Friday, August 20, 2010

Mom Is Going to IOWA!

Just when we thought we had all that awful cactus show stuff over with, Mom told us she is going to Iowa to be a judge for the Iowa club's show.  This was horrible news for us dogs to hear, because it means Mom is going to abandon us for TWO WHOLE DAYS at Pooches' Paradise.  She is going to take us there later this morning, and then she and three other people are going to Iowa.

The place in Iowa where they are going is called Des Moines, and it's the capital of the entire state of Iowa, so there is a State Capitol Building that has a shiny gold dome on it.  But Mom is not going to the capitol building.  She is going to the cactus show, which will be at the Merle Hay Shopping Mall.  Of course, there will be cacti there to buy, so Mom will probably buy some, even though she doesn't need any more plants because she just bought some last weekend.  But Mom is silly like that, so I am sure she will bring home some plants.


Oh, and guess what.  Mom looked through the whole list of stores at the Merle Hay Mall, and there is not a single Petco or PetsMart there, so she can't even buy us dogs any treats while she is there.  Which I think is a very sad state of affairs.

The capitol with the fancy gold dome
Anyway, you may be wondering, like I was, how the city of Des Moines got its strange name and what the name means.  So I did a little research on this subject, and I found out that before there was a city, there was first a Fort Des Moines.  And it was built at the place where the Raccoon River runs into the Des Moines River.  The man who was in charge of building the fort, Captain James Allen (who maybe was a very distant relative of Mom's, since her last name is also Allen) wanted to name it Fort Raccoon.  I think this would have been a fine name for a fort, or even for a whole city.  But the U.S. War Department told Captain Allen to use the name Fort Des Moines instead.

In French, des moines means "the monks" or "of the monks."  And that is what the early French explorers called the river.  But there weren't really any monks around at the time, which makes you wonder what those French guys were thinking.  Well, this historian named Virgil Vogel wondered the same thing, so he did a bunch of research, and he found out there used to be a group of Illinois Indians who were called "Moingona," and this name means "people by the portage."  Which was a good name for them because they lived near the Des Moines Rapids.  So Mr. Vogel thought maybe the French explorers and mapmakers started calling the river Des Moines because it was easier for them to spell and pronounce than "Moingona."

The Raccoon River, but without any raccoons
Anyway, Mom is going all the way up north to Iowa, and I was afraid it might be cold and snowy up there, but Mom says it is a lot like Missouri, which means it's hot right now, and it only snows in the winter.  Not too long ago, they had some flooding in Iowa, but not as much flooding as they have in Pakistan right now, where the whole country is pretty much underwater.

Well, I have to get ready to go to Pooches' Paradise now.  I wish I didn't have to go there.  I wish I could just stay home and have Mom stay home, too.  But Mom says she is not going away again for a long, long time, like at least until next year.  So that makes me feel a little better.

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