Their friendly demeanour and nose for adventure may make them man’s best friend, but recently I was out to find how our four-legged friends fare as a singleton’s wingmate.
Armed with some plastic bags and dog treats, I dognapped my friend’s chocolate Labrador for the day. With her shiny brown coat and big brown eyes, I figured I had chosen my accomplice into the world of doggy dating well — and if a survey by Pookinuk.com.au, an Australia-based doggie-loving retail website was right, I had. Labradors, the survey suggests, are the third best “date bait” for singles. Golden retrievers topped the list, followed by the brave and loyal Jack Russell terriers, while miniature poodles and boxers came in fourth and fifth.
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Instead of trying our luck at a dog park, Macy and I headed off to FastLife’s Puppy Love speed-dating event to gain a glimpse of how well dogs and dating mix.
Just before we reached the event, I found a snag in the doggie-dating world — my new wingmate doesn’t pick up after herself and the city isn’t too pleased when owners, or those charged with the dog’s care, don’t either. I quickly made a mental note to avoid shaking hands with the speed daters I was about to meet.
As we took our spots on the big red picnic blanket — women lining one side, men the other, Milkbones and bowls of water separating the two sides — I tried to learn what I could about the man and the dog sitting before me in the five-minute increments allotted to each date.
“He only speaks Spanish,” the owner of a husky told me. But I could already sense he and I had our own barriers to communication.
As each date and their dog took their spot on the blanket before me, my new wingmate did her job in garnering some attention from the men. Keeping her from walking through the bowls of water in front of her, however, made it difficult to focus all my attention on the men.
“Future events will be speed-dating dog walks through the park, which should be more pup friendly,” said Justin Parfitt, founder and CEO of FastLife speed-dating service, adding Toronto is the first city in which they’ve tried Puppy Love, but is planning to expand the event to cities across Canada in the coming months.
Macy and I may have struck out at Puppy Love, but she proved to be quite the wingmate, after all.