Three years ago I had one dog and a flourishing dating life. One day a co-worker approached me and asked, “Paige, since you are single like me, I wanted to ask your opinion. As a single woman, what do you think about having two dogs as opposed to one? I am thinking of getting a second dog, but I do not want to be ‘that crazy single girl with a growing managerie of pets.’” I pondered for just a moment and said, “No, I don’t think you should get a second dog. People are going to judge you. Besides, we work in animal rescue as well…we’re surrounded by animals every day. No need to own more.” She ignored my advice and adopted a second dog the next week.
I would see her at work with her two dogs and ask about her dating life. Within weeks, she had found a great guy and was in a committed relationship with him and her two dogs. Good for her! She came up to me one afternoon and told me that she had just taken in an owner surrendered fluffy little puppy and I probably should not go look at it. I did. I was done for it the moment I walked in the room and at that instant realized I was about to break my own advice and be ‘that single girl with a growing menagerie.’ Two dogs, here I come.
My life immediately changed. The human roommates did not accept this addition to their household, so I began the search for a new place to live. I had to put dating and everything but work on-hold while I figured out the living situation. “Exciting! This is a fun new adventure! New dog. New house. Fun!” I kept telling myself as the thoughts of “What in the heck did I just do?” ruminated in my head.
I found a great new space and after the move was complete, I decided it was time to find my dog-kids a dad. Nononono, I’m joking! I would never call my dogs my “kids” and I would never act like a desperate single mom and attempt to find a man to provide for me and them. Seriously, I would not. I did however decide that I was ready to start dating now that I was settled in my new place.
This man came along. He was awkward and told me he liked cats, not dogs. For some reason I did not think this would be an issue and continued down the dating path with him and soon we were an item. Our relationship seemed great. He came over to my house every night after work. We never fought. He and the dogs co-existed. He even picked them up from daycare sometimes and watched them when I went out of town. Though, he still said “ICK!” and pulled his hands back every time one of the dogs licked him. He also avoided contact with them, in general. At the time, these glaring warning signs skipped right over me. I even decided to foster a litter of kittens for him so that he could get his cat fix. He bonded quickly to the kittens and I felt like a great person for being aware of his needs and bringing the felines in to my place to create the dog/cat balance. You are welcome, boyfriend!
A few weeks before Christmas (after we had picked-out and decorated a tree and I had purchased all of his X-mas gifts), he showed-up at my place and started crying. I handed him a kitten and he patted its head awkwardly and cried more. He eventually stuttered out that “he just did not see a future.” That was it. He could not elaborate. He left with tears pouring from his eyes and a huge hug followed by an “I love you…”
Obviously, I was confused. Things were fine. But now I was single. I tried to get more of an explanation but it was not until six-months later that I finally got something out of him. “Dogs, I don’t like them. I’m never dating someone with dogs again. You were going on a different path, working in animal rescue and opening a dog daycare? I was working a dead-end job and I don’t like dogs. We just weren’t compatible.”
A few months later I saw his online dating profile and under the question “Dog or Cat Person?” his said, “If you have dogs, we probably won’t work.” Ha.
Have your animals ever been blamed for the ending of a relationship?
Photo one and two courtesy of Flikr.