THE RIVER GUIDE’S STORY
Here I am, happy as a peach orchard boar. The river is fast and smooth, my tourists are busy being stunned by the beauty as my raft sweeps by those red cliffs. I am at peace, and then some yayhoo starts yelling, “Hey, what’s that in the water. Hey, it’s a dog — Hey, do something quick before it drowns.”
Well, for Pete sakes, it is a dog, swimming for all he’s worth. I set my oars to slow us down best I can, and the tourists start grabbing for the dog. They get him and drag him aboard and then everyone on the boat is making over him and feeling like some kind of heroes or something. A couple of them give the mutt some of their lunch.
I get to thinking, “What’s a dog doing out here in the middle of the Colorado River? There ain’t any other boats around, and we’re not close to any houses; it don’t make sense.” But then I can’t think about it any more because we are in the rapids and I start earning my pay.
When we finally take out for the day, the dog bounces out of the raft and runs off. Pretty strange.
So the next day, there I am in the middle of the river again and some yayhoo tourist starts hollering, “Hey, what’s that in the water? Hey, it’s a dog — Hey, do something quick before it drowns.”
So begins “Blender, Colorado River Dog,” our all-time best selling book.
“Blender” is a 60-pound redbone hound with shoulders and haunches like a quarter horse and ribs like a picket fence. He is the joy and aggravation of his owners, who live along the Colorado River in the red-rocks country near Moab, Utah.
Our hairy hero’s story has been told by newspapers around the world, and his book was serialized in its entirety by the Saturday Evening Post.
One of Blender’s most well-known activities was swimming in the Colorado River, hoping passing rafters would pull him out water and feed him, especially if they had an extra ham sandwich.
Here are a few of the newspaper headlines:
DOG MOOCHES LUNCH AND RIDES FROM RAFTERS — Times-Independent, Moab
RUSHING RIVER NO OBSTACLE FOR HITCHHIKING DOG — Denver Post
PANHANDLER HOUND DOGPADDLES RIVER FOR HANDOUTS — Corpus Christie, Texas, Caller-Times
PADDLIN’ POOCH IS A MOOCH — Salt Lake City Tribune
The book is loaded with color photos of the red-rocks area as well as illustrations by Lakota artist Marty Two Bulls.
It is popular as a gift for dog lovers of all ages, and is found in many elementary school reading classes. It sold thousands of copies, and we have what might be the last 23 books available for retail sale.
For your copy, send a check for $11 plus $3 for postage — a total of $14 — to Top Dog Publishing, 2718 W. St. Patrick Street, Rapid City, SD 57702. Be sure to send the address where you want the book shipped.