One of the lesser-known facts of the Lewis and Clark Expedition is the fondness both explorers developed for eating canines. They had encountered this practice among some Indian tribes, and came to like it, so much that when dining with the Nez Perce Indians, it is reported that one of the Nez Perce jokingly dropped a puppy into Lewis' lap.
Although the Nez Perce may have hounded them about it and Lewis may have hillaried openly about being taunted with that pup, it is true that Lewis & Clark's own lunch bunch appreciated cuisine de canine. For mongrelized culinary hankerings which dogged the scouting group, meal-sized pooches were frequently bought from the Indians to supplement berries, mushrooms, fish, fowl, or other wild game. These biped rovers of the upper Louisiana Purchase were always happy to throw another shep on the barby.
With unmuzzled candor, Lewis noted on Friday, January 3, 1806:
"Our party, from necessity having been obliged to subsist some length of time on dogs, have now become extremely fond of their flesh. It is worthy of remark that while we lived principally on the flesh of this animal, we were much more healthy, strong, and more fleshy than we had been since we left the buffalo country. For my own part, I have become so perfectly reconciled to the dog that I think it an agreeable food and would prefer it vastly to lean venison or elk."
In a doggone Pavlovian reaction, the explorers surely drooled at the thought of wolfing down a little chow. Whether they may have favored baked Alaskan husky, rottweiler roast, parboiled pekingese, or fast foods such as greyhound, nothing seemed to be more in good taste than having their pet snack consisting of plain old hot dogs.