An Introduction to Isabelle and Catherine

Hello and welcome to Happenstance with Izzy! Above is a quick introduction and here is the filler. (FYI, this will be a LONG entry. So sorry.) Like I said in the video, my name is Catherine Stockinger and Isabelle is my Pembroke Welsh Corgi.


Introduction to Izzy: Izzy and I met in 2010, when she was three. The cat I had since I was a child passed away the month before and I decided it was time for a dog. I lived in an apartment at the time and thought it would be unfair to have a lab or a retriever so I researched little yappers like chihuahuas and Boston terriers. I had come across a corgi in my search,but was so back and forth about committing to a dog I passed on it. A couple months later, after I had discontinued my search feeling a dog wouldn’t be the best for me at the time, I saw an ad on Craigslist for Izzy. She was in St. Thomas, a little town in North Dakota and there were no pictures. Leary of the ad being spam, I inquired, and was given pictures of a stumpy fox, the color of sun, rolled on her back, and doe-eyes filled with affection. You know, I was looking for a boy dog too, but Izzy had captured my heart. I wrote back to the gentleman asking if we could meet, that I wasn’t saying “Yes” to taking Izzy, but just wanted to see her. The next day after work I drove two hours West to Grand Forks, ND and we met in a McDonald’s parking lot. I hadn’t expected to take Izzy home, but out of the SUV she went along with an average-dressed middle-aged man and his over-dressed very blonde wife. Izzy was adorable. Stumpy tail wagging quickly. Fox ears and doe faced. Golden-brown eyes. White stripe between her eyes and diamond on her back. I didn’t say “Yes,” but the world kept in motion and soon she was in my Fusion and the man was refusing a $100 bill. We loved each other instantly and have been inseparable ever since. The attention we get on walks is incredible; everyone loves a corgi, the kids especially. We sleep together (of course Izzy takes up most the bed) and play keep-away any chance we get (her favorite game). Izzy will be eight in September and has brought nothing but joy and happiness into my life. I am lucky and thankful we’re a family. I wish she could live forever and I hope I can be lucky enough to have a child in time to know her greatness.


Introduction to Cathy: I am 29 and regret I’ve worked through my twenties instead of being wild and adventurous. I have a Bachelors and Masters in English, am a poet, and spent my college years tutoring freshman and international students in writing composition. I always expected to go the whole way with school and be a professor in the end. Now that I walked away from my job as Employee Development Coordinator I very passionately want to be a student advisor. Like the video said, I’ve lived in Bemidji since 2005 and have been working for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe since 2006. During this time I have been assulted, stalked, had my life threatened, almost been expelled from college, cheated on on numerous occasions by a man I thought I was going to be marrying, called “white bitch” more times than I can count, and denied managerial promotions because of my race. I also learned I can take a punch to the temple and stay conscious, can take down a six foot, 260 pound man alone, and have inspired coworkers to stop abusing prescription medication, seek help, and go back to school to either obtain their GED or start college. I helped a sixteen year-old give birth to a six month-old baby who sadly died moments later in my arms, have given a French-named woman comfort in her last moments of life while her boyfriend sat opposite of us buzzing on her pain medication, helped children find smiles after witnessing bloody domestic assaults, helped discover light when there was darkness, warmth in bitter cold, and hope to the hopeless. In my nine years in Bemidji, while I like I can say I helped others better their lives, I have also never felt so alone, misunderstood, and under-appreciated. I was able to walk away with a couple moments of love and a few good friends who share similar stories. Bemidji never felt like home and left me dreaming of the adventure to find one. I was too afraid to leave sooner. Too poor…but you’re never too poor to seek happiness, really. Nine years later, I have decided enough is enough. I’m 29. In six months I’ll be 30 and I don’t want to open that book without having anything to show for myself. So, I left. I peacefully resigned from work, traded a solid home for a van, and am going West. I’ve always wanted to see the Pacific Northwest. I long for the ocean. My veins are filled with salt water. When debating where Home should be that part of the country always burns inside. I feel like I can’t make a definitive decision on where I want to be in this world before seeing it first.

I am excited for whales. I’m excited for cleaner air. I’m excited for different food, different patterns of sunsets, and a whole new set of people. I’m excited, but I also fear the unknown.


4 thoughts on “An Introduction to Isabelle and Catherine”

  1. Come East and I’ll buy you and Izzy a drink! What an extraordinary life you have led. You describe it so powerfully. I love your sense of adventure and independence. Bemidji’s loss is your gain. Have fun and stay safe.

    1. Thank you so much! Caitlin, you’re AMAZING! Looked at your blog and wasn’t able to find where you’re located out East. I have siblings around the D.C. area. Next time I’m that way I will for sure cash in that drink invitation. Thank you for the support; look forward to connecting with you more!

      1. I live in Tarrytown, NY, just north of NYC. Drinks!!!

        Have a great adventure…please stay safe. I suspect you have every bit of bravery/smarts needed after your years of the work you have been doing…

      2. I…hope so, but I have a can of mace with just in case. 😉 I’ve decided my next adventure will be to Quebec and the New England states. When that time comes I’ll make a special trip to Tarrytown. Until then, keep in touch!

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