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Thursday, October 18, 2007Dog For Dating....................
A puppy will do wonders for your dating chances, but not all guys want another alpha-dog in the relationship. What Kristine Kern’s puppy has done to her dating life is make it more complicated—and that’s all good. Here she shares her experience and also includes a list of the top three date-bait breeds.
I had a feeling it would work. And it didn’t take long. I had only been living in New York for about a month when my investment paid off. It was a rainy July day. I had been working at home all morning. As lunchtime approached, my stomach started grumbling and my puppy needed a walk. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and set off with the dog to a nearby deli. Both of us arrived drenched.
A tall, older guy asked, “What kind of dog is that?”
“He’s an Italian greyhound,” I said. “His name is Puccini.”
“Oh. I think I’ve seen you guys around.”
“Yeah, we live right up the block.” I smiled and started toward the door.
The tall guy made his move. And just like that, it happened—I got asked out at the deli! All thanks to Puccini.
I didn’t have a dog when I decided to move to New York. But my friends with dogs had long regaled me with tales of companionship, undying devotion, and puppy kisses. I also knew that if you have one, you have to leave your house several times a day, no matter what the weather’s like or how you’re feeling. What better way to ease myself into a new life in a new city?
I didn’t get just any dog, of course. Puccini is 11 pounds of elegance and energy. It’s hard to walk down the street with him without causing a stir. In short, he’s a conversation starter.
My dog-enhanced social life would not surprise Deborah Wood, author of The Dog Lover’s Guide to Dating: Using Cold Noses to Find Warm Hearts. “If you meet a stranger, it is normal for them to stay three to five feet away,” she says. “But when they reach down to pet your dog, they’re much closer. The dog has truly helped break your barriers.”
Wood’s book is full of interesting little tidbits. For instance, I loved finding out about the top three date-bait breeds:
1. Golden retriever.
2. Any scruffy terrier mix.
(The three least useful: pit bull, rottweiler, and any sort of yapping little dog.)
Even though Puccini isn’t a top-three breed, my problem changed very quickly from how to meet a guy to how to keep a guy. Some of you will know what I’m talking about. The rest will catch on when I tell you that I sleep with my dog. In my defense, I will say only this: I have never met an Italian greyhound owner who doesn’t. I’m not saying it’s right, or admirable, but the fact remains: Puccini shares my bed.
Not surprisingly, many guys don’t get it. And even those who don’t make it to that point can have trouble with the role Puccini plays in my life. I’ll never forget the first time I made out with a guy in my apartment. From behind the doggie gate in the kitchen, the pooch went bonkers. He howled and yowled and made sounds I’d never heard before. You can imagine what it did for the mood.
Eventually, Puccini learned to live with such male impositions. Truth be told, he loves men. OK, he loves everyone, but he’s shown a real affection for some of my dates. It’s not always been reciprocated, though. One Friday night, a guy I’d been seeing came over. He walked into the apartment with a rather long face, went into my bedroom, slumped on the floor against the bed, and said, “I’ve got to tell you something.” The possibilities whizzed through my head: He’s dying of cancer; he doesn’t want to see me anymore; he’s got herpes. He finally let it out: “I really don’t think I like your dog.”
It’s funny, sure. But it’s also problematic. I’ve learned since then to “position” the dog—set expectations low. I immediately tell a new guy that he’ll hate my dog. I cop to the fact that Puccini is hyper and spoiled. The guys always laugh. And then, when they meet him, he’s not that bad. Some of them even end up liking him. (He is adorable, after all!)
Introducing your new man to your (old) dog tells you a lot about the man. The other day over lunch I asked a friend if she slept with her dog. “Of course,” she replied. But what about her new husband? How did he take to sharing the bed? “I don’t think I’d ever date a guy who didn’t like my dog,” she said firmly.
Still, as someone who has “kept her options open” and remained single longer than most, I chafed a bit at the realization that Puccini was a new non-negotiable in my life. Then I started thinking about the upside, which is substantial. My dog has taught me more about who I am, and that actually makes it easier to navigate the sea of potential dates. You can’t get what you want until you know what you want. In my case, that’s now a guy who’ll share the love—with Puccini.
Source: Tango Magazine