Q: Spring has sprung, and I feel the sap beginning to run. I've been divorced now for five years, and I want to be in love again. But how to meet someone? I've tried nearly everything from asking friends to introduce me to attending various "singles" gatherings. So far, no luck.
I've decided to go the next step and take out a personal ad on an Internet dating site. I've also decided to be bold and post a picture. Should I pose with my dog, Fluffster? I want any potential boyfriend on notice that I come as part of a package deal. Love me, love my dog.
A: Your photographic presentation in your Internet personal ad is important. You don't want Fluffster to distract anyone from noticing you. Women who clutch their pets in personal ad photos send inflexible messages. A potential mate might wonder if there's room for him. Since perception is reality, it becomes a stranger's real impression.
If you have a casual shot of you and Fluffster, you might send it to any man with whom you've begun to correspond after he replies to your ad. You could talk about the dog in your life. Be flirty about the whole thing. Don't be disappointed if he isn't a dog doter. At this very early stage, you're still testing the dating waters. You should be open and responsive. For a first impression, Dog Lady doesn't recommend making a rigid stance such as "love me, love my dog." Your ad photo should be a smiling headshot of you. Save Fluffster for another close-up.
Q: I am looking for helpful advice on taking my dog on an airplane for the first time. Simon is a rescue dog that I got last summer. He weighs approximately 8 pounds, so he can fit in a bag under the seat. I have purchased a carrier for him to travel in and have been "travel training" with him a little each day around the house. Do you have any advice/tips that can make this as uneventful as possible?
A: You're very smart to rehearse with Simon. The hardest part of taking a dog along for the ride often involves coaxing the animal into the travel crate. You might want to schedule a quick visit to your veterinarian and inquire whether a tiny touch of a sedative would speed Simon's travel. Also, hold back on his water before the flight so he doesn't have an urge to go en route. The minute you leave the plane, take him outside for a potty break and give him water. Carry a portable bowl in your purse, as well as a bag of treats.
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Monica Collins offers advice on dogs, life and love. Her website is www.askdoglady.com. Contact her at email@example.com.