I know a man who cares for no one. Or so he says. He has been hurt deeply, people have destroyed his trust. He is not harsh or cruel or unkind. Indeed, he spent his whole life as a fire fighter, risking everything to rescue people from burning buildings. He has kind eyes and a soft voice. Always helpful, with a ready smile. But he cares for no one, with the exception of his dog. The dog means a great deal to him, but then the dog will not let him down. The dog staked a claim on his heart and will never fall foul of that claim. People though. People are not allowed within a vast distance of his heart. He knows that any joy or happiness that love brings to him is dashed on the rocks of bitter disappointment when love takes it away again. He will not allow the good ship of happy endings to deceive him into rowing towards the lighthouse of hope. He has met sirens before, their mesmerising beauty and magical songs lured him almost to his doom. Now he cares for no one. The dog lays a paw on his knee and looks up with soulful eyes. The man, with sudden clarity, sees that the dog has grown old. A strangled cry escapes his lips as he pulls the old dog into his arms. Silent tears fall into the rough fur and the man curses beneath his breath at love, for love had never brought him anything but heartbreak.