Unique event brings love to man's best friend
// Samantha Thompson

Clark and Lois, Ron and Hermione, Belle and Beast – the stories we hold dearest to our hearts have frequently been filled with the perfect couples. However, with Valentine’s Day on the horizon, studies have shown that more and more people aren’t just settling for whatever’s available. Instead, they are on the hunt for the real-life Prince Charming – but not for themselves.

The V-Day 4 Lyfe, happening on Feb. 14 in Downtown Vancouver, is an event meant for guests of all shapes and sizes – but especially those on four paws. Co-sponsored by company Find My Prince, the team has one goal: to help dogs find their Prince (or Princess) Charming. The company sets up speed-dating nights for humans across the Lower Mainland, with its biggest event of the year being on Feb. 14.

“The V-Day 4 Lyfe event is the only one of its kind,” says company CEO Olive Mutts. “It’s the only event we run specifically for dogs, but owners seem a lot more willing to go to a speed-dating event if it’s for their best dog friend instead of for themselves.”

Now entering its fourth year, founder Fockse Layday is proud about how the event has grown. The first event back in 2008 had only 50 dogs and their owners, but this year’s event has a projected 2,000 attendees.

“We literally have to, like, rent out a whole building!” said Layday, founder of the company. “It’s better than Christmas!”

Although some people may be offended by Layday’s flippancy towards what is, for some religions, a very important day, Layday reminds us that February is the season of forgiveness.

“It’s the time of year when you have to let bygones be bygones. You can’t be mean to your dog forever just because he shit on the carpet last October,” she says. “If not, he’ll never be able to get that diamond collar for that special someone.”

Layday herself does not own a four-legged friend, but points out that “Nintendogs are almost just as good as the real thing.”

Charles Spaniel has been attending the event since its inception, accompanied by his black Labrador, Spunky. Unfortunately, the pair remain unlucky in love, but Spaniel hopes that this year will be the year – for both of them.

“He really needs a man in his life,” he says. “It’s been many a year where he’s been hanging out at home while I go to the job that puts bread on his table. I haven’t been able to explore the human dating scene myself, because I’ve been so worried about his well-being.”

“Once I know that he’s found a Poodle or a Daschund to call cute pet names every night before bed, I’ll be able to worry about my own love life, and how my fertility clock will soon have stopped altogether.”

Until then, Spaniel keeps himself busy every V-Day at the event. Set up in the style of a speed dating night, dogs and their owners go through three rounds of ten dates – all within 90 minutes. In the down time between rounds, there are plenty of opportunities to purchase a pick-me-up if the dates aren’t going so well.

Each year there are many vendors that sell a wide range of Valentine’s Day merchandise. It varies from t-shirts (for humans and dogs) and bejewelled collars (primarily for dogs), to wedding veils (dogs only) and flower petal baskets (for humans, at the wedding of the dogs).

“I’m just so glad that we are able to give dogs and humans a place to bond over something that brings every species together,” says Layday. “Regardless of how many legs you have, or if you have paws or feet, everyone, like, just wants to find that special someone, that Prince Charming.”

V-Day 4 Lyfe advertises that they have “rounded up all the hairy Prince and Princess Charmings” for the event. It would seem that for a pooch, the only place to find true happiness is by attending the unique date night.

“Everyone deserves to find love,” says Spaniel. “And when they find love, they deserve to celebrate it however they want.”

//Samantha Thompson, editor-in-chief
//Grahpics by Kele Elliott

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© 2011 The Capilano Courier. phone: 604.984.4949 fax: 604.984.1787 email: editor@capilanocourier.com