Puppy Love


You snooze, you lose when it comes to the Puppy Game. Caitlyn pets the Stypa-Karol that almost was, Betty.

Her name was Betty, and she wasn’t shy about putting up her paws on the black wire fencing surrounding her and one of her sleepier neighbors if it meant getting to come nose-to-nose with the passersby.

The three-year-old was a friendly, but quiet, all-black Chihuahua-Daschund mix – save for a speck of white on the tip of her tail – and she was almost ours.

During our recent trip to Austin, Caitlyn and I stopped at the Austin Farmers Market downtown to grab some breakfast, take in some music and mingle among the vendors on a cool* winter day (*cool compared to the previous day, but still about 50 degrees warmer than back home in Indy). As we walked by, we noticed Austin Animal Center – the city’s municipal animal shelter – with a gaggle of chilly Chihuahuas in separate pens looking for homes.

Caitlyn cozied up to Betty, as did a small girl, and started talking all baby-like with the pint-sized pooch. After saying we probably weren’t going to get a dog and air freight it back to Indiana, we continued on our way to the quirky South Congress district. As we walked into an antiques store, Caitlyn started talking about Betty … and that’s where the conversation stayed the next several hours. There was talk about how cute she would be with our cat and dog. How she would hate Indiana winters and need a sweater and booties to survive. Then there was the topic of her new name, should we adopt her – Austen – named after the city she came from, but with a slight nod to Jane Austen since Betty was a girl after all.

Finally, much like how you start to like that Top 40 hit you once hated after the DJ forces you to listen to is 20 times a day on your favorite radio station, I acquiesced to the notion that it might be possible to bring home Betty, even though I suggested she might be seen by Bailey as a post-dinnertime treat.

That sent Caitlyn to the Internet, looking up how much it would be to bring Betty back with us on the plane (more than 100 bucks!) and myself figuring out how we were going to get to the shelter without any rental car.

Then Caitlyn suggested we should see if Betty was still on the shelter’s website – she had been earlier in the day while we were at the market – but, alas, Betty had disappeared, likely into the arms of a local – and much warmer — home.

Caitlyn and I are believers in “divine circumstance,” if you will, when it comes to our animals. Jackson walked up to our porch four days after our wedding, sickly and covered in fleas. Bailey supposedly came from a “rescue group,” but we now question that given the circumstances of her adoption.

We have no doubt we’ll add another dog or cat to the family some day. But if it’s on our next trip, let’s try not to have to transport it 1,000 miles to its new home.


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