My family had a rather sad week the other week because our beautiful chocolate Labrador passed away. He got the doggie cancer and had a big tumour on his nose. And although he had given us plenty of warning that the time was nigh it was still obviously a very sad event to see him go. He was, after all, part of the family.

His name was Barkis (although commonly referred to as Barky) His name actually had rather more literary beginnings being named after the Dickens character Barkis in ‘David Copperfield’ famed for the line ‘Barkis is willing…’

And of course, Barkis was indeed very willing. He was very willing to give everybody cuddles. He was very willing to be taken on countless walks. He was very willing to lie on the sofa and sit on my father’s lap and even more willing to sleep on my parent’s bed! But the thing Barkis was most willing to do, above anything else was to give complete unconditional love to whoever needed it. No questions asked.

I think pets have a lot to teach us about this type of love. This kind of selfless love – when you are happy to give your time and your emotion freely without asking for anything in return.

More and more relationships of all kinds often become power struggles as people vie for the attention of another and egos get in the way (particularly in romantic partnerships) where love often feels as though it needs to be earned in some way.

Pets on the other hand don’t ask for anything in return (apart from some bonio and walkies perhaps!) They are quite happy to meet you after a long day, rest their head in your lap and just send loving vibes in your direction. It’s no surprise really then that dogs have frequently been described over the years as man’s best friend. I know for a fact that Barky held a very special place in my parents’ hearts.

One of the nicest descriptions one of my friend’s made about Barkis was describing him as “the great big hunk of chocolate furry love” and that just about summed him up perfectly.

I think we could all take a leaf from Barky’s book and send some positive unconditional love to each other. So why not try it today?

Barky

Remember – ultimately we are all connected to everyone and everything…

So rather than glaring at the people on the way to work today – why not try and radiate good thoughts in their direction. One of my favourite pastimes while sitting on the tube is noticing one thing about every person on the carriage that I could compliment them on.

Or perhaps you could show a little more kindness or consideration to your co-workers or those whom you come into contact with on a daily basis? Simply by offering a kind word, some positive feedback or a warm gesture – might be all they need to lift their spirits that day.

You might even like to send some kind thoughts to someone you are estranged from. Perhaps there is someone in your life who you have lost touch with or you have an unresolved issue. You might be surprised that the simple act of directing some unconditional loving thoughts in their direction could soften a situation which may allow some much needed healing to occur.

Or maybe you could just go home to your partner, children, family or loved one, snuggle up on the sofa and give them a big cuddle (just like Barky used to.)

Remember – ultimately we are all connected to everyone and everything – so whatever love you send out to others will  always be reflected back at you. So by loving others you are  always sending love to yourself too. It’s funny how our furry friends seem to understand this concept so naturally and we so often seem to forget…