Must Love Dogs: A Valentine’s Tradition

Guest Blogger: Jeff Geissler
Must Love Dogs has become a Valentines day tradition for me. For the second year in a row I joined in on Animal Friends’ speed dating event in search of romance.

I was better prepared this year. That morning I slipped on my Homer Simpson Boxer shorts, and pulled up some rather goofy but lovable wool socks my mom knitted. That way, I could feel the power of two of my favorite people underneath my nervous presence.

Unlike last year, I brought a dog. I don’t have one, but I love them. It’s just that I have cats that do not like dogs. So before the event I went to the dog kennels to find a “wingman,” a proverbial person, or dog, who’ll assist me with the task at hand. Casey, a plus-sized Beagle mix with a powerful pull and bright smile, volunteered for the duty.

When Casey and I entered the room of romantics, I was instantly struck by how easy dogs have it. Their first introduction involves sniffing each others’ behinds.  I’m not sure how effective this is, or what is actually happening, but I do know that if I followed Casey’s lead on my human counterparts I’d probably be tarred and feathered.

Now for our mission – Casey and I had to meet 20 ladies for three and a half minutes each. That’s 70 minutes of awkward introductions and nervous chit chat.

Christy, my co-worker who organized the event, stepped up and asked the ten men to sit on the inside of a group of tables set in a square. A lady would sit opposite of the men and talk until Christy blew a whistle, signaling the women to move to the next suitor.

Most meetings were pleasant and easy-going. I think we all knew how unconventional this form of dating is, so it was okay to feel uneasy.

But I have to admit, some introductions were quickly followed by moments of extreme awkwardness. We would quickly fall into that void of nothing in common to talk about. I cannot describe how long three and a half minutes can feel. It’s almost like we would enter an undiscovered time dimension where seconds are elongated into minutes. I need to call Bill Nye the Science Guy about this.

Anyway, it was fun and different. I didn’t make any connections – again – but my dear sweet co-worker Gerry gave me some encouragement.

“Third time’s a charm,” she giggled.

So I’ll be the first to sign up for Must Love Dogs 2014.
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