Belfast Telegraph

Just what kind of date would my dog go on?

By Frances Burscough

Last week I reported with much mirth on a new service being offered to the posh owners of pedigree dogs. This involved a “Doggie dating” site, endorsed by the Kennel Club, through which owners can match-make their pets with a well-bred partner for propagation purposes. For a fee, of course.

Now it is common knowledge that in-breeding in human beings is not advisable. In the dog world, however, this practice seems to be encouraged to “keep the bloodline pure”.

With three dogs of my own running riot around the house, the very last thing I want is another litter to add to all the litter. Nevertheless the idea of a dating service for four-legged Lotharios and canine Casanovas piqued my curiosity. So I decided to ask my dogs to fill in a dating questionnaire, based on the one that you get on Match.com, but adapted here for dogs.

First up — Heidi. Here’s what she wrote:

“Name: Heidi. Breed: Miniature Schnauzer. Age: Three years. Location: Ballyholme. Hair colour: Salt ‘n’ pepper. Hairstyle: Naturally wavy. Eyes: Brown. Body Type: Petite but with child-bearing hips!

Write a paragraph to introduce yourself (Hint: remember, you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression...)

“Hello Boys! About me? Well, where do I start? Yes, I like Pina Colada! (joke). No, seriously, I’ve never done this sort of thing before, but here goes ... I may be a miniature breed but there’s certainly nothing “miniature” about my personality! Friends would say I’m the life and soul of any pack. I’m lively, fun to be around and I like nothing better than barking loudly for no apparent reason. I’m not complicated and I have no baggage (apart from a foldaway doggie-bed from Pets At Home) so I’m easy to get along with. You might even say I’m a “bowl half-full” kind of a character!

My favourite role-models include Lady off Lady and the Tramp, the Obama’s water spaniel Bo (the First Dog of America) and Lassie.

My favourite activities include playing ball, chewing dirty socks, chasing birds and barking incessantly day and night. I also love shredding newspapers for recycling and tearing holes in underwear for no apparent reason.

My pet-hates include the postman, going to the vets and baths.

What are you looking for in a partner?

I would like to meet someone who’s tall, dark and handsome but within my own breed — it’s just simpler that way, less of a culture shock. Ideally I’m looking for a Giant Schnauzer-type dog who lives within bolting distance of my front gate. He should be dominant, a good pack leader and with a sound knowledge of the best places to eat out (eg Where the best bones are buried). He should be active and fit (no lazy-hounds please!) and enjoy working out with a Frisbee or playing fetch at a competitive level. An ability to swim would also be advantageous as I live by the seaside.

He should know how to satisfy me in all aspects of our relationship, so he will probably have had some past experience and, ideally, a grown-up litter of his own (who’ve now left home, of course!). That said, he should be in touch with his feminine side too, and be well-groomed at all times. Dog-breath for me is a massive turn-off so I’d expect mint-flavoured dog chews to be an important part of his daily ablutions too.

He should have his own kennel, which is kept tidy at all times. He will be well-educated and articulate, with a firm grasp of all the usual commands and fluent in at least one other animal language.

Obedience and loyalty, however, are the characteristics I admire most in a dog, as well as virility and fertility.

If this sounds like you, then write to me and let’s take it from there!

No timewasters, please.”

Then it was Bailey’s turn. He was rather more selective in his response. In fact he only answered two questions:

Name: Bailey. What are you looking for in a partner? Any bitch in heat.

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