For this cold winter weather, I have quite the appropriate guest blog: how dogs are the perfect ice breaker. Okay, so it’s not that kind of ice breaker. But dogs can help us break the ice, socially, as guest blogger Heather Reynolds shares.
How Dogs are the Perfect Ice Breaker
Guest Post by Heather Reynolds
When I first moved to the Seattle area, I was right out of college and still a small town girl looking to make her way in a city. I lived on my own in a small apartment and while I had an internship three days a week, I was shy and didn’t really meet any real friends.
About six months into my life as a city girl, I decided to start looking for a canine companion. I had always been a pet lover and grew up with pets, and was excited to bring the first one into my life as an adult. I did a lot of research about the best pets for city life, and decided on the Italian Greyhound. As luck would have it, a friend of mine worked at the local humane society and alerted me to an Italian Greyhound that was brought in as a surrender. I immediately went to visit with her and brought her home that same day. (There she is in the photo, above!)
From that day on, I had an instant connection with several other people in the city. No longer was I ignored on my evening walks around my neighborhood. I was stopped several times by others walking their dogs to chat for a few seconds about how the neighborhood was so dog-friendly and did I see the new pet supply store that opened down the street?
And it wasn’t just other dog owners. Others out walking by themselves or sitting at outdoor cafes would stop me to ogle my cute little dog. This increased if I dressed her up in a coat or cute shirt – she was a celebrity!
I met new people every day and many of the same people who walked on our schedule. I got to know them and looked forward to chatting with them while we were out.
Dog parks also became a mecca for meeting new people. Pet owners trust other pet owners, of that I was starting to learn. I would discuss training techniques, health conditions, toys, crates, and clothes with complete strangers like we had known each other for years. I would pet their dog and my dog would jump up onto their lap for a snuggle. We would laugh as our dogs chased each other around the park, and look for other dogs like our own. It was an instant bond that I had never experienced before in my life.
I met some of my best friends by starting a conversation about our dogs and even now I have a job that is centered around my love of pets. Dogs are absolutely the best ice breaker if you are new to an area or simply a touch shy.
What has been your experience with using dogs as an ice breaker?