Jack is a terrier and Riso is a Bichon Frise

Elina is from Slovakia, and after living in Ireland for ten years, she had not met the man of her dreams. She had never planned to get a dog, but a few years ago, when she heard about an unplanned litter of puppies that were going to be euthanased, she agreed to take one of them. She named him Jack, and he fitted well into her life. She enjoyed walking him regularly.

Rasto is also from Slovakia, and he didn’t plan his dog ownership either. He was in a previous relationship with another woman, and she bought Riso when they were together. When they split up, Rasto ended up taking the dog. Little did he know that this little animal would take him along a new path of romance.

romance started in the local park

It started when Elina was walking Jack in a local park. Rasto and Riso passed by, and Riso started to run after Jack. Rasto started to chase Riso, because he was afraid he might attack Jack. Elina tried to reassure Rasto that the two dogs were just playing, and the two owners then fell into conversation. They were speaking English, and although they knew from each other’s accents that they were both from overseas, they didn’t realise that they were both from Slovakia. Then Riso did something bold, and Rasto cursed gently at him in Slovak. Elina immediately realised that Rasto was Slovakian, and they started to talk easily in their own language. It made a pleasant change for both of them to be able to chat naturally in this way. They laughed and got on well together. There’s a strong Slovakian community in Ireland, but neither Elina nor Rasto socialised much with their own nationality.

At the end of the conversation, they exchanged phone numbers, but didn’t make a firm arrangement to meet again. They then lost contact for two months. Rasto had tried to contact Elina but he’d discovered that he’d written her number down wrongly, so he couldn’t find her.

another special walk in the park

He couldn’t get her out of his thoughts, so one day he decided to go back to the same park with Riso, in the hope that he might find her. As luck had it, Elina and Jack were there that day too, and Riso again started to run after Jack.  The two dog owners were pleased to see each other, and found themselves getting on well together again. This time, they made a firm arrangement to meet on another day, to walk their dogs together.

Then started to go for regular dog walks in different locations around Dublin, such as Phoenix Park and Dollymount strand, sometimes taking a picnic with them. Riso can be aggressive to some dogs, but he had always got on well with Jack, so this made their walks easy and enjoyable for everyone.

It was only after three months of regular dog walking together that their relationship turned romantic. Rasto made a special Slovakian cake for one picnic – a type of apple strudel – and Elina was seriously impressed. A man had never cooked anything for her before. This was the gesture that finally won her heart.

The first kiss followed soon after, and the pair have been seriously dating ever since. The good news is that Rasto and Riso are still getting on well together. However, they are both neutered, so their relationship has remained purely platonic.

Elina and Rasto are both shy individuals: they would never have met without the matchmaking abilities of their two dogs. It’s still too early to say if there will be a wedding day, but if there is, they have already chosen the best man and the head bridesmaid; they’re called Rasto and Riso.

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