I was just going to look. I was in no position whatsoever to adopt a dog. I was finishing graduate school and didn’t know where I would be living, what I’d be doing, how much I’d be traveling – and I knew absolutely nothing about dogs.

I don’t even have plants – far too much responsibility.

But after living alone for the past several years, I wanted to have another beating heart around.

I’d grown close to my best friend’s pooch, Simon. He stayed by my side as I slowly began to recover from the devastating heartbreak that led to the whole living-alone thing again. Dogs do know.

The thought of having a four-legged fur baby of my own? Well? Maybe!

So I went to the Kentucky Humane Society “just to look,” and I took my friend Laura K along with me.

And there he was. Sitting in a cage. On top of, and next to, other dogs sitting in cages. He saw me, his body started shaking with excitement and wow – sparks flew.

“You’re here! You’re here!” his entire body seemed to say.

“Me?” I thought. “Noooo! ME???”

Yes, me. He picked me. I couldn’t believe it. Milo. A Spaniel mix, about 2 ½ years old, already pretty well trained and just the cutest freakin’ thing I’d ever seen.

He’d been a stray, then adopted by a family for six months, then returned to the Humane Society because the family couldn’t afford to keep him.

We took Milo outside to play. When he peed on our bags (Laura’s Michael Kors and my Coach) – “Laura! He’s peeing on the couture!” – and neither of us fashionistas got upset, I knew it was meant to be.

It’s now six years later, and he’s been my constant companion ever since. We absolutely love and adore one another. And everyone we meet falls in love with him immediately – even complete strangers.

What I love best about Milo is what all pet owners – and people in healthy relationships – know. But I didn’t fully understand it, or fully appreciate it, until he came along.

Actually, it’s three things:

  1. He’s not the least bit shy about his feelings. It’s not like he’s thinking, “I better not look too excited – I don’t want her to know how much I like her.” It’s the opposite. He doesn’t hold back. He is full-force eagerness and emotion, and it’s the best thing ever.
  2. He just wants to be with me. Doesn’t matter where – if I’m there, he wants to be there, too.
  3. He’s absolutely loyal. I’m his family, and he’s totally OK with that – and so am I.

When I brought him home, I vowed to make sure that we’d have a little bit of fun every day. I didn’t know anything about taking care of dogs, but I knew he deserved to be happy.

And that’s not a bad way to approach human relationships, too.

So if you’re looking to add another beating heart to your household, and maybe to help patch up your own, you’ll find plenty of sweet boys and girls at your local animal shelter.

And I promise: You will fall in love again. I certainly did.