Critchfield Finds Love At Humane Society



It is an unusual name. It sounds as if it should belong to someone with a bubbly, bouncy personality.

It fits Scooter Critchfield perfectly.

The gregarious charmer came to Payson in 1995 and has been active in the chamber of commerce since 1997.

A world traveler, Critchfield said her husband's near-obsession with the Glen Campbell song, "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," is what made them choose Arizona for their retirement home.

She said they lived in Phoenix for awhile, but the summer heat made them start looking for a cooler climate.

"People warned us about the weather. But we had been all over the world and thought, 'So what? Weather's weather," she said.

None of their travels had prepared them for summer in Phoenix.

Giving it some thought, they decided on Payson. Critchfield said it was her understanding that the late humor writer, Erma Bombeck had a home in Payson. So, if it was good enough for Bombeck, it was good enough for her.

Later she found out Bombeck actually had a home in Pinetop, not Payson, but has never regretted the move.

Two years after coming to the community, Critchfield's husband, Jim, died. The couple had been married 42 years and had traveled the world, living for a time in New York City, Heidelberg, Germany and Innsbruck, Austria.

She said after her husband died, she did all the widow things, including becoming active in the chamber. Then she decided she needed some companionship and launched a search for a dog.

Before she could travel to the Valley to find a pet, a friend directed her to the Payson Humane Society. And she fell in love.

At the humane society's shelter, she encountered Sir Harrison Scott. Their eyes met and it was all over.

Scott not Harry came home with her that very day. Sir Harrison Scott is a West Highland Terrier. He was very young when he was bought by his previous people. They were quite elderly and passed away soon after their purchase, making the young dog an orphan.

So, the orphan and widow became inseparable.

In addition to her travels with Jim, Critchfield's father moved the family around a lot too. He was in the U.S. Diplomatic Corps.

Still she has found contentment in the little town of Payson and many activities to enjoy, though she would like the opportunity to visit a Dillards or Target more frequently.

Once the new Target opens in Fountain Hills, she thinks that will help address her shopping issues.


Name: Scooter Critchfield.

Occupation: Retired boutique and gallery owner.

Employer: none.

Age: You'd never guess.

Birthplace: San Francisco.

Personal motto: If it's not fun and doesn't make me happy, I don't do it.

Inspiration: A long time ago, I learned not to hero worship. We are all the same.

Greatest feat: Living so long.

My favorite hobby/leisure activity is: I love to play piano, read, design sweaters and knit.

The three words that describe me best are: Happy, optimistic and giving.

I don't want to brag, but ... my dog is the best dog in the world.

The person in history I'd most like to meet is ... somebody who lived in Pompeii when Vesuvius erupted.

Luxury defined: Anything and everything that makes me comfortable.

Dream vacation spot: Italian Riviera.

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