Betsy | Pittsburgh Pet Photography

On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, that was not too cold and not too hot, I met up with Shannon, Dave, and their dog Betsy for a portrait session at their home.  This is the story of Betsy.


When my husband Dave and I decided it was time to get a dog, we searched for a while on for the perfect “young adult medium-sized spayed female.” One day, a dog popped up that had the cutest face I had ever seen, with wild, matted fur and eye boogers. Her name was Bootsie. I yelled downstairs to my husband, “I think I found our dog!” He yelled back up, “Is it Bootsie?”

The next day, we made a trip to the shelter. Bootise's cage was the first one as soon we opened the door. We took her into the play area, but to our surprise, she didn’t want to play....She. Wanted. To. Sniff. She sniffed her little heart out, with amazing intensity, all the way around the perimeter and back again.  We just sat and watched in disbelief. Dave finally broke the silence and said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t take her if this is all she does; she hasn't even come near us.” He barely got the words out before she jumped up on the bench and cozied right up next to him.

We brought her home and changed her name to Betsy (Dave had a childhood dog named Bootsie), and she's been our best friend ever since. Sure, she’s gotten herself into a few kerfuffles, like turning the stove on when we weren’t home and eating a shower curtain. At any given moment, she'll act as if she hasn’t eaten for weeks. She doesn’t like nervous dogs and she hates humpers. She likes to chase yard intruders (especially groundhogs) but she is not very good at it. When she finally catches them she tries to sniff them to death.

People always ask us what kind of dog Betsy is, and we always answer “no one knows—not even the vet.” But I sort of like it that way, it adds to her mystique.

// Shannon

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