There's a problem with doing something well: Once is rarely enough. When you do something well, two things can happen: Other people begin to expect more of you, and You begin to expect more of yourself For a writer, this can be great. A well-done piece deserves the admiration it receives, and you should be [...]
Realistically, not all conversations between characters of the same gender revolve around the opposite gender.
Animals are around you all the time. Put them in your manuscript to enhance your story.