Valentine's Day is a dumb invention and feat of corporate marketing. Instead of worrying about heart-shaped boxed of chocolate and hothouse flowers, how about we celebrate the unconditional love we get from the lil' critters in our lives?

I have a boyfriend this year, but for a long time, I didn't. And my motto used to be: No pets, no plants. It was hard enough just looking after myself. But then I got joint custody of my sister's dog, R2, on and off for a few years, and we fell in love. Such a dignified little man, and great companion.

Unfortunately, last fall, while with my sister in Hawaii, R2 died. It was devastating, but it made me realize I had room in my life — and heart — for a pet of my own. One thing lead to another and I found Móle (above). Working at home alone all day, when I get annoyed, tired, lonely and frustrated, Móle's up for a cuddle or some fetch. He doesn't care if I don't take a shower or if I wear the same yoga pants to bed and to work three days in a row. Friends don't always have time. Arguments often arise with significant others. Pets will never judge you for watching Clean House in your underwear while the kitchen is a mess.

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Móle is my Valentine today. All you cat, dog, fish, lizard, turtle, bird and other critter lovers: Consider this an invitation to post pictures of your pet Valentine in the comments!