Sex & the Suburbs: Date Hunting at the Dog Park

Flickr: nvdia.corporation

With spring hopefully somewhere around the proverbial corner, scores of singles will be hauling their canines to one of CT’s dog parks. This is a fabulous place to bring your pooch (or borrow one) and check out other fellow animal lovers. But, be sure to check out the dog too because it can tell you a lot about the owner before you even have to engage in an awkward conversation with him or her. In other words, do judge a (potential) date by its dog.

Purebred v. Mutt: For the vast majority, a purebred was purchased and a mutt is a rescue. Purebred owners tend to be folks who aren’t really willing to take a chance on a rescue with issues. For the most part, they also tend to be a little more materialistic as they were willing to spend $1,000 on a furball as opposed to whatever the local shelter asked for to cover its expenses. Then again, if they have $1,000 to spend on buying a pet, they probably have a decent income. Those going for mutts/rescues want to take care of something that hasn’t had all the fair shakes in life. If you’re hauling around a lot of baggage, a single with a mutt is a good bet for you too.

Needy Dog: Okay, I fall into this category. My dog is a mutt and completely needy (and scared of every damn thing). She’s also not the brightest. I asked the Anti-Couric what this said about me, fearing what her oh-too-blunt response would be. “You like to be needed.” Okay, not a bad way to be.

Still Has Its Balls For No Good Reason: There is a Weimaraner at a dog park I frequent that still has its balls (and no, it’s not to breed him–and if it was, that would be even worse). He’s also kind of a jerk. And…so is his owner. Clearly, the owner doesn’t care about some poor female puppy who hasn’t been fixed yet getting knocked up because his dog humps like there’s no tomorrow. Not to mention, he over values masculinity to the point of being an irresponsible pet owner.

Physically Impaired: There is a manatee-looking dog named Lefty at my park. He’s named Lefty because he’s missing an ear. I also know a woman with a three legged dog. It takes a pretty special, compassionate person to adopt a dog with some physical impairments and limitations. Again, if you’ve got baggage, look for someone with a maimed dog.

Stand-Offish Dog: A friend has a lovely, beautiful dog who is also a bit of…a bitch. She likes to run and play, but if she doesn’t like you, or gets bored of playing, she becomes distant and standoffish, just wanting to be left alone. Now, my friend is not a bitch but he can be very much like his dog. It takes him a while to open up and if he doesn’t like you, he won’t make the effort of opening up. He’ll hang out and be social, but when he wants to be alone, he wants to be alone.

Hyper Dog: Okay, we can go one of two ways here. One might think that a hyper dog means an energetic owner–someone who is willing to be outdoors and tire that pup out. Or, you can also look at it as the owner being a bit lazy and not really making the effort to get the dog tuckered out. Pay attention to whether or not the owner is actively engaging the dog in a game of chase, playing fetch, etc. If the person is too lazy to take care of his dog, he’s too lazy to take care of you.

Other signs: Clearly, a dog owner not keeping an eye on their animal during a visit is not a cool person. Also, the owner that thinks their pup is never to blame during doggie altercations is probably also someone you don’t want to get into a domestic disagreement with. And, do you want to date someone who doesn’t vigilantly clean up their dog’s doody at the park? (Just think of the bathroom mess he or she will leave for you.) Don’t forget the obvious things: The chick who comes to the park all dolled up is probably high maintenance, and the dude who pimps his bulldog out in a spiked collar is probably a d-bag.

Happy hunting, and don’t forget the poop bags!