BY SHARON GITTLEMAN
DETROIT – Still looking for the love of your life? Your future may lie in your best friend’s paws.
Canine To Five is hosting an after Valentine’s Day party from 7-9:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, at its midtown Detroit doggy day care location on 3443 Cass Avenue.
The singles meet-up for gay and straight animal fans will continue on the third Thursday of every month at the site.
Owner Liz Blondy, 32, understands how pets can improve your chances of making a love connection. She’s seen it for herself.
Blondy came up with the idea for the singles bash when two unattached dog owners came to a customer celebration at her facility in January.
“They met and clicked,” she said. “They got together since then. It got me thinking. I figured this is a good icebreaker for people.”
A puppy figures in the mix of her own true romance.
“I’m engaged,” said Blondy, a Detroit resident. “Instead of a diamond ring, he bought me a Newfoundland. Bunny is 14 weeks (old).”
Most men and women expect pet owners to be naturally more friendly and positive, she said.
Blondy’s facility not only offers cage-free attended dog boarding, obedience classes and full service grooming for felines and canines, there’s a 4,700-square-foot indoor doggy play facility with toys and lounging furniture.
“We’re the only doggie day care in Detroit,” she said.
Party attendees can mingle over coffee and cake while they scout out their future partner.
“It’s a way for people to bond over their love of their dog,” she said.
She plans to use nametags so people without gaydar can spot LGBT folks and straights.
There’s an extra bonus if you meet your intended at the gathering.
“We will board their dog for free,” she said.
Gay guests are as welcome at the event as non-LGBT singles, she said.
“I have a lot of gay friends,” said Blondy. “I see what they go through to meet people with common interests.”
Her daycare has a lot of gay customers, she said.
Canine To Five raises money for WAGS -Wonderful Animals Giving Support, a group that provides gift certificates for food and vet care for pet owners with HIV-AIDS, said Blondy.
If you do find a companion at her gathering, you’ll want to help your animal build affection for its new housemate with care, she said.
“Introduce the dogs on a neutral territory,” she said. “Show equal amounts of attention to both dogs, feeding them separately to start. That’s when we see aggression. A well-exercised dog is a happy dog.”
What can you do if their delight in each other’s company doesn’t match you and your newfound significant other’s joy?
“Have patience,” she said.
Humans aren’t the only ones to find friends at the daycare. Blondy sees canine connections develop all the time.
“We have a dog named Mr. Nibbles,” she said. “He came on a day when Buster came. They hit it off and played together all day. Mr. Nibbles is a Westie. Buster is a small terrier mix.”
Blondy has one goal in mind for her after Valentine’s Day party.
“For people to meet and fall in love,” she said.
She describes herself as a true romantic.
“I would say cheesy sappy love stories make me cry,” she said. “Watching two people meet and bond over their dogs and progress to finding other things in common makes me happy.”
Why do dogs add so much contentment to their owners’ lives, both single and married?
“They provide unconditional love. They are always happy to see you at the end of the day,” she said. “Everybody should be so lucky to find a partner in life that loves them as much as their dog does.”
Coffee and deserts will be served at the get-together. There will be an $8 charge for the event. Canine To Five is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.