Another dog lover's dating dilemma: Should I bring my dog on a first date?

Some months ago, I went on a first date.

By most accounts, it was a normal first date. Drinks and food at some hipstery spot in Logan Square. But this one was a little different.

Most of my dates involve me and the other person and that's about it. This time was a bit different. There was a chaperone of sorts. That's right. Chester came on this date with me.

Chester is a great chaperone on a date.

Chester is a great chaperone on a date.

I hadn't initially planned on bringing Chester along. But it just worked out that way. It happened that the day we were both free was a day that Chester and I had a lot of plans. I had him set up to be in a test playgroup at work to see how he did with the other dogs. After that, I had a meeting for my other job that he was going to attend with me. And the date was after that.

As it happened, through all these events, I had no time to bring Chester home. Luckily, my date was understanding and we decided on the aforementioned hipstery Logan Square spot with a dog-friendly patio.

And the date went well, to boot. The conversation was easy and natural. We seemed to like each other. Chester liked her. She liked Chester and was as equally dog-crazy as I am. So I'd say it was a successful date, despite the unexpected chaperone.

Now, in my world, I don't think there's anything weird about bringing your dog on a first date. In fact, when she and I talked about it later, she didn't think it was weird either. And in reality, that's all that matters.

That said, you know me. I can't help but overanalyze. So I talked to some of my dating consiglieres and asked a simple question: Dogs on first dates - weird or not? I asked a few different people. A couple were what I would describe as "dog people" and a couple weren't, so I avoided bias in my unscientific poll.

The answers were mixed. Nobody said that bringing a dog on a first date would be an absolute deal-breaker. But a couple suggested that a first date is too soon to introduce a date to the dog. And a couple suggested that by bringing a dog, you risk turning your date off because you can't concentrate fully on them. Also, most people said that because I had told my date that I was going to bring the dog, it was ok, but if I had just shown up with Chester, it might have been a bad idea or a turn-off.

But some people said bringing a dog on a first date is a fantastic idea. I mean after all, if my dog doesn't like you, I'm not going to date you, so we might as well get that introduction out of the way quickly.

All in all, my unscientific poll told me ... absolutely nothing. Some people think it's weird. Some people don't.

And that's why, my friends, I put it to you. Would you bring your dog on a first date? How would you react if your date brought their dog to your first encounter? Would it make a difference if they told you ahead of time they were bringing the dog or not?

Comment here or on the Facebook page (linked below) and I'll share some of the best responses in a future post.

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