Pet store offers lots of ‘stuff’


By Betty Street

Tami Schanzenbach and Captain

Tami Schanzenbach and Captain

Are you looking for a four-pawed companion for yourself or to teach your children responsibility, or perhaps an ornamental fish? Do you need a regulator or colorful gravel for an aquarium? A cat toy, pet door, or a book on training your new puppy? Maybe you want a colorful collar, lead, pet sweater or even a stuffed animal.
If so, it’s time to visit Pets n Stuff in Mobridge. Entrepreneur Tami Schanzenbach started this business on Feb. 20, 2000, and all these items are offered in the store as well as assorted pets, including turtles, different kinds of fish, bunnies, birds, ferrets, kittens, tarantulas, and an ever-changing assortment of puppies.
In the 13 years since she opened, Tami has added grooming and boarding services to the offering at Pets n Stuff. If your dog or cat is stressed about being groomed, she knows how to soothe them so sedation isn’t needed.
Another amenity is that the air return system in the store has been completely replaced, both air conditioning and heating. Pets n Stuff has no more problems with mold and humidity.
Ever since the store opened, children have been attracted to Pets n Stuff, especially after school hours. Tami calls them “latch-key kids,” because some of these kids truly do not have anywhere else to go until their parents get home after work. She is okay with these few who roam around the store looking at the pets and talking to them.
Tami has no time to offer a babysitting service, however. She sets limits. For example, kids are not allowed to catch the fish in the back room! And if misbehavors continue, youngsters are asked to leave the store.
And sometimes kids hang around the store long enough to become volunteers who actually help care for animals and do other chores. One individual actually assisted customers and ran the cash register at times. When he turned 14, Tami hired him on a part-time basis.
And Tami has a staff of talented, dedicated and enthusiastic employees who take care of Pets n Stuff with her and for her when she’s away from the store.
When tour groups of children come to Pets n Stuff, Tami first has them sit on the carpet in the center of the store while she brings the store pets one at a time and speaks about each one. There are eight store pets.
Kiki is a harlequin macaw with very rich, colorful plumage, most often found perched atop her cage at the west side of the cash register. Kiki keeps a sociable eye on everyone who passes through the store and she frequently answers “hello” to those who greet her.
Elvis, whose cage is not as large as Kiki’s but located nearby, is a Quaker parrot. Elvis comes out with an unexpectedly loud SQUAWK! from time to time.
Murphy is the African gray parrot who spends his time in or on his cage, which is near Elvis’. When Murphy stands on top of his cage, he is so quiet and still that people often wonder if he is a real, live bird. Sometimes passers-by are startled when Murphy blinks or rustles his wings.
Both of these parrots are smaller than Kiki.
Located in an aquarium/cage along the south wall is Monty, a ball python. Monty is one of the first inhabitants from when Pets n Stuff opened its doors. The python was just five inches long when she came to Mobridge to live, but now she stretches out to six full feet when she uncoils all the way.
Tami has an Ag background. She grew up on a farm in Crookston, Minn., graduated from Crookston Central High School, and attended North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., where she earned a one-year Veterinary Technician degree.
One of Tami’s proudest accomplishments was assisting with the Charter of the Aberdeen Area Humane Society in 1981, and she then was part of the group who helped the Humane Society to obtain nonprofit status. She also was president of the Humane Society for seven years before moving to the Mobridge area, where she worked for a number of years at Oahe Veterinary Hospital.
Now at home on the Schanzenbach farm, Tami enjoys working with “all aspects of animals, especially spending time with my pets at home.” Captain is Tami’s chocolate Lab, Timmy a Pomeranian, Tiny a 14-year-old Chihuahua and Igmoo an 18-year-old cat. Then there are eight goats plus Tristan and Raven, the horses.
Tami and Jim—they were married in 1986—are the parents of “two awesome children.” Kimberly, married to Nicholas Pearson, earned her doctorate in physical therapy. They live in Watertown now. Christopher is currently in the South Dakota National Guard with the 200th and will be attending Lake Area Technical Institute with emphasis on Ag production.
Besides running Pets n Stuff, which is a 24/7 responsibility because all the animals at the facility must be tended daily, Tami enjoys her work as leader of the Busy Blue Birds 4-H Club (14 years), treasurer of Walworth County 4-H Leaders Association (14 years), and is an active member of the Selby United Church of Christ.
Tami also finds time to garden and cook. She enjoys making brunch on Sunday mornings after church. Her Crockpot is used frequently during the winter months for roasts and chicken. And it was in the Crockpot that her most notable cooking mishap occurred: she actually overcooked chicken in the Crockpot. In Tami’s words, “it was very well done!”

Cherry Ice Box Dessert
2 cups crushed graham crackers
2 heaping tsp. powdered sugar
½ cup melted butter
48 little marshmallows
1 cup milk
1 box Dream Whip
1 can cherry or blueberry pie filling
Mix together first 3 ingredients and put layer on bottom of 13x9x2-inch pan. Save about half for sprinkling on top. Then melt 48 little marshmallows with 1 cup milk. After marshmallows are melted, chill. Fix a box of Dream Whip and fold in marshmallow mixture. Put half of marshmallow mixture on top of crust and a layer of fruit—either cherry or blueberry—then another layer of marshmallow and the other layer of crust. Chill about one hour in refrigerator.

Rhubarb Blueberry Jam
7 cups rhubarb
4 cups sugar
2 pkgs. raspberry Jell-O
1 can blueberry pie filling
Mix rhubarb and sugar and let sit until all juicy, 2-3 hours. Then cook until tender. Add 2 pkgs. raspberry Jell-O and 1 can blueberry pie filling. Bring to a boil. Makes 4 pints jam.

Hamburger Hot Dish
1 lb. hamburger
1 pkg. green beans or corn
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg. tater tots
Brown hamburger. Put browned hamburger on bottom of greased casserole, then add cream of celery soup and green beans (or corn) and then cream of chicken soup. Put tater tots on top. Add ¾ to 1 can of water. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.

Rhubarb Muffins
1¼ cups brown sugar
½ cup oil
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup nuts
2 cups rhubarb
2½ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbs. margarine, melted
½ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix brown sugar, oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla together. Beat them together. Add rhubarb and nuts. In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients and mix. Stir dry ingredients into rhubarb mixture until blended. Spoon batter into muffin cups. For topping mix 1 Tbs. melted margarine with ½ cup sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Makes 2 dozen muffins.

Layered Lettuce Salad
1 head lettuce, washed
1 cup celery, diced
4 hard-cooked eggs, sliced (optional)
1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen peas (uncooked
½ cup green pepper, diced (optional)
1 medium sweet onion, diced (optional)
1½ to 2 cups salad dressing or mayonnaise
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. lemon juice (optional
4 oz. grated Cheddar cheese
4-8 slices bacon, fried and diced or crumbled
Tear cleaned lettuce into small, bite-sized pieces. Place in 9×13-inch glass dish. Layer the rest in order given. Add sugar (and lemon juice, if used) to salad dressing or mayo. Spread over the top as you would frost a cake. Top with grated cheese and bacon. Refrigerate for 8-10 hours, covered.

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