Sunday, August 12, 2012

Love and the Single Pet Parent

Via New York Post - Being a single pet owner isn’t always a walk in the park — there’s no one to share early morning toilet trips or stressful vet appointments. But Rover and his needs can cramp your style when it comes to romance, too.

Charlotte Reed, a pet-care and lifestyle expert at The Pet Socialite Inc., says Friday night’s hot date shouldn’t be cut short thanks to a standing appointment to walk the dog. It’s a lesson she learned the hard way: Years ago, as a city single, she was a devoted dog mommy, but felt challenged and stretched by her pet responsibilities.

Like an overwhelmed single mother, she let herself go, wearing sweatpants to the dog park and never meeting anyone. That is, until the day she asked herself a simple question: Other than a pet owner, who are you?

Reed quickly realized she’d placed so much focus on her dog duties that she’d put her romantic life on hold. So she ditched the sweatpants, found a dog walker and began planning her social engagements in advance.

“A lot of people forget about all the other parts of themselves,” says the 47-year-old former attorney. “People become frustrated, spending all their time not meeting anyone and saying ‘Gee, I miss my other life.’ ”

Dating sites like, where singles upload photos of themselves and their four-legged friends, have helped thousands of pet owners find similarly animal-mad soul mates. But Reed, who married a fellow animal lover four years ago, says it’s still possible to find — and keep — love with a pet-less partner.

“He has to have a good sense of humor when the dog craps in his shoes,” says Reed, who stresses the importance of keeping your home tidy and pet clean so your love interest isn’t put off by pet hair on the sofa. “It’s nice if they end up loving your dog and you can build your family together.”

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Written by Jessica Firger
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