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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dog Owner Invents Dating Service for Pets and Pet Lovers

With a Four-Legged Friend's Help
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September 14, 2005 - By Terri Rimmer
happynews.com, Adoption.about.com



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Did you know?
Some people share custody of their pets.
Takeaways
· Dog parks are popular places to meet people.
· Pets are a great conversation piece.
· No dating service has combined pets and dating.
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Robert Yau was out walking his dog one day when he realized how many people came up to him to meet he and his four-legged pal.
"When I was out walking my dog I would meet people and noticed there were a lot of single people out there who were pet lovers," he said. "At that time online dating had become accepted."

So Yau came up with a free dating service unlike any other out there - datemypet.com for pets or pet lovers.

"The response has been amazing," he said. "We've had a lot of people coming on to the site and joining and the community has grown."

The site got a lot of hits very early on because it was launched on April 1, 2004 so a lot of people thought it was an April Fool's joke which attracted a lot of people to the site.

"Naturally once they found out it wasn't a joke they thought, ‘Oh, what a great idea,'" said Yau. "Initially the site was purely aimed at single pet lovers but we've noticed that pet lovers who are married are looking for dates for their pets go to go to the dog park with. We have various ideas about what we'd like to do with the site. We try to keep things very fun. Now we're seeing guaranteed matching sites for a husband or wife from other companies out there. We're more about friendship so there are people coming on to our site. We expect questions like ‘What kind of house do you live in?' We have a sense of humor. We enjoy ourselves. We're tongue-in-cheek. "

Yau said he has gotten one couple who have been married three to four months now who met on his site and there are various people who have met who are now going out or are friends through his website. Datemypet.com was recently mentioned in Glamour Magazine's September issue. The site's motto is "Date me, date my pet."

"People have made many friends because of the pet connection," he said. "That is one thing that is unique about the site. A lot of times you go to a coffee shop and there's no love connection. In most cases you would never see each other again. But with our members if there's no love connection they tend to become friends. There's a lot more friendships being formed by our site. I'm a big animal lover so for me loving animals comes first and our site has a pet-loving attitude. Essentially our site is about having fun and one of the things I don't want to be too serious about is the relationship thing. "

Yau, owner of a dog named Hershey, said a business owner has to have passion for his business and be honest.

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