The Puppiness Project – The Resilience of a Mischievous Foster Pup

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 Chérie, our visiting Foster Pup.

Beagle mix rescue dog

Ain’t nothing gonna breaka my stride. