Man Ignoring Dog

I’m single, which wouldn’t be a tragedy except for the fact that I prefer not to be alone on Friday nights, and I happen to live in Miami.

OK, perhaps it has nothing to do with Miami. Although it is true that plenty of people who live here come from places where pets aren’t always treated like they're part of the family. And that’s a big deal, seeing as my dogs sleep in my bed, my cats have their own room, and my bathrooms tend to get used as makeshift isolation wards to house everything from litters of stray kittens in the summer to thawing iguanas in the winter.

Let’s face it: Any man in my life needs to understand that animals are a priority. And there seem to be fewer “animal men” in South Florida than elsewhere, which is why I’ve had plenty of cause to ponder if I would ever date a man who didn’t like pets.

Hmmm . . . no. Here’s why:

They Are Adverse to Fur

I hate it when people get all finicky about pet fur. It’s just hair.

They Are Too Image-Conscious

I actually had one guy tell me that his tailor was going to be angry with him when my little min pin, Gaston, excitedly jumped up onto his lap. (I swear that dog has no taste!)

They Stress Over “Stuff”

I tend to buy high-quality things that last a long time, but I don’t lose sleep over stuff that my dogs break or things that my cats pee on. Sure, I may get upset at that moment, but it’s not a good reason not to keep pets.

They Think Pets Are Germy

I prefer to sleep with dogs beside me, but I can live without this perk. What I can’t accept is someone who thinks that pets are dirty and gross — and that they're going to give me a disease if I persist in sharing my “personal space” with them. (Someone actually said that to me. And he only got to say it once.)

They Just Don't Get It

If they weren’t brought up loving pets, we couldn’t possibly have enough in common to keep us together, anyway. Just imagine what would happen if he knew how much I spend on my animals every month!

Check out more of Dr. Patty Khuly's opinion pieces on Vetstreet.