang the song.
The grasses danced and waved in the prairie breezes.
The Missouri below whispered.
His Captain was calling: "Come Seaman! Come, boy!"