Let's talk about love. Big, bulging, puffed up, gigantic, heavy-weight love.
The kind of love that is uncomplicated, without conditions or reciprocations, just pure, unadulterated, innocent love that, let's be honest, no matter how hard you search you will only ever find through a dog.
My three little people occupy a place in my heart that is vast and wide and completely different to the love I feel for my nearest and dearest humans.
I cherish them and the life I have with them.
When I come down in the morning to be greeted by their eager little faces it always makes my day. How could you not fall deeply in love with such brilliant characters who dote on your every word and treat you like the most important person on the planet at all times?
They are funny, loyal and loving. They never seem to get out of bed on the wrong side, they don't need a cup of tea before they can talk to you, and you don't have to ask them 15 times to brush their teeth and get their shoes on. They are perky and willing and up for anything...in a heartbeat!
They give you a purpose in life. A reason to think of someone else before yourself. Someone to come home to; to kiss goodnight. Someone to be responsible for; to care for; to nurture and nourish. And obviously someone to love.
Dogs are brilliantly simple creatures. Feed and water them, give them regular exercise, provide somewhere warm and cosy to sleep, and garnish them with love. It's crazy how they reciprocate, but 1000-fold. And always unconditionally.
So here are some tips on how to treat the greatest loves of our lives this Valentine's Day -
1. Give your dog a massage.
Yep, just like us, dogs love a good relaxation massage (not to be confused with the general adoration and stroking you give them all day long 😀) Here's a great video on how to go about it -
2. Give them a special bubble bath.
In a meticulously researched and calculated survey of 100 dogs, 99 of them said that bath time had them running for the telephone and hitting the re-dial button for the RSPCA...but that could quite possibly be because they went to the wrong spa. Done 'properly' bath time can be a wonderful experience for you both, with the result being -
Clean, happy dog 1 - 1 Dry, calm owner.
Here's a lovely video to show you how it's done -
We love Kiehls Dog Grooming products with their natural, soap-free ingredients that ensure your dog's skin won't get irritated or itchy and flaky -
3. Take your dog away for a romantic break.
Thankfully the hospitality industry is fully on-board with the idea that people wouldn't dream of going away for the weekend without their beloved pets.
There really are some exceptional hotels that not only welcome dogs, but actively encourage them to join you, providing everything your pup will need, from beds and bowls, to food and treats.
We had a fantastic few days away last year at The Swan Inn, Lavenham. It's said to be the most fully intact medieval village in the whole of the UK, so worth a visit just for that experience, but because all four-legged friends are treated as the guests of honour, a stay at The Swan Inn is totally recommended.
4. Make a batch of your own all-natural dog treats.
5. Go for a dog walk in an unknown area.
Does your dog walk in the same place every day? Do they literally know the area like the back of their paw? How about driving out somewhere mysterious for a brand new experience for them, for you...and for the local squirrels. Here are five of the UK's most scenic walks courtesy of Style Tails.
Of course any dog would be overjoyed with a tummy tickle and butt scratch, but where's the romance in that? So whatever you get up to this 14th February, we hope you all have a day full of ❤️