Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.
At the dog park on Saturday, I was once again struck with the economy of dog communication.
A few quick sniffs, a bow or a turn aside, and both dogs know if they want to play with each other or not. No chemistry? The dogs go on their own way. But if there’s a spark, one takes off and the game is on.
If I could figure out how to teach people to convey their feelings as succinctly on an internet dating site, I’d be retired in Bimini right now.
What goes through your mind when you find yourself at a party with a bunch of strangers? My mind is a pretty crowded place: “This isn’t really my kind of party. How long do I have to stay?” “It looks like that person doesn’t know anyone else. I guess I should go over and say hello.” “Who is that guy? I swear I’ve seen him before.”
With all that noise in my head, it’s a wonder I notice anything going on around me at all.
I love words. But sometimes I wonder if they’re a deflection. Am I so busy processing my experiences in words that I miss the experience itself?
When I’m outside, I don’t feel the need to talk so much. I can sit on the beach for hours watching birds, dolphins, and even sand crabs while sighing with contentment. On a walk through the woods, I hesitate to talk because I don’t want to miss any special moments that would be ruined by a too loud or misplaced word.
Perhaps I need to enlarge my “word free zone.” Maybe watching Honey, I could become smarter about other ways of communicating without words. And who knows what would slip in between the syllables.