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Love in many forms, on many days

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I’m set for my Valentine’s Day date this Tuesday.

A little quiet time at home with a box of chocolates and milk bones – although I am sure my little dog Teddy would be game for both.

My unexpected pregnancy of taking a stray dog into my home and heart has now become a full-blown love affair with plenty of ups and downs, like any relationship.

But we crest my mom’s relationship meter: if you are happy 80 per cent of the time, you’ve found a good match.

I’d venture to say 95 per cent of the time, but with what I like to call an early onset of the terrible twos, those numbers may be wavering.

No longer afraid of the physical repercussions of bad behavior from his past owners, Teddy is testing his boundaries.

"Is that ‘Teddy come’ a matter of life or death or can I get away with sniffing around this tree a little more?" I can hear him asking himself as he decides on whether to acknowledge my call or not.

In testing his boundaries, I draw mine. He brings out the best in me whether growling at him on all fours while throwing his squeaky pig or dragging me out at midnight for an unwinding stroll.

I’ve always found it strange that we have a day devoted to love – like we need a reminder to let the people/pets we love know how we feel about them.

A friend of mine had a near death experience a few weeks back when skiing out of bounds, he crashed and flew into a snow-covered hole with a fallen tree strewn across. His skis caught him from crashing to the bottom and breaking his neck and as he hung suspended upside down in the cavern his life flashed before him: the people he loved and the wish he had the chance to get married and start a family – it was all loved based. Valentine’s Day fell on a different date for him.

He survived his four-hour short cut and scrambled out of the shoulder- deep snow of his mind to truly know his heart.

Valentine’s Day is everyday for me, so when I travel my own finite out-of-bounds experience, I know that everyone in my life knows exactly how I feel about him or her. The more love you exude, the more it comes into your life.

If I were to meet an untimely death, my greatest regret would not be finishing my books. They are the loves of my life.

When I sit down and fall away into the lives of my characters, my spirits lighten, I feel joy and I long to visit my books again when I turn off the computer. This is love.

Swooping down steep untouched powder in the quiet of Fresh Tracks, giving away all worries to the mountain, this is love too – although new to me, I am pretty sure it’s not just romantic whimsy.

Love can be practiced in the safety zone of a pen or pet. Other times more risk is involved with rejection looming in the shadows.

I finally had the guts to tell a close friend I loved her. The words flew out one night without thinking. I have no idea if she returned the words but as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

I really believe in love as a verb. Not the kind that contributes to the Hallmark empire, but the kind that makes your favourite tiramisu dessert for your birthday, the warning not to be too hard on yourself advice before a date because she knows you so well, analyzing the trials and tribulations of burnt baked goods and the laughing in the snow taking photos until your cheeks ache silliness. My friends show me love everyday. Smooth talkers, noun-love guys fall to the wayside.

Valentine’s Day can be a great reminder to throw your feelings into action, particularly those whose love you take for granted – the parent unit, grandparents and guy who always throws in extra fries with your lunch order. Really how could any girl detest a holiday that gives you a legitimate excuse to stock up on chocolate?

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