By Joan Murray

WESTON (CBS4) – Love me, love my dog!

That’s a phrase many women are taking to heart.

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These days a guy trying to date a woman may find his biggest competition isn’t another man, it’s man’s best friend.

Many single women have a special bond with their special pooch.

“In the last century animals have moved from the barnyard to the backyard to the bedroom,” said Lauderdale-By-The Sea psychologist William Demartini.

“I love dogs and I love the company of dogs,” said Susan Claire of Weston.

Claire has a special relationship with her dog Leo.

“It’s definitely love. I look at him and he’s so innocent.  They do whatever you want them to do.  They want to please you.  All they want to do is be with you,” said Claire.

When she’s not training dogs, Leo goes everywhere with Susan Claire.

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She has scrapbooks filled with photos of Leo accompanying her on vacation.

Leo even goes with her to restaurants.

‘I will bring his bed and put it on the seat next to me in a restaurant.  I will give him a bone to chew on and he’ll lay in the bed the whole time,” explained Claire.

She doesn’t have to worry, unlike a guy, Leo won’t lie and cheat. He won’t leave the seat up, and she knows exactly when he needs attention.

Many people are probably wondering; Is this healthy?

“It really depends on the extent of how their interaction with their dog is affecting other people,” said Demartini.

“If a person is putting in 70 percent of their finances and not taking care of themselves its not healthy.  Or if someone goes to a party and talks of nothing else but their dog the whole night to everyone, then it’s a problem,” he explained.

While Leo is top dog now Susan Claire does hope to remarry someday, as long as Leo is in the picture.

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“Who would not love Leo?” said Claire. “He’s awesome and most good men love dogs.”