After searching for a match in the Orlando area, Joe's sister suggested that he expand his search to the Miami area. When he contacted me, my immediate thought was: "Never going to happen!" Some might think I was a shallow 'Jap' and that I wrote him off for looks, but he would be wrong for several reasons; the first of which was that he never posted a picture (but then, neither did I). No, my reasons were deeper than that and boiled down to two: distance - he was in Orlando while I was in Miami -- and fear, because Joe has a dog!
You see, I am one of those people who are the first to yell, “DOG” and run across the street or hide behind someone or leave the room (or whatever) -- anything to get away from the K-9 species. So, how can I date someone with a dog?
My response to Joe's advances was a no-brainer: "Sorry, I don't do dogs!"
I thought that would be it, but no, he persisted and, for the next several days, made attempts at emailing me pictures of Peanut (his miniDoberman-Pincher) to show me what a cute and harmless little thing she was. Unfortunately, the pictures were too large and my email rejected them for lack of space.
Through multiple attempts at emailing pictures (mind you, always the dog's, never one of ours), we ended up communicating via email until I asked him for his number. We started talking 4-5 hours each night for about two weeks, and then Joe suggested that we meet. For me, talking on the phone was fine, no dogs involved. Meeting would be more problematic. After debating the issue for a while, I agreed to come up to Orlando for the day. I left his name and contact information with all my friends and relatives, just in case, and flew up to Orlando in December 2003.
Joe met me at the airport, which was a little tricky since we had not exchanged any pictures yet. However, through cell phone communications, we were able to locate each other. When we went to his truck, the first thing Joe whipped out was his digital camera, to show me a picture of Peanut, who was a cute little thing. When I met her in person, she was more scared of me than I was of her. Over the next several months, we met on weekends -- me flying up to Orlando and him driving down to Miami on alternate weekends. Peanut was ordered to stay away from me when I was staying in Orlando, but what can I say, she grew on me.
In February 2004, we decided to get married. In May, we did, and in June 2004, I moved to Orlando.
So there you have it --suggested by Joe's sister (now my sister-in-law), who never fails to claim credit for her contribution to our marriage, and despite the distance and the dog - happily married.
Dolly and Joe
Miami and Orlando, Florida