|Decker Terriers of Blue Mountain
|Pepper 1990 to 2004 may you rest in piece
my old friend
|Hi...Let me introduce myself. My name is Tim Brown.
I've raised and owned Decker Terriers for the last 20 years. I'm now retired and do not raise Decker's
anymore. I decided to put this site together because I love the Decker and wanted to share some of the
pictures of my dogs & the dogs that have been produced by some other fine kennels around the country.
I was 4 years old when my dad brought home a little Rat Terrier female we call Susie. She was a great
squirrel dog and a loving family pet. I never forgot Susie. For a small boy growing up in the Appalachian
Mountains, she was all I needed as a friend and companion. After Susie passed away, and so did the years,
I never forgot her. I always thought to myself that someday I would find a dog that would fill the hole in my
heart when Susie passed away. Little did I know it would take me over 30 years to find that dog.
I've been a hunter all my life. I couldn't even guest how many hunting dogs I've owned over the years.
Most of the dogs I hunted were hounds and a few small terrier types. I hunted a lot of coon and squirrels
so I knew what I was looking for in a good tree dog.
The year was 1985, my older brother Don invited my wife and I to visit him in Seattle, Washington.
He took us on a site seeing tour around the state and we finally ended up in Spokane. While there, my
brother and I took a walk one evening to a little store to pick up something to eat and drink.
While in the store I notice a little flier laying on the counter. I think it was called "Fin & Fur".
I picked it up for something to read back at the motel.
When we got back to the motel, I sat down and was looking through the ads when I notice one that said,
"For Sale Large Rat Terriers". I was very excited about seeing this and couldn't stop thinking about it.
I put the flier in the suitcase and told my wife not to throw it out. I couldn't wait to get home and write this
man who had these big terriers. Over the years I owned the smaller Rat Terriers, but never found
anything I really liked. Mostly because they were too small. Where I live, there are a lot of ground
hog holes. It's very easy to lose a small dog in a holes because you can't hear them barking unless your
really close to them. I was thinking maybe these big terriers just might take care of that problem,
because they would be too big and couldn't get down into the holes.
When I got home, I sent Milton Decker a letter and then I was off to Alaska to hunt with my other older
brother, Sam. We had a very successful hunt, both Sam and I got Dull sheep, Both rams had beautiful,
full curled horns. I also killed a nice black bear and Sam got a wolf. We did that hunt on our own
without using a guide, except for the pilot we hired to fly us back into the mountains.
As exciting as that trip was, I couldn't get those big terriers out of my head. When I got home, one of the
first things I ask my wife was, "Did I get any mail from Oregon?" She handed me a big vanilla envelope.
I was like a kid at Christmas opening up that envelope to see what was inside. As I pulled the beautiful
brochure out, I couldn't believe my eyes. After 30 years of searching, I finally found the exact dogs
I was searching for. It was almost to good to be true! I only had one problem, "Money".
At that time I didn't have any money left to spend on a seven week old puppy. After my trip to
Washington and then the hunting trip to Alaska, my bank account was looking pretty sick. Plus I was
building our house at the time, so funds were pretty scarce. Milton was asking $175.00 for his pups
plus shipping. Then I had to ship the kennel back so the total cost would have been around $375.
That was a lot of money to pay for a seven week old puppy, especially when I never paid more
then $25 for a dog in my whole life!
Before this, if someone was asking more then $25 for a dog, I would have walked away.
Back then, a hunting dog had to be pretty good to even bring $100 around here.
So, my heart kind of sank a little because I just couldn't afford a pup at that time.
I put the brochure on my coffee table and looked at it every night. It became so worn from me handling
it that I had to ask Milton to send me another one, which he did. This went on for almost four years.
That brochure never left my coffee table and I looked at it every night. Then, one evening
I think it was in the Fall of 1990, I was laying on the couch looking at the brochure and my wife said,
"TIM,! why don't you just get one of those dogs? I've been watching you look at that brochure every evening
and I know you want one." I explained how much it was going to cost and she told me if I wanted a dog,
she would just give it to me for a birthday present. She was working at the time.
So I thought, if she wanted to buy me a dog I wouldn't pass that up.
So the next evening I gave Milton a call and wanted to buy a pup, he said he didn't have any at that time.
I told him I really wanted one, so put me on his list. I sent him a deposit and gave him all the
information he needed to pick me out a pup.
I think two or three month had gone by, then Milton contacted me. He said there was a litter
on the way and it should arrive in March. I could hardly wait, then the day finally came.
Tuffy had her litter. I told him to pick me out the one that best fit my description and send it to me.
Finally, after 30 years of trying to find the dog of my dreams, I was going to the airport to pick it up.
I couldn't ever begin to tell you how excited I was and fearful at the same time.
The whole way to the airport I was thinking, "Wonder if it's not what I wanted.
Wonder if it won't hunt or even bark up at squirrels?".
Finally we got to the airport and I went in to pick up the pup. I ask the ladies at the desk if they had a
puppy for Tim Brown. They all started laughing and said, "YES, we do!" I thought that was kind
of strange, until they brought out the carrier. I could hear this little pup just raising hell as soon as
she open the doors behind the counter. She was laughing and said he has been doing this since they
took him off the plane. I looked in at the little guy and started to laugh myself. There was this
little dog, with the ears of a mule, just barking, whining, and chewing on the wire gate.
I thought he was going to break his teeth.
He wanted out of there in the worse way and he wasn't bashful about showing me that! The lady
at the desk said she needed some ID, but when I reach in my pocket I didn't have my wallet....
