For those that don’t know, I’ve adopted a dog. His name is Barney. He’s a poodle/whippet/maybesomethingelse. He is about three years old. And he’s had a hard life. So, to say he has landed on his feet his is a huge understatement. The little guy worships the ground I walk on. And I love him.

I’ve also been single for a very long time. I imagine I have a bit of a guard up to protect myself from getting hurt. So my little Barney is doing a good job in teaching me about love. And here is what I have learnt:

1. Don’t have preconceived ideas
The many times I’ve tried internet dating I end up bring a bit superficial. I analyse height, body type, photos, jobs, spelling – and many of these things I wouldn’t care about “in real life”.

When it came to dogs I was sure I’d end up with a big burly German Shepherd or a Lab. But instead I’ve got my tiny little rescue dog and I love him any way!

2. Happily, things don’t always turn out the way you want
Before Barney arrived I said “This dog will sleep outside!” Well, he was so traumatised on the first night that I let him sleep in a box in my room. But he’d NEVER be allowed to sleep in my bed.

A week later I was quite sick with a bad cold. Four times that night Barney jumped up to sleep in my bed. After the fourth time I was too exhausted to fight it. Now he sleeps in my bed. But NEVER under the covers.

Last night it was a full moon and he kept barking in the night. I pulled him close to calm him and this morning he was tucked up with his hind legs under the doona and his head on the spare pillow. And I kinda liked it. Beats an electric blanket!

3. Don’t be afraid to show you care
Every morning Barney wants to cuddle me and often tries to sneak in a “kiss”. If I’m gone for more than 2 hours he goes nuts when he sees me. He loves me and that is obvious.

And perhaps I’m a bit overindulgent… But I don’t care what people think… As long as Barney knows I care about him.

Now if I could just apply these ideas to human relationships…