WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES explains how he met stella


Your new best friend could be just a click away
I have this mutt, Stella. She’s not a nerd. She’s the opposite; a downright Luddite. Lots of dogs are afraid of vacuums and such. Stella isn’t a huge fan of the vacuum, but she doesn’t flee in terror from it, either. When I’m feeling lazy and fire up the Roomba instead of the upright vacuum, however, she hits the bricks and places as much distance between her and the robot helper as possible. She’s terrified of technology that operates seemingly without human interaction. The Roomba seems like an obvious dog-foe, but it really is the unattended technology thing that gets her: even though it happens every single night, she jumps and gets nervous when a light in the living room turns off automatically from its self-timer. She even warily regards the ceiling fan when she doesn’t see me turn it on. Maybe she paid too close attention to the Terminator as a puppy or something, but it’s clear she does not share my love for all things nerdy.
It’s kind of ironic, though, that she’s so anti-nerd, when she owes her place in my life almost entirely to technology. In the fall of 2010, I was indulging in a little Friday afternoon pet discussion with my co-workers. Sometimes, we enjoy a quick browse through petfinder.com for the hell of it to ogle various pets. This particular spin through the site was fateful, as I came across a rescue organization that had an adorable bunch of puppies ready to be driven from North Carolina to New Jersey (as luck would have it, not terribly far from my mom’s).
I fell in love with the little brown thing, and picked her out of her littermates on the basis of an extra adorable YouTube video. Shortly before the pickup date was arranged, however, the person from the rescue organization I’d been dealing with called me and told me that particular puppy was no longer available. I was disappointed, but agreed to take her sister. I did my best to fall in love with the other YouTube video. But fate wasn’t happy with that outcome, and mere hours before the caravan left North Carolina (it was a literal Dodge Caravan filled with puppies), I got a call with yet another reversal — would I still like the first puppy, since the other adopter backed out? Of course I still wanted the puppy with the cute mannerisms and characteristic commando belly-crawl! Nearly three years later, and she’s still belly-crawling toward me when she wants to be silly.
So my Luddite dog and I got together through the Internet, and much of her upkeep is online as well — I have a standing order of food delivered to the house every couple months, and I find it’s usually cheaper to buy toys and treats from various online retailers. Even most medication is cheaper online, though I tend to get the regular stuff from my vet.
One thing Stella does enjoy when it comes to technology, though, is the T.V. She particularly enjoys shows with dogs and horses, but is also a huge NFL fan. She’ll sit perfectly straight and focus on the TV, eyes following the action. If she sees an animal she particularly likes, she’ll run straight to the TV to sniff. She may have no use for most technology, but I’m pretty damn thankful I took a few minutes to slack off one particular day at work!

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