FROM THE CRITTER CORRAL
In 1979 Sandy’s first Granddaughter was a year old
in Nov. Her first birthday she got 3 dolls from all 3
grandmas and all 3 were exactly alike. Determined that she
would give her something that the others wouldn’t be buying
she designed a riding toy. Now this Granny is too lazy to
crawl around with a baby on her back or bend over and push.
She designed the frame to allow her to sit with the baby
long before baby’s feet reached floor. While making it a
friend came to visit and ordered 5. She got 3 in time for
Christmas (Sandy didn’t get much sleep) and has since gotten
Sandy designed the wooden frame for grandchildren with the
thought of how destructive their parents were. She must have
done something right because 32 years later the first one is
still going. What was made for granddaughter great
granddaughter is now riding.
In 1981 Sandy started making a variety of animals but the Brahma bull is
by far the safest for the small children. The hump keeps the
critter moving with them instead of allowing them to get on
the neck. (You sit on any animal’s neck it will buck; I
don’t care if it is real or a toy.) 1983 was the first
custom made animal from the registration papers of a
Holstein. Since then there have been many and so far no one
has been unhappy with their critter.
Sandy has sold critters at shows and rodeos, (starting at
the Old Timers Rodeo in Hyannis NE, Cheyenne Frontier Days,
Black Hills Stock Show, Houston Livestock show Ft Worth
Stock Show and the NFR to name a few) down thru the years.
She tried wholesaling for a couple years but was having to
turn down retail orders to fill her wholesale orders.
Besides the wholesaler was to keep track of where each one
went and didn’t so there are some blank spots in her
Registry Book. Some get filled in at shows where people come
up and say “I have and give a name. That gets put into the
There are critters in 49 states (none in Vermont) 7 provinces of Canada,
England, Germany, Italy, South Africa and Australia.
There were a few years Sandy tried to retire because of
health reasons, (her husband was fighting Lung cancer) and
Sandy’s hands were bothering her. He lost his battle in 2003
and she did the NFR in 2004 but her Suburban burnt on the
way home. She had her hands operated on in 2005 and is back
at Critters. She has been doing NCHA Shows but has decided
that the 2011 Dec show will be her last. She has planned for
years that there would be 2000 Critters, God willing.
She just finished Critter 1715 at this show. Each animal is
named and numbered both by critters and by breed. Each is an
original. Sandy doesn’t make any 2 alike. They are
guaranteed and cost to the customer for repairs is getting
the Critter back to her. Her cost is repairing it and
getting it back to the owner.
In 2008 Sandy found a new partner and with Dick helping they have made
critters together but now they are going to take time to
smell the roses. Custom made orders will be taken from May
to Sept. Then the shop will be closed and when the critters
shown are gone that will be all until June.