Modern Dog

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Love Unleashed

“…Michelle Kennedy, co-founder of Leashes and Lovers, a New York company that organizes mixers for dog devotees, knows first-hand about finding romance on the end of a leash.
Rollerblading in Central Park one day, she came across a man walking a Golden Retriever puppy. “I saw the adorable dog first,” she says, “and as I usually do, I went straight to the dog to pet her, not even noticing the blond, blue-eyed man at the other end of the leash.”

Once she recovered from the irresistible force of nature that is puppy cuteness, Michelle finally noticed the cute guy standing patiently nearby.

The rest, as they say, is history; September 29 marked Michelle and Kevin’s third wedding anniversary. “If it wasn’t for the dog, it would never have happened,” Michelle reflects. “she was a great icebreaker for me to meet and get to know Kevin, a man I otherwise would not have talked to.”

A mutual love of dogs also brought Michelle together with her Leashes and Lovers co-founder and business partner, Sheryl Matthys. The two women met through the online business networking group Ryze.com, which posts photos of it’s members. “She saw my picture with my Greyhounds,” says Sheryl, “and she wrote me and mentioned her love of animals.”

Though Ryze has members all over the world, Michelle and Sheryl soon discovered that they lived only ten minutes apart and decided to meet for coffee. “We met one morning at ten, and by seven that evening we had come up with the whole concept of Leashes and Lovers,” recalls Sheryl.

When asked to explain what Leashes and Lovers does, Michelle says, “Leashes and Lovers is where dog lovers meet. We organize and host events for dogs lovers-those who are dog guardians and even those who don’t have dogs but just love them.”

Sheryl adds, “We stress dog lover as opposed to owner as we know many people in NYC aren’t allowed to have dogs.”

Leashes and Lovers events are held in swanky New York City lounges and posh outdoor locations such as The Hamptons, most of which are dog-friendly.  In cases where the locations don’t allow dogs, people are asked to bring pictures of the important pooches in their lives.  Part of the proceeds from each event goes to help a local animal organization in need….

…If there are no Leashes and Lovers-or Fetch-style events where you live, you might find the internet a viable alternative….

…Michelle Kennedy of Leashes and Lovers couldn’t agree more. “I think dog lovers are great people and do make wonderful potential partners in love,” she says. “Most people who love dogs are nicer, friendlier, and more easy-going and open in general than the average person. There are, of course, the dog lovers who are high maintenance as well, but you can usually spot them by their dogs…I won’t say more! Dog lovers overall understand the concepts of commitment, patience, generosity, joy and love. Dog lovers are sexy!”