When a woman comes of a certain age, her maternal instincts start to kick in. Suddenly a hole in her heart emerges, a dark void which can only be filled by lovingly nurturing her young. But what's this woman to do if she is, as her mother loves to loudly point out at family gatherings, chronically single? Or, what if she is dating someone, but she and her partner don't feel ready to bring human life into the world yet? Well, she gets a dog to compensate.

Here are seven ways to fill the void in your empty, childless heart with dogs.