Prairie Dog quest inspires 4-color book

Prairie Dog quest inspires 4-color book The event that unleashed 41 popular Prairie Dogs in Siouxland has inspired a 100-page, four-color book to commemorate the award-winning public project.

Prairie Dog Quest on the Lewis & Clark Trail went on sale Oct. 22 just after the Prairie Dog project received the 2002 Tourism and Arts Award at the annual Iowa Tourism Conference. Priced at $17, the book is now available at the Sioux City Art Center and the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center with other points of sale planned for the coming weeks.

Proceeds will support Sioux City Art Center programs and exhibitions.

Photographed by George Lindblade, the book captures the Prairie Dogs at their best as they delight children and brighten the streets of Siouxland with color and whimsy. He catches Siouxlanders as they interact and pose with the dogs at summer festivals and during the leisurely days of dog-watching.

Designed by Lou Ann Lindblade, the lavishly illustrated book features all 41 Prairie Dogs in varied settings. The cover showcases Prairiewether Lewis & William-Dog Clark, by artists Paul N. Chelstad and Nan E. Wilson. In fact the entire book is dedicated to the explorers "whose courageous journey west opened a world of opportunity to the United States of America."

Written by Marcia Poole, the book tells the story of why and how the Prairie Dog Quest won Siouxland's affection. She covers the project's connection to the upcoming Lewis & Clark Bicentennial and its role in raising funds for the Art Center and inspiring civic pride.

"Anybody who loved the Prairie Dogs will love this book," said Bruce Miller, chair of the Prairie Dog Quest Committee. "It's more than just a compilation of photos and stories. It's a clever and classy tribute to a project that's uniquely Siouxland. It's great entertainment for readers of all ages."

Prairie Dog Quest on the Lewis & Clark Trail describes what motivated artists to create their Prairie Dogs. Arthur Georgopoulos, for example, first dreamed of suds before he created "Gumball," the dog sponsored by First Federal Bank. Mick McGinty turned to some of the 20th century's greatest peacemakers for inspiration to create "Peace Dog."

Some of the sponsors weigh in on the meaning of the Prairie Dog Quest. "The entire Prairie Dog project has been a wonderful celebration of our Siouxland heritage and community pride," said Cy W. Chesterman, of Chesterman Co., sponsor of "Prairie Perspective."

The book recalls the tense days following the dognapping of "Prairie Dog Blues" and his recovery at War Eagle Park. It covers the fun of the Prairie Dog Contest when 12-year-old Samantha Engle and her "Puzzled Dog" concept emerged as the winner of the summer competition that attracted hundreds of entries.

It celebrates Aug. 26, 2002, when the Sioux City Council proclaimed Pierce Street "Prairie Dog Lane" and September "Prairie Dog Month."

There"s much more between the book's Lewis & Clark-inspired covers, including the patriotic "Presidential Dog," created by McGinty for President George W. Bush. Draped in the U.S. Flag, McGinty's critter commemorates the prairie dog shipped to President Thomas Jefferson in 1805 by Lewis & Clark.

For sales hours, call the Sioux City Art Center, 279-6272, or the Sioux City Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, 224-5242.

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