Friday, January 25, 2013

Dog Dating?

While I pride myself on immersing myself in Dog Mom culture, there is one element of this culture that I am not in the position to experience: Dog Dating.

Just Google "Dog Dating." This pic came from an article about it.
 Although many Dog Moms (like me!) are childless married women, using their dog as a "practice" baby, or caring for them in place of a child they cannot have (or do not want), a great number of Dog Moms are single women, giving their all into raising their dog, and maybe, even hoping that he or she will lead her to "The One."

The introduction to Dogs and the Women Who Love Them offers great insight into the world of Dog Dating. According to a 2005 study, 70% of the surveyed women with pets reported that they would be more likely to date or marry a man who has a pet. In order to help single Dog Moms (and Dads!) make a love connection, several online dating sites centered around dogs have sprung up, such as,, (Dog Lovers), and

Many women feel that their dogs will act as good judges of character for potential mates, and the book mentions quite a few stories of women whose dogs have helped to make or break a potential relationship.

So, even though I am already happily married and don't need to use my dog to play matchmaker, it doesn't stop men at the dog park from showing interest in my dog (and me?) while Apple and I are out playing without "Daddy."

Interestingly, the only time I have encountered men who seemed interested in Apple and I beyond typical dog park encounters has been at Onion Creek Park. However, I do often venture to this park alone as it is the closest one to our apartment and is better for a shorter visit. On three occasions, I have met men who might have been flirting with me, but with the exception of one very overt man, it is hard to really know.

The first guy had a really cute King Charles Spaniel, and Apple played really well with him. He was really friendly and told me his name really early on (something dog owners hardly do...we always exchange our dog's names) and he was even commanding my dog and playing with him more than a stranger at a park normally would. 

Now, I know it takes a village to raise a (fur)child, but I can't help but think any bystander at the park might have thought we came together. Or that we were together. Of course, I was nice and I enjoyed hanging out with him and his dog, but I made sure to keep my distance enough that he or anyone else around wouldn't get the wrong idea.

The second man was really flat-out weird. He came up out of nowhere at the creek and instantly my sweet, sociable dog was barking at him and guarding me. He kept trying to talk to me and I just felt creeped out! As he walked away after talking to me from a distance for not even 2 minutes, he told me his name (I didn't tell him mine!) and asked if I was single! WEIRD! Then I told him I was married and he walked off scoffing that the "good ones always are."

Later on that same day, I was relieved to actually meet a normal guy with a Pit Bull mix. Once again, our dogs played really well together and he talked to me for a long time. There isn't anything really suspicious to say about this encounter, except that he and the first guy gave me an "I'm single" vibe and seemed really interested in my dog....I just have to wonder if it's just my dog!

As I'm writing this, I am thinking about another guy I met at a dog event when I was by myself. He was interested in getting our dogs to hang out at another time and wanted to get my phone number, which made me nervous until his wife came up with the phone! I feel bad because I keep thinking I should call them to hang out...but I keep forgetting!

Probably some of the best advice I could give to "all the single ladies" out there would be to get a dog and go to a park! You could probably easily meet some men that way. And if the book (and my own experience) is correct, he will steer you away from the bad ones, so your dog can be the perfect wingman! Maybe your dog could find a love (or just a best friend) of their own, too.

Dog Dating: That's how Pongo and Perdita met!

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