10 Reasons Why a Dog Is a Single Girl's Best FriendPublished September 9, 2010
During my many years of getting hit on at bars, going on horrible blind dates, poring over profiles on Match.com and coming home to an empty apartment, I've had plenty of good, supportive friends. But, back when I was dogless, little did I know that no one's companionship would compare to my maltese/ shih-tzu/ yorkie mix, Cookie's. Man's best friend? Maybe. But I think a dog is a single girl's best friend. Here's why. 1. They offer unconditional love. A guy left you standing in front of a bar while he went to get his cell phone from the car - and never came back? (It really happened to me!) No worries - your puppy will greet you with open paws and without judgment, even though you left her alone to go out with a creep. 2. They feed your nurturing instincts. I'm maternal by nature, but am I ready to have a baby? Not alone! So Cookie is my baby. I get such fulfillment from taking care of her, brushing her, bathing her, playing with her, snuggling with her, showing off pictures of her and even singing to her. Yup, her ears flop up when she hears the Sesame Street classic, "C is For Cookie." 3. In some ways they can be better than babies. Sure, dogs are a lot of responsibility. But if you get a last-minute happy hour invitation after work, they'll happily continue their nap for a few more hours without you. No worrying about who'll relieve the nanny or calculating how much extra you'll have to pay the babysitter if you dare to indulge. 4. They help you get in shape. When I'd get home from a night of dinner and drinking pre-Cookie, I'd crash immediately with a full belly. Now I need to walk the pup. We'll sometimes walk for over an hour and afterward, I feel so much healthier than I used to. 5. They attract other dogs... As I type this post, I have three dogs running around my living room: Cookie; her Pomeranian friend, Szantos, who we met in the neighborhood last November; and his 4-month-old sister, Amiry. And when I finish typing, I'm jumping right back in to that doggie play group to get lots of snuggles and licks. 6. And girlfriends... Szantos and Amiry's mom is my friend, Christina. She lives two blocks away and has been my wingwoman and sounding board since Cookie and Szantos introduced us last year. She even came to Cabo with me in the Spring when I was dying to get away and all my college friends were planning trips with their husbands and kids (In case you were wondering, our dogs stayed with their respective grandparents). 7. And boyfriends. I've met plenty of men who've used Cookie as an innocent conversation starter. She's a man magnet! But no one knows the matchmaking power of a puppy better than Karina Gilbert, who met her husband, Joshua, at an NYC dog park. "That fateful morning at 7am, my dog, Ennie, was just waiting for another dog to come play with her. A handsome guy eventually showed up with his lab." And the rest is history. 8. They broaden your horizons. Sick of dating websites? Hanging around dog parks, obedience classes and pet stores gives you a whole new dating pool - and guys can't lie about their height if you meet them in person. 9. They're great screeners. When I meet a guy who loves Cookie, thinks it's cute when she snuggles with us in bed, and is always happy to walk or play with her, I know he's sweet, caring, easygoing and lovable. If Cookie loves him, he's a keeper. And if he has a dog of his own, then he's clearly mature and responsible enough to keep a growing creature alive and thriving. I smell husband material. 10. They make you happy to come home. Nothing is more depressing than an empty apartment (and an empty bed) when you crave company. Now that I have Cookie, I can't wait to run home to her every day - and cuddle up next to her at night. She curls up next to my belly in the "little spoon" position and all is calm in this dog-eat-dog world.