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Tales from the bark side: Fannie the beagle

Welcome back to the bark side of life here in Ottertail, where summer's magic show opens with a breath taking dawn and ebbs slowly into the west at sunset.

Pinks, purples, oranges, reds and an assortment of other vivid colors parade across the sky in silent splendor. There are boats on the water, vegetables growing in the gardens, birdsong throughout the deliriously dapper days, and we give thanks for the warm days we abide in. How I love the summer! It was long coming, and thus we treasure the time we have all the more.

The "Logic vs. Instinct" contest has been a great success because you, my readers. You can enter the contest by e-mailing me at or writing to me at Keith Alan Ross, Richville MN 56576; you can also phone me at 218-495-2195.

Share a tale about how one of your pets (or an observation of a wild animal's behavior) showed their ability to reason or how instinct prevailed in a certain instance. Linda Senn of Perham has a yarn to spin about Charlie Brown's favorite breed of dog; the beagle. I'll let Linda tell her tale.

Dear Keith:

I am writing about a 6-year-old beagle named "Fannie," which I had adopted. Fannie had a very mellow disposition, but when I would go somewhere, she would open the refrigerator door and raid it! She would hide food in at least three different areas around the house. She would manage to get the single cheese slices and hide them under my bed with the cheese eaten and the wrappers left there. One time she ate a large bowl of hot dish; she must have felt very bloated after that one! She'd eat almost anything that was edible. One time she ate one and a half pies sitting on the top shelf in the refrigerator. I wasn't too happy about that one.

The worse part of it all would be if she left a mess for me to clean up; such as some broken eggs on the carpet in front of the refrigerator door that fell out on a certain raid. Some times she would get loose from her chain outdoors and I would find her by someone's garbage can or a dumpster.

No wonder they named her "Fannie" -- she waddled from overeating all the time. I would have liked to cam-corded some of these events and send them to "Funniest Home Videos."

One time I was out of town for the night and a bad storm with high straight line winds went through my neighborhood. It uprooted all my trees, put 2x4's through my garage walls, tore shingles off, destroyed my boat, a large glider swing, patio set and another doghouse right behind Fannie's.

There was damage to other neighbor's buildings and roofs with debris all over on my block. Neighbors and friends checked on Fannie, and it was a miracle that her doghouse was still standing and she was alive! Very amazing!! Her picture was in the Perham Enterprise and the news media had come to see the damage and talk to me.

I would always scold her when she got into trouble, but at the same time, I couldn't help but to think it was funny. People couldn't believe that she knew how to open the refrigerator door; some of them got to see some of the stashes and messes that she had left behind on her raids.

The people who previously owned her had told me that she would get into their cupboards, not their refrigerator! Only once did she raid my cupboards. I hope that everyone has a good chuckle out of this story. I always read your columns and enjoy reading other's tales of pets, etc.

Thanks Linda that was a good tale about what a dog can do when left to their own devices. Having seven German Shepherds myself, I truly know the feeling of finding "stuff" all over the place. Like I have said before folks, if you have a good tale to tell about a cat or dog or another critter, send it in and it will find its way into print. That does it for this week. Until next time...