A long time ago, I heard someone say that a girl's first love should be a horse. Horses can be affectionate, patient listeners and they never tell you that your feelings are silly. A lot like dogs, I think.
My youngest daughter is a horse girl. She likes to ride, but I think her favorite part of the lesson is the time before and after the actual instruction, when she can snuggle her horse's nose and talk to him. He nudges her pockets for treats and nuzzles her hand when she brushes him.
Whether she goes on to be a great horsewoman or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, she is saving up special memories for her future. (And, of course, she gets to wear pink boots.)