Who Have You Met Through Your Dog?

Photo Credit: IStockphotoFor me, the most endearing thing about 101 Dalmatians is the fact that, without their dogs’ involvement, Roger and Anita would likely never have met, fallen in love, and married. Two spotted dogs named Pongo and Perdita ignited this animated romance.

Another dog-arranged marriage happened in real life for my dear friend Beth and her husband Michael. As the story goes, while hiking in the forest Beth and her adorable, goofy dog named Nimbo became separated. Given his hound-mix pedigree, it was suspected that Nimbo simply got “lost in his nose”. Beth spent hours searching and asking everyone she encountered on they trail if they’d spotted Nimbo. Just as she was about to give up the search, down the trail came a tall, handsome fella named Michael with Nimbo in tow. The rest is history!

Now, here’s one more story that I love. As reported by The Huffington Post, the love affair between Claire Johnson and Mark Gaffey began at a guide dog training course during which their own two guide dogs, Venice and Rodd, couldn’t stop playing with one another. After Gaffey and Johnson learned that they only lived a mile apart from one another, they set up some play dates for their two besotted dogs. Before long, the humans were the ones who were besotted. In fact they are now newlyweds. Referring to herself and Gaffey, Johnson stated, “Much like our two guide dogs, we really are best friends and soul mates.”

Now it’s your turn to tell your story. Who have you met through your dog? Perhaps that person has become your best dog walking buddy, a wonderful friend, or even a life partner. Please explain how you met and provide a description of the canine matchmaker. Last but not least, I invite you to share this article with those special people who are part of your life all because of your dog.

Best wishes,

Nancy Kay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health.   There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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11 Comments on “Who Have You Met Through Your Dog?

  1. My future husband had lost a very loved dog companion to a tragic accident and because of this loss he decided to travel around Montana that summer.

    He ended up stopping in the town where I was living and began to volunteer walking dogs at the Humane Society in which I was working. I was the Volunteer Coordinator and also ran the Paws Ahead training program for the dogs staying at the shelter.

    He soon fell in love with a mixed breed dog that had been surrendered to the shelter named Zoe and adopted her. She was a wonderful black and white spotted dog and lived for another 12 years. She is buried under a pine tree on our property. We have been married for almost 10 years! All because of the love of dogs.

  2. Dr. Kay, I hope gaining a “daughter” counts:
    In 1998 we were asked to have a Japanese student visit us for the Fourth of July weekend. We picked her up at the train station and when we arrived home, Dan-Ba, our nine-year-old black Tibetan Terrier decided he would be in charge of charming and entertaining.
    Keiko was a tiny, sweet girl with limited English skills; but to Dan-Ba language was no barrier. Very quickly the two became inseparable. If Keiko was on the sofa, Dan-Ba was snuggled up next to her. If we were in the car, Dan-ba was in Keiko’s lap. When we hiked, Keiko had Dan-Ba’s leash in her hand. If we went to take a photograph, Keiko quickly pulled Dan-Ba close so he would be in the picture with her.
    Dan-Ba has always been very dear to us and it was very special to see him charm and captivate this young lady from a foreign country. But the most touching moment was yet to come. The morning Keiko was leaving she said to us: “Before I come to your house, I did not like dogs. I would not touch them. But now I like them.”
    We have no children and as a result of Dan-Ba’s infatuation, Keiko and her American husband have become our surrogate children. With their parents living in Japan and Hawaii we have been able to enjoy having two wonderful young people in our lives—and soon to be three when their first child is born this summer.
    Submitted by Carole and Bob Kreis, Denver, CO
    (PS: I have a wonderful photo of Dan-Ba and Keiko I’d like for you to see. Is it possible to submit a photo?)

  3. We met our wonderful pet sitter who is now a good friend through our golden who we lost at 15. We were all so close that she was with us when he crossed the rainbow bridge.

  4. No romance through dogs, but several very special friendships have been made through a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel email list that started (we think) about 18 yrs ago. It started as a Hoflin list and has gone through a few moves since Hoflin shut down all it’s breed lists. But a core of people have stayed over the years.

    I have met many in person and even staying in the homes of a couple, and others in my home. Some of us talk regularly on the phone as well. Many years ago, we got together in Maine for a puppy party and I’m still in touch with two of the 4 others who were there.

    We’ve seen one another’s children grow up and marry, shared the heartbreaking loss of many Cavaliers over the years, as well as the joy of new ones. It’s a moderated list so we don’t have ugliness, which always causes members to leave.

    It’s been a nice way to start each day, reading about one another’s dogs and their lives.

  5. While my story is not as romantic and a matter of chance fate, my dogs have had a huge impact on my life and meeting of others. Definitely I haven’t met and fell in love with someone through my dogs, as I already was happily married and I’m sure my wife wouldn’t approve! Just kidding of course.

