Me: So do you have any pets?
M: When I was married we had a cat.
Me: Did you ever have any dogs?
M: No, I'm not a dog person. I mean everyone I know who has a dog starts a conversation with "I know he sometimes poops in the house and tears up my shoes, but he's really a great dog." I just don't get it. The shit, the hair the slobber...yuck.
Was now the time to broach the subject of Rudy, my 150 pound English Mastiff with jowls that hold a gallon of slobber each and a problem with recurring anal infections? I began to tip toe around the issue but then stopped myself. Any guy who couldn't handle a little slobber and occasional anal discharge (mine included) was not the guy for me.
Rather than make a big deal about it, I mean after all it's just a freaking dog, I mentioned I did have a dog and changed the subject. However, the day of reckoning was coming. After weeks of meeting each other at preset destinations, M was coming over to pick me up. This is a huge step for online daters as the very first rule of internet dating is never give your address to a date until you have ruled out, stalking, raping, murdering and facebook lurking. So far he had passed all the tests.
It is a well known fact that no one will ever love you like your dog does. There is an undying devotion that radiates from a dog that you just can't get anywhere else. For instance, one dark night, when I called my daughter H to bring me a key after locking myself out, she replied, "Uggghhhh. Ok. Right after Hoarders." Rudy on the other hand, stands outside of the bathroom door, when I duck in for a quick tinkle, like "Hey! You okay in there? You all right? Do you need help? Don't worry, I'm right here outside the door." When I emerge 60 seconds later, he looks at me, and starts jumping around. "YAY! It's YOU! You're back! You look awesome! You are amazing! Let's go have cheese slices!"
Also, when it comes to meeting new people, a dog just KNOWS. Many times when we are out walking people will stop and want to pet my "horse." If the tail wags, it's a go. If the back arches and a low growl rumbles, we run the other way. Poor M had no idea of the test he was about to take.
The moment of truth had arrived as I saw M's car pull into my driveway. Immediately, Rudy was on point as a car in the drive way is always a sign that something is about to go down. M emerged from the car and made his way up the walkway. Rudy took his place at the front door, and M's eyes grew wide as they looked at each other through the glass, almost eye to eye, mano y mano. Time stood still, and then it happened. The tail began to wag, the butt, anal glands included, began to move from side to side.
M stepped in cautiously, reached his hand out and layed it gently on Rudy's massive head. "Hello Rudy," he said. Then he looked at me, "I know you said you had a dog, but THIS is ridiculous!"
He held his ground as Rudy leaned up against him and rubbed a good wad of slobber on his nice black shirt. I could see he was trying hard to pretend this didn't gross him out, but no matter. He had us at hello.
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