Dressing the Dog, Chapter 15-Part Two



Chapter 15 (Part Two)



    As we struck off for Jamestown, California, GOLD FEVER hung in the air as Mummy jabbered on from the front seat about the kind of cottage she would get with all of the GOLD we would pan from the river.  That’s right, we were going to pan for gold before heading over to Napa.  Hmmm, that sounded wet and back-breaking but Mummy said not to worry about it.  She had seen it done in the old movies and it was really rather simple.  This is how she explained it:  You walk up to a pretty, little running stream, dip your pan along the edge of the water and scoop up some water and rocks from the bottom of the stream, swirl it around your pan while letting the water and some of the little rocks tip out and look into the pan for the chunks of gold.  Pick out the chunks of gold one by one.  This is NOT how it was actually done when we arrived at the gold site, much to Mummy’s chagrin.


As it turned out, GETTING to the gold site would be a challenge because it was on the OTHER SIDE of a huge mountain range and there was no tunnel going through the mountains.  You had to go up, up, up the mountains, around every turn of the mountains, and then down, down, down the other side.  And you had to do this several times.  We were also pulling a big AIRSTREAM trailer on tiny mountain roads with the truck grinding its gears as the incline got steeper.  Daddy kept saying we needed a more powerful truck, which didn’t exactly make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside, let me mention that right now. The twists and turns were making Mummy carsick and she looked a little green around the gills after about 30 minutes of the trek.  How in the heck had the covered wagons made it over “them thar hills” during the gold rush?  A roadside stand appeared at a tiny pullout along the mountain, and Mummy begged Daddy to stop and let her get out for a minute.  Daddy said no.  Mummy told him if he didn’t stop she was gonna get sick on the floor of his truck and Daddy pulled over right quick-like.  EUREKA!  I think Mummy had found a way to get Daddy to STOP after-all, but unfortunately, she was SERIOUS about the “sick thing.”  Mummy told Daddy to just take us doggies and continue on without her… she was done-for.  Just put a big rock next to her to mark the spot where we left her.  She imagined if we started looking around, there were probably THOUSANDS of “rock markers” from past GOLD RUSH victims claimed by this mountain range.  Daddy assured her that we were ALMOST THERE… really, just a few more miles and the GOLDEN RIVER would be waiting for her.  She no longer cared about the gold though, she just wanted to LIVE!  Daddy rustled around in the truck and produced a nice, cold can of COKE for her.  A COKE can cure most any human ailment, at least that’s what Mummy is always saying.  Whenever she is sick… she drinks a COKE.  And I’ll be gob-smacked if it didn’t work!  In record time her normal color returned and she was standing upright… claiming to be ready to beat the mountains at their own game.  Katie let out a little bark and we ALL got out and took care of some personal business.


Daddy might have overestimated our arrival at the “golden river,” because it was a LONG TIME before we saw the signs pointing us towards our future… that being one of wealth beyond our wildest dreams.  We were all beaten down by the mountain and didn’t have too much energy in which to get overly excited, but our guide “Gary” had enough energy for all of us, so we let him explain the situation and take us to the gold.  Daddy unpacked our x-pen so that it could be set up along the riverbank while he and Mummy panned for our family’s gold.  When we had enough (we didn’t want to take too much) we would go back to the truck and continue on to our campsite for the night.  Mummy said we could take the gold to a bank tomorrow, which sounded like a good plan to everyone.  Goldminer Gary stopped at the end of the muddy path and pronounced that we had arrived.  Huh?  Where was the river?  Gary said they don’t “pan for gold” like that anymore.  There is no gold in the riverbeds like there used to be.  All of the gold has been washed into the dirt surrounding the river BANKS and now you have to dig in the mud with a SHOVEL and dump the mud onto this wooden contraption that sifts the solids from the muddy water.  “WHAT THE HECK?” proclaimed Mummy.  Hmmm, that DID seem a bit extreme.  Mummy wasn’t sure WHAT to do now, because she only knew how to PAN for gold (after watching movies on TV) and had not a CLUE how to dig for gold with a shovel.  She DID KNOW that she had NO INTEREST in picking up a shovel and digging for ANYTHING!  “I mean, talk about BACK-BREAKING WORK!” she exclaimed.  “I actually don’t DO that sort of thing and I just had my nails done back in Paso Robles… and, well… I’m just not gonna do that!”  Daddy looked at her, shock-jawed, and said he thought she wanted a little cottage overlooking the Pacific Ocean!!!  Mummy just laughed and said she didn’t know she was gonna have to DIG in the mud to get it… DANG!  Hank was still standing there holding the shovel, waiting for someone to take it, when he said… “It’s not that hard, let me show you.”  He then proceeded to dig and flip mud onto the separator.  Water was washed over the mud and Mummy looked on the screen to see what was left.  “Where is the sparkly gold?” she asked.  Gary told her there wasn’t any in that shovel-full… and he scooped up another shovel of mud.  Yeah… Mummy wasn’t going to be doing any shoveling.  I could have told Gary that if he had bothered to look over at our x-pen.  I was watching the whole thing.  It wasn’t gonna happen.  “MR. GARY! MR. GARY!  LOOK OVER HERE!  I NEED TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!”  But he just ignored me.


