the Legend of Calico Chloe


The Legend of Calico Chloe

It’s been said that legends don’t come around too often.  Some even say they don’t come at all. But legends are an important part of our culture historians claim, where they somehow mix a portion of the truth with the greater part of fiction. Maybe it’s best to define a legend as being somewhere in between the historical facts and how those facts are remembered. 

I recall hearing about one such legend of a dog they use to call “Calico Chloe”. No doubt it’s a story that probably combines one part of the real with three parts of the unreal, but that’s how legends are born. They’re bigger than life, and it’s why they still come to mind many years and often decades later. 

The ‘Old West’ had more than enough legends to go around, especially if you’re a history buff like me, but the story of Calico Chloe came to life when I realized how much in common this past western adventurer had with my dog - who just happened to be named Chloe. Coincidence, or fate, I don’t know? Let’s just say I became even more fascinated with the whole Calico Chloe story.

As I began to investigate, I couldn’t help but think of why a dog might be called “calico”. By definition, the word typically refers to a cat that is spotted, or multicolored with patches of brown, black and white. That’s when I realized I had to find a photograph of Calico Chloe to see how closely she might resemble my sable colored Chloe which just happened to have brown, black and white. 

Could it be that Calico Chloe was maybe a long-lost ancestor? 

As with any story that comes down to us from the past, it’s often difficult to say where the historical diverges from the myth, and in the case of this tale, separating the fiction from reality was going to take some sleuthing into the legend of Calico Chloe… 

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