Much is written about blending families or mixing your children with his.
Where’s the advice on blending fur kids?
With the rate at which single women are acquiring dogs or cats rising even faster than teenage Chlamydia, this oversight definitely needs to be rectified.
You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve watched his boxer chase your moggy around a corner, with its fur standing vertically; or his kelpie hump your little chiuhuahua.
Dr Harry, Dr Chris or Sigmund Freud come in!
If you have a pet you are attached to, the first box you are probably ticking off in a partner is “likes dogs” or “likes cats”.
And there’s a divide right there.
Is he/she a dog or a cat person?
I love dogs. Big ones, small ones, young and old, sloppy and dirty; slobbery and goofy, loyal and loving, chasing balls or rolling around blissfully on freshly mown grass.
However, I am repulsed by the idea of cat litter and deal very badly with felines killing wildlife. So maybe I am not a cat person.
If you are, however, and your nearly toothless Siamese is forced to cohabitate with his boisterous Staffordshire, whose idea of a good game is chase-the-old-cat-up-a-tree, I am not thinking wedded bliss.
My friend Wayne may offer a solution.
“I’m a dog person, she had a cat (or her cat had her as a servant) and it’s been an interesting exercise so far – no one has lost an eye.
“At the start we split the house in half using a kiddy gate and kept the cat on one side and the dog on the other.”
Maybe he or she is neither a dog or a cat person and doesn’t really like animals, except grilled, fried or roasted – pass.
But say you both agree that pets are good, your dogs/cats will mix and that you can, woof, live happily ever after.
Then there’s the whole issue of what you both consider appropriate care.
I couldn’t date anyone who kept a dog on a chain and never walked it.
And someone who doesn’t think dogs should be inside, or sleep on the bed, probably wouldn’t want to date me, either.
Dog hair and dirt in the car, in the house and on my clothes – guilty, guilty, guilty.
Special food for the dog, yes. Fresh meat and bones, not tinned.
Treats, yes. Car rides, beach outings, cuddles. Yes, yes, yes.
Which brings us to jealousy, on both sides.
I did have a dog that just didn’t like men, especially those that wanted to share my bed. He would stand on guard, teeth bared, until we locked him outside.
My current dog is much more man friendly, but definitely confused about who this strange guy may be and whether he has to give over rights to his favourite sofa/couch spots.
So don’t just ask your would-be partner about their sexual or family history.
Check their predilection for a budgie, a cat, a dog, or some kind of reptile and then decide if you can live not only with them but with their favourite feathered/furry/scaly friend.