Dudes and dogs - why finding love is no walk in the park
IF, LIKE me, you desperately want to believe everything you see in romantic comedies, the dog park is the place to find Mr Right. It worked for Diane Lane in Must Love Dogs.
But given the hair-raising, lip-curling show my pooch has been known to put on in the past, I'd swear she was trying sabotage my efforts in order to keep me all to herself.
Girly is a bit of a special case. She was in the dog pound just long enough to perfect her sob story, and she saw me coming. Mistreated, wary, lacking confidence - it's no wonder we hit it off.
Determined to tackle our fears head-on, and perhaps find the perfect dude-with-dog match, I recently took the pooch by the leash and headed to the local park.
We made a good start with Girly's endearingly awkward attempts at the delicate canine art of bottom-sniffing, showing her socialisation classes were paying off.
But I couldn't help but feel for her as she gazed wistfully at the handsome cattle dog on the other side of the park - and shot a glance at the blonde, bouncy retriever, all fur coat and no knickers, who had him wrapped around her paw.
Girly, to be fair, is more fur coat and deep cotton briefs with a rape alarm tucked in the waistband.
And much like every singles event I've ever attended, she was left to entertain a succession of undesirables and unsuitables.
First up came the cute, over-eager, but oh-so-young pup:
"I like sticks, do you like sticks? I like sticks!"
Okay sweetie, she seemed to say, you go and find us a one-ended stick.
Then there was the jowly old-timer, keen to impress that he owned his own kennel and insisting there was plenty of life in the old dog yet.
Finally the panting, drooling, skirt-chasing dog made his move, embarrassing himself and all around him with his inability to hide that he was solely wired to grab a hold and go for gold.
Girly's new-found civility began to give way to a snarl (that's my girl) and we beat a hasty retreat.
Suddenly another Saturday evening curled up on the couch together in front of a movie didn't seem like such a bad idea after all.
Forget Must Love Dogs, we were both in the mood for Reservoir Dogs.