    Seriously however, my dogs have made me a far better person for having them in my life. They are one more common interests that my wife and I share with great passion, thus a stronger bond of love between my wife and I exists and grows. Our breed of choice, the Bernese Mountain Dog, has expanded our friendships with others whom love and are just as passionate about the breed as we are. Occasionally, friendships have been created through our dogs upon meeting strangers, where upon we’ve exchanged brief pleasantries and parted with shared smile, only to eventually chance meet again and a friendship developed. There is our favorite responsible breeder whose friendship we hold so dear in our hearts, knowing we can always count on her trusted knowledge and advice. We have made friends with others, whose love of heart and compassion call to them to operate rescue organizations from whom we have adopted, loved and forever homed dogs that have come into their care. Through our dogs we have also opened the door to meeting others in the future, through online dog groups, at dog shows and BMD regional and national specialty shows that may turn into wonderful personal friendships. Friendships that currently are but only online, but with whom we look forward to meeting because through their words reflect their same love, care and passion of the breed as ours. Our love isn’t just centered on our dogs and our breed of choice, but holds true of all dogs in general. Through the love and bond we share together with our dogs, they are the reason that fosters an open door to us of a vast amount of friendships that we can create, nurture and grow. Friendships of heart warming closeness,, knowledge, compassion, care and love, all because of our dogs. Every day our dogs teach us more about ourselves, allowing us to be a better person. There is so many more “others to met because of our dogs” out there just waiting to say hello to and quite possibly developing another new friendship for life.

    In summary, through my dogs I have met myself, and every day I thank them and love them for it.

  6. Romance and canine agility have much in common.

    Canine agility is a sport where dogs are taught to jump hurdles, weave through poles, scamper through tunnels, wrap around barrels and gates, and climb A-frame structures — even balance on a beam suspended five feet above the ground. Your dog’s time on the course measures success.

    Romance presents obstacles of its own. Some are more challenging than others and only those who can skillfully navigate them while keeping the relationship intact win the ultimate prize — love that lasts beyond this life.

    It is therefore only natural that I met LeAnn at an agility trial some three years ago. She might tell you that it was more than three years. I guess she had her eye on me but I hadn’t weaved through my own issues to the point where I even recognized that I was being pursued. Duh.

    LeAnn runs Bear, an exuberant and powerfully built Black Lab. He is nearly 7 now but runs with the gusto, and sometimes the attention span, of an adolescent. My dog is Dixie and she is a Lab as well. For the record, an 11 year old yellow Lab mix. She is a “tripawd.” What he lacks in speed, she more than makes up for in sheer determination.

    In agility, dogs don’t compete against one another. Nevertheless, Bear run in the same category. He usually gets called to the starting line one or two dogs before Dixie. LeAnn and I began chatting about our strategy as we walked the various courses together in preparation for 30 seconds of controlled adrenalin rush before the judge. Each move was choreographed and scrutinized to insure that our dogs finished the course free of errors and as quickly as possible. LeAnn is an expert handler and I am a hacker. Bear’s times on the course are usually a few seconds faster than Dixie’s. Sometimes, Dixie sneaks ahead. Either way, it made for a great rivalry and LeAnn is mischievously competitive.

    We started chatting on Facebook. We met for lunch and talked about our dogs. There were hikes with the dogs. LeAnn loves the outdoors. So do I. Then there was a movie. Now we were working without a safety net, as dogs aren’t allowed in most theaters. The friendship has since evolved into something special that neither one of us can yet define. All we know is that it feels great and we have learned to cherish moments together without looking ahead too far. Our dogs were the catalyst for it all. Now they are woven into the very fabric of our relationship.

    We are both have grown children which hints to our ages (she would remind you that I am 8 years her senior). There have been personal demons. We have had our own A-frames to climb and tunnels to plow through when it seemed we would never find the light at the end. Life can make you jump through a lot of hoops. Agility has been the perfect metaphor for our relationship. Now we’re heading for the finish line. It looks to be a clean run!

  7. What a lovely situation you have described Ellie. Thanks so much for sharing your story!

  8. This is not a boy-girl tale of doggie Cupid. But, it has its own depth and results.

    Single, older women too often are “left out,” not part of couple-society. So walking in Central Park her in NYC on a beautiful day–the rest of the world seems to have it all together. You go totally unnoticed, unappreciated, and the beauty of our park–or anyone’s park–seems to be only for others. You would just leave, the feeling that overwhelming. But, accompany a dog–big/small/cute/beautiful–ANY dog, and suddenly, people smile at you, make eye contact, even talk with you. This first, wonderful experience then becomes the center of a day, and the circle grows. In my/our case, we now have a wonderful group of women with small dogs who are like family-friends. “Puppy Parties” twice a month, now friends to share movies and plays with, flea markets, dog events. Have a bad cold–Linda or Eugenia will walk your dog! Pup has gone to the vet for something–the phone calls start: How is he? What did the vet say? Does he need anything? Need a dogsitter for Susie–hey, I can help!

    Most of the dogs are rescues in our little group, but we’re not sure WHO rescued WHOM!

  9. I met a number of wonderful veterinarians, such as yourself. Haven’t met hubby through my dog (didn’t have one at the time) but he did marry me because of HIS dog. He wanted his dog’s approval on dating me. But Roxy fell in love with me and, as hubby says, he had to marry me in order to be able to keep his dog.