Mummy suggested that DADDY try his hand at digging for gold and that is how it went for the next hour… with Mummy pointing out spots that looked like they contained GOLD, Daddy digging and Gary rinsing the mud off.  After an hour, they had two teeny, tiny vials filled with water and flecks of gold-dust that had to be scraped off your finger to get into the vials.  There were a few golden rocks in the mud (ie: gold colored, NOT made of gold) but not much else.  Not only would there be NO little cottage overlooking the Pacific Ocean, we four doggies were a bit concerned that we wouldn’t have food to eat either.  How much of our money had they spent on this goldmining expedition?  While we doggies had spent a restful afternoon under the shade of a big tree, watching the whole show, Daddy had exhausted himself and Mummy was depressed… with her dreams of a cliff-side home now all but gone.  Mummy held the two little vials of gold-dust and gathered the four of us into her arms, while Daddy folded up our x-pen.  In record time, we were back on the road and headed to Napa.  Before we knew it, we were settled into our new campsite, dinner was being served and we were lounging outside the AIRSTREAM talking about the day.  A nice breeze was blowing across my back, and I was almost asleep when I heard Daddy laughing… “You know that Gold-miner Gary took us to a spot that was all worked over, right?  He saves the GOOD SPOTS for himself!” Mummy laughed and said, “That’s OK… I have all the gold I need right here in front of me!”



We have arrived at " Jamestown Goldminer" and have been greeted by Miner Gary who is showing us the NEW WAY to mine for gold. People dont stand in a stream all day anymore, they learned that gold is also in the ground, buried in the rocks and clay… so we gotta DIG FOR OUR GOLD!

Posted by Millie LaRue Fan Club on Friday, June 24, 2016



OMGOSH… WE FOUND GOLD, and I almost ATE IT!!!! I amost ATE my fortune!!!! LOL

Posted by Millie LaRue Fan Club on Friday, June 24, 2016




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  • Roxann Brousseau

    21.11.2018 at 21:56 Reply

    I remember that expacade.

  • Sandy McDonald

    22.11.2018 at 02:02 Reply

    That’s hilarious!! I did the same thing in Montana….I think Gary must have relatives there…they charged by the shovel and the bucket of dirt. They have saphire mines too – same thing, but it was fun.

  • Susan Thomas

    24.11.2018 at 10:20 Reply

    LOL Millie if you ate the gold your poo would sparkle! Yeah that looked like a lot of work! smh I can’t blame Mummy for having Daddy do it so she could film it! 🙂

  • Wendy Scoggins

    02.12.2018 at 17:01 Reply

    Gold fever bit mommy….. but not for long! Heehee

  • Wendy Scoggins

    02.12.2018 at 17:16 Reply

    And since how I’ve missed what an X pen is….what is that?

  • Jill Stroh

    28.03.2019 at 01:44 Reply

    Dear Millie,

    I’m catching up on some of your travels…what an “interesting” time you all had digging for gold! Digging sure is different from panning, like in the old movies. I have to admit that I was NOT envious because I’m not a very good sport when it comes to getting dirty. You girls had quite the trip last summer and I REALLY enjoyed meeting all of you. Bisou bisou.

    • Millie LaRue

      28.03.2019 at 02:50 Reply

      We are getting ready to plan our summer trip, where we are going to head up the East Coast and all the way up to MAINE!!!

  • Sandy Newman

    26.05.2019 at 03:09 Reply

    Hello Miss Darcy!!!!! It’s been a while since I have been on…. so I need to catch up with you all. Hope and pray all is well…miss seeing you on FB, but I so understand. Wish we could meet up again sometime. Blessings!! Sandy and Miss Trixie LaRue

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