DC is not known for its good-looking people. New York? Of course. Austin? Absolutely. LA? Sure, if you’re into bottle blondes. But DC? Not even a little bit.

That’s why it’s so surprising to me whenever I see a guy who is considerably above-average looking, or as my coworker calls it “symmetrical”.

One thing I’ve noticed recently is every hot guy I see walking down the street seems to have a puppy in tow. Like, an actual, wriggly, schnuggly, adorable puppy.

And this confuses me. Because seriously, how many puppies can there even be in this city? Puppies are puppies for like, 90 days, and then they are just dogs. And dogs are… fine.

So that got me thinking. Maybe the guy isn’t attractive at all. Maybe it’s the magic of the puppy.

A regular looking dude who’s diligently bringing a puppy outdoors on its first of 8 walks of the day is displaying qualities of commitment, care, and kindness. He’s also subtly sending the message that he is willing to wake up at 6 am to make sure the little guy is properly potty trained and on its way to becoming a full grown, well-behaved canine, which is just precious.

I discussed this phenomenon with a few friends of mine who emphatically agreed with me. Yes! they exclaimed. Hot guys with puppies are everywhere. It’s definitely a thing. And, it’s positively swoon-worthy.

But why?

My theory is that male puppy owners, despite their actual physical appearance, exude hotness because they’re sending out a gazillion signals that they are dad material. If a guy can keep a tiny, helpless animal alive for enough consecutive days that it becomes a less-cute, grown-up version of itself, he can probably raise a kid successfully too, right?

As a female in her mid-to-late twenties, it’s like a one-two punch to the ovaries. First: That puppy. Second. That guy taking care of that puppy.

Bam. I’m smitten.

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