But every now and then a cuddly or cute canine does melt my heart. My old requirements included -
* They shouldn't be too much bigger than Coco
* If they jump up on me, they shouldn't come past my knees
But of course things change. And this is one of the main reasons that I have widened my scope a bit.
This is Floyd. He breaks all of those rules as he is a hunkering great Bull Mastiff.
When we first moved into our flat two and half years ago, we used to see his owner Cheryl taking this furry lump with humungous feet for a walk most days. As he got bigger and bigger and bigger, I must admit, I felt more than a little nervous when I saw him pass by. The first time my heart melted a bit was when I heard Cheryl call after her pooch as he bounced clumsily away from her. FLOYD, GET BACK HERE!
Floyd? Floyd! That's the best name I've ever heard for a dog!!!
Since then I've always had a soft spot for him when I see him walking past, though I've never had the courage to go out and say hello.
Then, earlier this week I was looking through the pet pictures we get sent in to work, as we publish a weekly pets page. Lo and behold, here was Floyd in all of his adult glory. He is HUGE! I was so excited to see him, I contacted his owner Cheryl to say how much I loved this dog, from afar.
As I pulled into my space outside our flat that afternoon, luck just had it that Floyd was walking past, dragging Cheryl behind him. I yelled (rather ungracefully) after them, and thankfully she automatically realised who I was.
For a moment I was terrified that Floyd would bound towards me, knock me to the ground and cover me in slobber (ooh that's another reason I'm not so keen on dogs - slobber), a la Turner and Hooch.
But he politely trotted up next to me, practically looking me in the eye (this dog is big. Like, horse big), and grinned a big daft grin.
He is adorable. He loves having his ears scratched. He gets bullied by a female Pug that belongs to his breeder. He has a best friend, Cooper the boxer. In other words, he's ace.
So I have broken down a barrier. From now on I will be much more willing to make some canine friends. I can now add Floyd to my list of Jess and Millie (Westie and Scottie), Poppy (Spaniel) and Stella (our friend in New Zealand's...god knows what she is, but she seems to think she's a cat trapped in a Labrador's body, which makes it difficult when she tries to curl up on your knee.)
Here's to a long friendship with Floyd.