I had a feeling it would work. And it didn't take long. I had only been living in New York for about a month when my investment paid off. It was a rainy July day. I had been working at home all morning. As lunchtime approached, my stomach started grumbling and my puppy needed a walk. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and set off with the dog to a nearby deli. Both of us arrived drenched. A tall, older guy asked, "What kind of dog is that?"
"He's an Italian greyhound," I said. "His name is Puccini."
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"Oh. I think I've seen you guys around."
"Yeah, we live right up the block." I smiled and started toward the door.
The tall guy made his move. And just like that, it happened—I got asked out at the deli! All thanks to Puccini.
I didn't have a dog when I decided to move to New York. But my friends with dogs had long regaled me with tales of companionship, undying devotion, and puppy kisses. I also knew that if you have one, you have to leave your house several times a day, no matter what the weather's like or how you're feeling. What better way to ease myself into a new life in a new city?
I didn't get just any dog, of course. Puccini is 11 pounds of elegance and energy. It's hard to walk down the street with him without causing a stir. In short, he's a conversation starter.
My dog-enhanced social life would not surprise Deborah Wood, author of The Dog Lover's Guide to Dating: Using Cold Noses to Find Warm Hearts. "If you meet a stranger, it is normal for them to stay three to five feet away," she says. "But when they reach down to pet your dog, they're much closer. The dog has truly helped break your barriers."
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