Match-making and pet adoptions are a lot a like, here’s how

Categories: PHS Blog

“I give up. I’m done with relationships.” he said with a dismissive wave as he slumped down onto the barstool. His deep depression momentarily lifted at the sight of the handsome bartender putting down two chilled martinis in front of us.

“Scratch that. I spoke too soon,” he said smiling at the bartender, who gave a sly wink as he walked away.

I rolled my eyes, and welcomed my dear friend with a hug. For years now, he’s jumped from one passionate love affair to another – changing boyfriends as often as Cher changes wigs. He’s a great guy – but he tends to prioritize looks over substance, so he finds himself heartbroken when the pretty face doesn’t match the reality of the person.

“So things didn’t work out with Ben, huh?” I asked, hunkering down for a long, melodramatic diatribe about how there are no good men out there, he’ll never find love, and he’ll die alone in his apartment – likely in a sad freak accident choking on a peanut M&M while watching Golden Girls reruns, wearing a floral caftan and charcoal mud mask. Theater majors. So dramatic.

“He was so hot!” he whined. “You should see his Instagram feed. It’s amazing. He does biking tours around the world, hikes, climbs mountains, and skydives! He just won’t sit still, and it got exhausting. I really wanted it to work! What am I doing wrong? ”

I took a sip of my martini and exhaled.

“You don’t own a bike, you never hike, and you’re afraid of heights,” I said flatly.

He stared at me aghast.

“I’m not a couch potato, Jack. I do stuff! Just not particularly athletic, outdoorsy stuff. I have very fair skin and you know I sunburn easily!” he said, a bit defensively.

“I’m just saying you like the idea dating of an athletic, active person – but the reality of them doesn’t fit into your life. You want a labrador retriever puppy, but you’d be better off with an adult Basset Hound.”

He looked at me quizzically, wondering if I was possibly having a stroke.

“Just follow me on this for a second.” I said.

I told him about one of our adoptable dogs, Cashmere (A451329), an adorable pitbull mix with a smile made for Instagram. Seriously, this dog cannot take a bad picture. She’s sweet, charming, athletic with lots of charisma and enthusiasm. Her outgoing and adventurous personality is fun to be around – and she’d probably be a great running partner since she has boundless energy.

I took out my phone, pulled up her photo and showed him.

“O-M-G! I love her!” he squealed.

“I know, right?” I agreed, quickly scrolling to a photo of a different dog, Buddy (A355432), a spry senior pit bull with equally photogenic Instagram appeal.

Buddy is just as fantastic – but has a totally different vibe. Our behavior team has nicknamed him “Potato” because his idea of the perfect day is hanging out watching television, taking leisurely naps, and going for an evening stole.

“Shut up! I can’t stand the cuteness. It’s too much cute. I can’t even. Just stop it.” he exclaimed, not looking away from the photo.

So I asked him of the two dogs I just showed him, which he thought he’d better suited to have as a furever companion.

“I want them both because they are perfect and squishy and happy,” he said, “But if I’m being honest, Buddy would probably be a better match for me. He sounds like he’d be ok with me playing video games for hours on end.”

“And Cashmere would probably be a great match for Ben,” I added, “They could be active and outdoorsy together!”

People often visit our shelter to meet an adoptable pet they saw on our website or in social media. The photo, description or video captures their interest – so they arrive hopeful that it will be a good match, and they’ll live happily ever after. Many times that’s exactly what happens – and it’s awesome. The benefit of adopting a pet from our shelter though is that we take the time to understand you and your lifestyle – and then work to thoughtfully match you with the type of pet that will more likely complement your pace and energy level. So in a lot of cases, people come in interested in a specific pet – and end up leaving with a completely different one they wouldn’t have considered, but seem to fit perfectly.

“So basically you’re saying I need an adoptions counselor for my love life.” he said, holding up his martini class.

“Pretty much.” I said, clinking my martini glass with his, “to finding the right match!”

“Cheers to that!”