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Animal Fair

Sex & The City Dog

By Tina Traster

I knew she would be perfect for him. Those long legs, come-hither eyes, wicked waggle. She's playful, but demure. She doesn't eat off his plate (not until he's finished) - some guys really hate that. And she rolls onto her back pretty easily.

When I first set eyes on Chloe, I knew she was right for Chelsea (a male). I hopped right to the matchmaking. In no time flat, they were like two birds in a nest, or more literally, two New York City dogs who are left alone most of the day because their dog parents are out working to pay for designer pet food.

Knowing how tough it is to be single in New York, I envy the happy union I have created for my pooch, a luscious Shih Tzu with golden tresses and large olive eyes. Chloe is part Shih Tzu (the neck up) and part Tibetan Terrier (from the neck down). She's lithe and athletic - what more could a man want?

The twosome love the companionship, but no one is happier than me. Dogs do not like to be left alone, and they let you know it. You can leave the radio playing or stack up bones, but they want another warm body nearby. It comforts them when another four-legged creature is within sniffing distance.

When I come home in the evening, I feed and walk them. Late at night, when the wind is howling, and I'm in my PJs, Chloe's owner does the late-night shift. (That really takes the edge off needing a husband).

Chloe has a lovable demeanor. She's the kind of solicitous dog who looks into your eyes with a soulful gaze that says 'feed me and stroke me and I'm satisfied'. But Chloe has her idiosyncrasies. She needs to be walked for many, many streets before she will leave anything behind. Chloe occasionally decides to become a raccoon and invade an indoor garbage can. She doesn't even look remorseful when I fetch the saliva-licked empty dog food can out from under the dining room table. Chloe once treated herself to the leg of my dining room chair.

"Is this really worth it," I yelped, and then looked into Chelsea's eyes, which beseeched me to find forgiveness, while reminding me this was a fluke. I did.

Chloe's worse offense is not really her fault. She produces the most offensive flatulence. While I'm sitting on my couch, winding pasta around my fork, a deadly fetor wafts up and makes me gag. "Oh, Chloe, you're so stinky. Go over there." She looks up, rolls over and continues to let loose.

Now I'm sure Chelsea is not perfect, though I can scarcely think of anything he does that offends me. (A true case of motherly love.) Chloe, on the other hand, is like my adopted child, and while I've grown to love her, I'm more sensitive to her uncomely dog habits.

Nevertheless, I would not even consider giving Chloe the boot. There's nothing like that moment in the morning when Chloe is dropped off and the two do the Mexican standoff, turning my area rugs into bunches. I love when Chloe sprints for the far reaches of the apartment, and Chelsea (nine years old) bounds after her like a puppy. It's priceless to watch Chelsea cherry-pick his food meticulously, while Chloe sits by patiently waiting for uneaten scraps. Every now and then, Chelsea gets a little too close, and Chloe tells him so with a nip at his ear.

We humans in search of mates can learn a lot from dogs. These two have learned how to live and play together. They also know when to take refuge in opposite corners of the room. What I notice most is they don't compete. Even though Chelsea is mine, he lets me dole out love to Chloe, so long as I've given him the first pat on the head when I come home at night. Likewise, Chloe let's me indulge Chelsea when I hoist him onto my bed, and she, despite those Barbie doll-type legs, does not leap up.

Chelsea's relationship affords me guilt-free time away from home. When Chloe's there, I feel less dastardly about leaving Chelsea. Searching for the ideal partner takes serious hunting. (It seems every scent I follow leads nowhere.) Maybe Chelsea and Chloe will find me a perfect mate. A woman walking two adorable canines is supposed to be a good man magnet. "Hey guys, get your leashes on. We're going out!"

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