Pet Tips 'n' Tales

Tattle Tale Dog

Photo by Mary Ellen "Angel Scribe"
Debbie helps her mother, Verlene, control all the stuffed toys "Grandma" bought her spoiled granddogs, Jade and Samson, while Brad tries to control the dogs.  They have led a comical life since the dogs arrived in their lives.


By the time Debbie was twenty-six years old, all three of her brothers had passed from Muscular Dystrophy. She learned that she was a carrier for this disease and was not about to go through the same grief and worry with her future children.  So she and her husband, Brad, decided on having dogs instead of children. Today, they are the happy pet parents of two five-year-old German Shepherds, Samson and Jade.

The dogs were born two weeks apart and are the best of friends. They do not look alike; one has long hair and one has short hair. Samson is from a working-class breed of Shepherd with square hips, and Jade is from a show breed with sloped back hips. Imagine having two rambunctious big male puppies at the same time! 

"Samson was the cutest pup! His long fur made him look just like the little alien ALF featured on the  comedy TV show," laughs Debbie.

The dogs grew as much as they played and today they weigh a combined weight of more than 200 pounds.

"Samson is so bonded to Brad that he never leaves his side.  Brad and his buddy, Samson, lie on the couch for hours while I do my chores.  Neither moves an inch.  Then when Brad gets up for any reason, Samson follows him like a shadow," says Debbie. "When we have Fourth of July fireworks or thunder, this big old dog is so scared that he climbs in bed with us."

"Samson has a funny habit of grooming himself like a cat.  As soon as he is done eating, you know because he starts grooming his front paws," explains Brad.

Debbie adds, "My mother spoils the dogs!  She walks in the house and announces, 'Grandma is here.'  The dogs run up to her because she has bought them about twenty stuffed doggy toys.  When the dogs chew the toys up, she graciously carries the toys home and sews them back up."

Debbie often washes the toys.  When they are dry, she places them back into the dog's toy box with confidence knowing that they are sanitary.  That's when Jade takes things into his own paws.  One at a time, he carries the toys outside to make them more "natural" to his taste.

"When the dogs were eight months old, one of Mary Ellen 'Angel Scribe's' chickens jumped our fence and landed in our yard," explains Debbie. "We heard the commotion and saw her husband, Howard, jump the fence and try to chase the chicken that the dogs were chasing.  It was all out mayhem! Chicken running, dogs running, Howard running, Brad running; everyone was either squawking, barking, or yelling. It was like a scene out of Keystone Kops!" 

"The chicken ran in the dog's house, and both dogs poked their heads in the door.  I thought for sure that the chicken was dead. I brought it out and handed it to Howard.  The chicken was missing a lot of its tail feathers and was very still; then it raised its head and was surprisingly okay," says Brad.

The neighbors on the other side of Debbie and Brad also have a dog named Jade, who is female, and their male dog Jade has a crush on her.  To keep things straight when calling their dog to come in the house, Debbie resorts to calling her dog Mr. Jade, so the neighbor's dog doesn't get confused.

Brad built a restraining fence to keep the dogs separate because they loved barking non-stop.  Now when Mr. Jade sneaks out of the house and under the fence, Samson runs to Debbie to tattle on 'his brother'. 

"Samson stomps his front feet on the ground, or runs to the door, or rubs our legs and then runs to the door to let us know Mr. Jade is breaking the house rules," explains Debbie. "When we go out and retrieve Jade, Samson scolds him and nips at his fur."

"Jade is sneaky in other ways.  When we are in the bedroom, he wanders in like he is casually checking things out.  Then out of the corner of our eyes, we see him shoot out of the bedroom with a shoe or slipper! When we are watching TV, Jade grabs the remote control, runs outside, and jumps up on the hot tub with his prize.  This doesn't happen occasionally, but all the time.  Watching TV has become an exercise program with us instead of just TV programs!" laughs Debbie.
Editors Note:

Last week, Tips 'n' Tales included a tid bit about Jerry Lewis' trip to Cottage Grove to visit Debbie's brother Scotty who was the poster child for Muscular Dystrophy.

Jerry and Scotty rode together, down Main Street, in the Bohemia Mining Day Parade.  In the last two weeks, Verlene has received two lovely letters from Jerry Lewis, and Debbie one letter. 

Verlene is mailing Jerry Lewis copies of last week's and this week's Tips 'n' Tales for his enjoyment. Hi Jerry!


Debbie co-owner of Old Mill Farm Store says, "TFLN and Pet Calm are wonderful homeopathic remedies for pets who are afraid of noises. TFLN stands for Thunder, Fireworks, Lightning, and Noise. These natural remedies calm the animals emotional response to unsettling noise situations, such as Thunder, Fireworks, Lightning, and Noise. A substantial number of our customers are very satisfied with these products."
Editors Note:
The above information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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