Dogies and tummies

I’m no cowboy. This probably won’t be news to you, but I wanted to state it up front.

The first word in the headline may resemble a typo, if you assume I meant “doggies”. No I meant it the way I spelled it, “dogies”. If you’re like me, you’ll know it through an old-time cowboy song containing the phrase “get along little dogie”.

I dimly recall Roy Rogers singing the song on TV long ago. Through the miracle of Youtube it’s here for you to see, quite a stunning song actually.

I see that the melody probably came from Ireland originally.

There’s sadness in the song (speaking of misfortune), so it’s no surprise that the google definition for “dogie” is motherless or neglected calf. If you’re a cowboy and see a calf that’s alone without a mom? I guess that’s a dogie. In Roy Rogers’ song it’s a matter of sentiment, that the poor little orphan separated from its mother must forever wander, a tiny exile seeking a new home with the herd.

It seems apt after writing yesterday about the TV show Mom and my own mother.

Before I ever looked up the meaning of the word, though, there was the song sung by Yosemite Sam, a parody of the old tune. Instead of the compassionate voice of Roy Rogers, you get the rough & tumble belligerent. I have to be careful when I speak of the cartoon Sam that I be crystal clear that I’m not speaking of my dog Sam (short for Samantha: but nobody ever calls her the long version of her name).

The cartoon song made me laugh when I was younger, although now that I know what “dogie” means I won’t laugh again.

The words go like this:

“I can’t git a long little dogie
I can’t even get one that’s small
I can’t git a long little dogie
I can’t even get one at all.

“Great horny toads”..! And in case you’re wondering, the word “Yosemite” has four syllables, not the three you might have heard from a certain politician.

When I looked up the origins of ”dogie” I saw several possible definitions. The one that caught my eye is the first mentioned in the following excerpt from Cowboy Chronicles (I highlight some of the text)

“In Western Words Ramon F. Adams gives one possible etymology for dogie, whose origin is unknown. During the 1880s, when a series of harsh winters left large numbers of orphaned calves, the little calves, weaned too early, were unable to digest coarse range grass, and their swollen bellies “very much resembled a batch of sourdough carried in a sack.” Such a calf was referred to as dough-guts. The term, altered to dogie according to Adams, “has been used ever since throughout cattleland to refer to a pot-gutted orphan calf.” Another possibility is that dogie is an alteration of Spanish dogal, “lariat.” Still another is that it is simply a variant pronunciation of doggie.”

Dough-guts!? So sad to imagine a bloated calf, weaned too early, orphaned, forced away from his / her mother cow.

Wow no wonder they sing such sad songs.

I was watching my own Sam eating grass this week. She does that as a remedy, living with tummy troubles (especially her liver) that almost killed her. Of course she’s a carnivore and she’s 14 years old, so the grass might help her feel better.

I quietly said to her “get along little doggie.”

Sam crops the longest blades of grass

I’m glad she’s still alive.

This entry was posted in Animals, domestic & wild, Music and musicology, Popular music & culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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