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.
Saturday I was trying to figure out why Honey behaved differently on her walks depending on how she was leashed. And I was lamenting ever learning how to walk with a loose leash every time.
But on today’s walk, I managed to “fix” Honey the exact same way I “fix” my car.
I’ve learned that if your car stops working, the best way to fix it is by trying to reproduce the problem for your mechanic. It will work perfectly the instant he opens the hood.
Same thing with copiers. Your printing comes out backwards while the machine coughs blood and lets out devilish shrieks? Just bring a colleague over to demonstrate and it will be working like a charm.
By talking about Honey’s pulling, I made sure she’d stop doing it.
And sure enough, we just came back from a perfect walk.
Honey alternated sniffing with checking back in by my side. She never once pulled when crossing the street. She kept making eye contact as we wandered the neighborhood.
Honey was a perfect dog.
Of course, I’m kidding when I say that Honey’s pulling was “fixed” because I wrote about it. She’s not a car or a photocopier. She’s a dog. A dog who has good days and bad days. Can pay attention better some days than others. Makes progress and back slides–just like I do.
Our walk tomorrow might not go quite as well as today’s. But we’re definitely making progress. And I’ll be much happier the more I can remember that.