A brief browse through the self help section in most bookshops reveals modern society’s appetite for a variety of life advice – not least relationship guidance.

But, have those seeking romantic help considered approaching their love-lives as they might do when they are picking out a new dog? This is the premise of author Dr Annie Kaszina’s latest quirky book: Do you choose your dog more carefully than your husband?

“I wrote it in Costa in Welwyn Garden City,” says Annie. “It’s been fun from beginning to end.”

Annie, who did her PHD in Italian Literature and has previously published on that subject, says: “The book came from my own experience, and the title came from the day my then husband turned round to me and said: ‘You have got to choose between me and the dog’,” says Annie, a women’s relationship expert who has lived in Hatfield for the past seven years.

She continues: “All of a sudden there was this person facing me with this ultimatum and it was like the bottom had fallen out of my world. I looked down at this playful dog and across at my husband, who was really quite cross, and I thought well it’s a no-brainer.

“In that moment I realised that I had this beautiful little dog because I had chosen her really carefully. I hadn’t done any of that with him because I had fallen in love.”

Infused with humour, Annie’s guide aims to give women – and to some extent men too – pause for thought and teach them how to enjoy being themselves.

She says: “It is a guide, it’s there to help and support women.

“It’s all about helping them understand who they are and how they can be the best version of themselves. If men choose to take some of it and run with it then great.

“It’s about getting to the place where you’re happy with yourself.”

The book is punctuated with exercises and personality quizzes for the reader to fill out in order to help organise and understand their love life, including a final section to design their ideal man entitled Your Perfect Partner’s Job Description.

Speaking openly about her past relationships, the mother-of-one, says: “I was a serial relationship disaster.

“I thought I knew all I needed to know about relationships. I thought I could tweak my man until I got him just perfect and I thought that if I worked hard at a relationship it would all work out in the end.

“The day that I sat down and said to myself: ‘My God I’m not very good at relationships I actually need some help’ was actually a beautiful place. Then I was able to start learning.

“When the moment of realisation comes it really works. We are all works in progress.”

The author attributes the inspiration behind her book to her previous pet dog, Sharon, and she now owns a carefully chosen four-year-old shih tzu called Bazyl, who will be spoilt this Valentine’s Day with a new diamanté collar.

“He loves blondes. He loves everybody, but I watch him quite closely and if there is a beautiful blonde woman in the room he will be on her lap in seconds,” adds Annie, who is also in a happy new relationship.

And her advice for those dreading Valentine’s Day? Remember you are not alone in your struggles and believe things can always improve.

“Never ever give up on yourself,” advises Annie, who confides her past self would never have expected to be in the position of relationship coach – but she is very happy to be here.

Do you choose your dog more carefully than your husband? is out on Saturday, February 14. Details: chooseyourman.com