OH NO!....then I remember I had a leather strap on my keys that I cut my name into
so I showed her that, she smiled and said that would be fine.
I gather up my new pup and took him out to my Ford Bronco and put him in the back.
I ask my wife to drive so I could look at him on the way home. I thought he would settle down a little,
but I was wrong. He got worse, so I climbed over the front seat and took him out of the carrier. He settled
right down, so I thought I would put him on the front seat and climb back over it, then hold him until we
got home. As soon as I put him down on the front seat he just fell over and went to sleep. I didn't want to
wake him up because I didn't want him going nuts again, so I sat in the back seat all the way home.
He was exactly what I told Milton I wanted. I told him I wanted the rowdiest, most out going pup in the litter.
I already had a name picked out for him... I called him Pepper or Pep for short.
Of all the pictures I have of my dogs this one is my favorite.
Pepper was around 6 months old. It shows the love and the bond that we had.
Where I was, that's where he was, even while I was doing
the dishes he had to come and lay on my feet.
That day started a love affair between me and that dog that lasted 13 1/2 years. He's no longer with
me now but he will forever live in my heart, just like Susie.
There's rarely a day that goes by that I don't wish he could be by my side once again.
Like Milton and his dog Henry, I had my Pep. It didn't take long to see that he was a superior dog in
every way. I just couldn't believe how intelligent he was and how fast he would learn things.
After I had Pep for a couple of months, I decided to call Milton and maybe get a female so I could raise
some pups for my own use. Milton informed me that he wasn't going to raise his dogs anymore because his
children, which up to that time had played a big roll in caring for the dogs and helping Milton out were
off to college, getting married, and making lives of their own. Plus he had his business to run and he had
another project of raising beautiful Appaloosa horses. He felt that he just didn't have the time
or help he needed to do everything he wanted to do.
After Milton explain to me the reasons he had for not raising them anymore, he made a suggestion to me.
He said, "Why don't you buy my dogs and raise them yourself?" I told Milton to send me some pictures of
the dogs, I would think about it. In the mean time I called my brother Don, in Seattle. As luck would have
it Don was driving to California. I told him to stop in and see what kind of dogs Milton had and give me his
first impression on the Decker's. A few days later my brother called, I ask him what he thought. His first
words were, "You have nothing to worry about when dealing with those people."
I think maybe he called the Decker's and told them he was dropping by to see the dogs. Unfortunately,
Milton was called away on business and Don didn't get to talk with him. But he said Milton's wife, Mary,
took him a tour around the property and showed him the dogs. Don said Mary was very nice to him and the
kennels were clean and very well kept. He said he could tell they took very good care of their dogs.
That's all I needed to hear. I called Milton and told him that I wanted his dogs and we made arrangements
to have them shipped back to Pa.. When they got here, I had everything ready for them.
I wasn't disappointed when they got out of their carriers. There was Mr. Big, Cougar, and Badger, all
beautiful dogs. It wasn't very long after I got them, that I called Milton and ask if he had any black & tan
dogs for sale. He said he did, so that is when I got Lila, Shortcake, and another female
by the name of Sugar, who was already bred by Mr. Big. She had 7 pups.
There I was with all those wonderful dogs. The only bad thing about the whole situation was, no one knew
what a Decker Terrier was. I tried selling my pups, but only got a few calls. Then I got a lucky break.
A man called me from Louisiana by the name of Dennis Eiland. He informed me that he was writing a
column called,"Rat Terrier News" for the Full Cry Magazine. Someone had sent him some pictures of my
dogs and he wanted to use one of the picture that Milton had given me, for the heading of his column.
From that time forward, the Decker Terrier was known throughout the hunting dog world.
Pretty soon I had people calling me from all over the United States, wanting to know more about
the Decker Terrier and how they came to be.
What I didn't know at the time, I was the only kennel producing and promoting the pure bred dogs that
came out of Milton's kennel. At that time there was only a couple other breeders also producing
Decker's of varying degrees of percentages.
Today as I read the great stories on "Decker Forum" and see the beautiful pictures of the dogs being
produced, and how much the owers love their dogs, wither hunting, showing, agility training or just a good
friend and family pet. I often wonder what would have happened to the Decker Terrier twenty years ago if I
never picked up that little flier that night.
And what would have happened if Dennis Eiland wasn't sent those pictures of my dogs. Through his "Rat
Terrier New", Barry Clark, Eli Brown, Jim Johnson, Joe Kleinschimt, Stan Simon, Rosalie Rinear, Bill
Reynolds, Margaret Burz, and others, all found each other, and started the
foundation that the Decker's are built on today.
I might be a little bit of a romantic, but I think some things in life are just meant to be,
I think one of those things is the Decker Terrier.
Over the years, I have raised some very nice Decker hunting & tree dogs
that anyone would have been proud to own. But it still amazing to me how much the dogs of today still hunt
and act just like they did 20 years ago. I'm very thankful to Milton Decker and his family for breeding a fine
I must admit, in the beginning I knew very little about breeding dogs the right way and I'm still leaning after
20 years. When I first got Milton dogs I ask him for advice on how he bred his dogs. He recommended a
little paper back book called "The Serious Breeder, Genetics" by Nan Weitzman. The author explained in
great detail all the different methods of breeding
a better dog. I still have that little book... it's getting rather old and worn now, but when I open it up
I'm still reminded of how much I had to learn to breed these great dogs.
|MMe and the Decker Terrierme