Story at a glance

  • A couple was preparing for a trip from Texas to Las Vegas when they discovered their chihuahua had stowed away in their luggage.
  • The 5-lb. chihuahua, Icky, was hiding in one of her owner’s cowboy boots.
  • The man’s uncle was able to come pick Icky up from the airport and take her home safely.

Kristi and Jared Owens received the surprise of their life last month when they unzipped their luggage at the airport to discover their 5-lb. chihuahua had stowed away inside.

“6lbs over weight [sic], and out pops a chihuahua from your boot!!” Jared wrote on Facebook. 

The couple had been checking their luggage at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport in Texas preparing for a trip to Las Vegas when Southwest gate agent Cathy Cook told them that their bag was overweight. To avoid paying an extra fee, the Owenses unzipped their bags to shuffle some items into their carry-ons when their chihuahua, Icky, popped out of one of Jared’s cowboy boots.

“Just coming out of the boot is Icky’s little bitty head bobbing up and down with her tongue out,” Jared Owens told the Washington Post. “I wish there would have been a picture of our faces when we opened that up and saw that.”

While Kristi Ownes had packed her belongings the previous night, Jared Owens hadn’t packed his until that morning before they left the house. 

“And the last things I packed were those boots,” Jared said.

Though the Owenses were embarrassed and concerned that Cook believed they had attempted to sneak their dog onto the plane, the Southwest agent took the incident in stride. 


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“Shout out to Cathy with #southwestairlines for her awesome customer service!! She offered to watch Icky until we got back!!” Jared Owens' Facebook post read.

The Owenses were able to contact Jared’s uncle, who quickly came to the airport to retrieve Icky and took her to stay with Kristi’s mother, who was taking care of the couple’s children and additional pets.

“We’re super grateful,” Kristi Owens said. “She’s super spoiled now — not that she wasn’t before, but it’s a little extra now.”


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Published on Oct 14, 2021