The love experts at YourTango note that “Pet ownership among single people increased from 46.9% in 2006 to 54.7% in 2011.” Blogger Liz Newman says that’s because “pets inherently know only one way to love: unconditionally.” She goes on to talk about how she acquired her 7 pound maltese, Joe, after a breakup. She says, “I wasn’t even thinking about getting a dog, but he came into my life and was an instant healer; it was remarkable.”
Regular readers know that I rescued my dog Buddy back in November after Hurricane Sandy. I didn’t adopt him so much to avoid feeling lonely, but having a male companion around – even of the canine variety – certainly does go a long way toward making me feel centered. When I’m home working and my daughter’s at school, I can always take a quick break for a doggie hug if I need it, and the routine of taking him out for walks and feeding him is soothing in its own way. Newman notes that “Widowers, divorcees [ed. note: that's me!], and separated couples with pets jumped from 51.3% to 60.4%,” and says she caught her divorced mom cradling her cat like a baby “on more than one occasion.” Full disclosure: I’ve tried to cradle Buddy but he doesn’t like it. He does, however, throw his arms around my neck like a baby and lick my lips and face which is the cutest thing in the whole world. I mean, it’s totally gross, but it’s so adorable. What can I say? We’re in love!
Our Krishann noted in a post last month that not only can having a dog make you feel more loved, it can also lead to you finding love. She quotes another YourTango piece about how one in four owners have met dates while walking their dogs, and one third of owners have made new friends. Though I haven’t met a date on a dog walk yet, I certainly have made all kinds of doggie and owner friends, and seeing them at the park in the morning is something I look forward to each day. Krishann says, “This is similar to the mom who has made a friend at the park playing with her little ones or a friendship that blossomed out of a play date between children.” So true! And as I noted the other day, dog children are being treated like human children more than ever, since we’re now giving our canine kids human names. It’s about to get real confusing up in the playground! “Chloe! Oh no, not you Chloe, dog Chloe. But tell Jack I said hi! No, not your dog Jack, your friend Jack. He’s buddies with my dog Buddy.”
It totally makes sense to me that dog ownership could lead to love, because if a human can display that they’re a caring, responsible and tender pet owner, it signifies that they might be a good romantic partner. That’s why dating websites like OK Cupid ask about pet ownership and whether or not users like cats and/or dogs. It’s not to identify allergies, it’s to help people sniff out a loyal love.