My, How Times Have Changed
“The following from last night’s Denver Post refers to a very interesting feature of the Frontier Days’ program:
Efforts will be made by Captain Cough, agent of the Wyoming State Humane Society, to stop the dog eating performance that is to be pulled off each day at Cheyenne during the Frontier celebration this week. The bands of Sioux, Arapahoe and Shoshone Indians that will be present at the celebration will also have a love feast, not having visited each other for several years, and in order to give the Indians a repast par excellence, according to their tribal customs and the dictates of their stomachs, the committee has secured a number of dogs from the city pound, and these will be turned over to the redskins.
The dogs will be thrown into big pots of boiling water in plain view of the spectators, and while one squaw stirs Mr. Dog others will keep the fires hot. There are to be several of these pots of boiling water, for the poundmaster has secured a large number of nondescript dogs and the well know ravenous appetites of the Indians make it certain that all the dogs will be consumed. The work of preparing the toothsome meal, and eating the same, will be performed in front of the grandstand, provided of course Captain Gough does not interfere.
The humane officer does not object to the death of the dogs so much as he does the manner of putting them to death. If the Indians will consent to shoot the dogs before putting them into the boiling water a compromise may be effected and the Humane Society will then permit the performance to go on.
This shocking but real event was found reprinted in a 1980s issue of The Wild Bunch, which was the magazine for the Rodeo Historical Society during that era. This organization was so successful in gathering material from the early days of rodeo and sharing it with their members. It continues to do so today. However, this bit of historic information was so unusual the magazine asked several well-known rodeo cartoonists to submit drawings of the event. Never before was anyone commissioned to submit art work for a story in The Wild Bunch. Wes Curtis’ drawing was chosen to accompany the article and his response was, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there in the business of rodeo cartooning”.