Monday, May 10, 2010

A True Love Affair, the Old Fashioned Way (Caribou & Chloe)

Written by Lauren K.

"The Chase" still has merit in modern day courting. I would like to explore an unlikely case study of two dogs that are dear to me and completely unequivocally in love: Chloe and Caribou*. Like young lovers that met in grade school, Chloe met Caribou when he was six weeks old, not potty trained, and completely inferior to her in his barking, jumping, and fetching skills. Since she was 13 months senior to him, she taught him everything that she knew and exhibited an immense amount of patience when he messed up or played a little too rough with her.

A little more than a year later, Caribou is obsessed with Chloe. He literally will follow her around and will do everything possible to lure her into playing with him when she is clearly uninterested at times. I have observed and analyzed their behavior patterns. They have a semi long-distance love affair Houston-to-Austin, and have no control about when their visits will be arranged. Yet, they know when a goodbye is imminent and Chloe wags her tail like crazy when we near my parent's house where Caribou resides. It is similar to a pre-arranged marriage. Believe it or not they are actually fixed and can not reproduce more ShihTzu puppies. Perhaps, this is a good thing. Maybe he would have dumped her after he spread his seed and knocked her up.

There is a 4:1 chase ratio, meaning for every four times that Caribou comes after Chloe, she reciprocates his affection. They dance, kiss, stare longingly at each other, and sometimes get bored with each other. I truly believe they mimic the perfect love affair. They don't have the responsibilities of normal couples: no financial obligations, no decisions to make about where to reside, or when to make a lifetime commitment to each other. However, they do share food, water, toys, a bed, and the affection from their owners. They do get jealous when humans or other dogs try to get involved. When my mother holds Chloe, Caribou barks incessantly until she puts him down. I kid around that I know I will have found "the one" when he looks at me with the same intensity and concern that Caribou shows Chloe. 

What have I learned from Chloe's behavior?
1) Men love the chase, but you have to reciprocate sometimes or they will become frustrated and eventually move on to a target that returns their affections. 
2) You don't always have to look your best, but men do appreciate when you dress up.
3) Use jealousy sparingly, but it can be an effective strategy.
4) Distance can spice up the relationship.

What have I learned from Caribou's behavior?
1) Sometimes, you can look pathetic when you are the only one doing the chasing.
2) The male appreciates a woman that can teach you a thing or two.
3) You don't have to be completely exclusive to be in love with someone. (Caribou has a "friend" that he runs into on his nightly walks that resembles Chloe)
4) Having a slightly older, more experienced woman has its advantages.

Although it is difficult to fathom that dogs can be in love with each other, I truly believe they are. I only wish that all of my single friends could find what Chloe and Caribou have. Women, remember it is ok to let the men chase you and it is also ok to let them catch you sometimes. Keep the mystery alive.


*The names have not been changed in this story, because I got approval from both parties.

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