The Puppiness Project – Sometimes Your Head is Just Too Full

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.

On my bookshelf right now I have  books on social media, podcasting, HTML, CSS, and making the most of my Mac. You’ll find no novels, no trashy magazines, no funny essays. Every thing I’ve borrowed from the library lately is meant to teach me something.

My brain is starting to hurt.

Golden Retriever Chewing Toy

Look how good I am at playing with my new toy. I didn't even have to read the instructions.

When Honey and I are working on training, I see a pattern. She does the behavior I’m asking for immediately, a couple of times. Then Honey temporarily loses her mind and looks at me quizzically when I ask her to repeat what she’s just done easily two times before.

Maybe she’s bored. Maybe she’s tired. Maybe her brain really did fall out (something experienced people tells me happens to Golden Retrievers between 6 and 18 months of age; it eventually comes back).

Whatever the reason, I know there’s no point in going on with training that behavior. We switch gears and do something more playful, like fetch or find the toy when I call it’s name.

I think it’s time for me to do the same thing.

Most of those books are going back to the library. I’ve picked up some old graphic novels for relaxation (though what it says about me that I read Watchmen, Ronin, and Sandman for fun I probably don’t want to know).

I think there’s something deadening about too much time spent learning. And not enough time spent living. Maybe I’ll spend less time reading and more time learning from Honey for a while.

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  1. sounds like a good plan. i like organic learning :) i also like Watchmen. Ronin as in the movie? Sandman as in the supervillain? i think my brain may be falling out like honey’s.

    • Ronin as in the Frank Miler graphic novel. I heard talk about it becoming a movie but I’ve never seen it. Could be.

      As for Watchmen–no wonder your blog is so funny. After Watchmen, it’s either laugh or kill yourself in despair.

  2. Shiva does that too, sometimes. Usually I figure she has grown bored. Sometimes it is because she is over-stimulated, like in agility class. Either way, taking a break is definitely a good idea.

    In fact, I think I could use one right about now…

    • I’m still trying to figure out just what’s going on with Honey. I’m suspecting boredom since we’re usually at the beginning of a session. I think she’s trying to teach me that fun games are a better training tool than drilling.

      I guess we won’t look into Rally Obedience any time soon.

  3. We all need a break at times! Two thumbs up for The Watchmen and Sandman! I haven’t read Ronin, though. :) I’m never without a current book that I’m reading!

    • Yes, I noticed you had a Neil Gaiman book on your shelfari list.

      I never understand why people get irritated waiting in line. For me, it’s just more time to read.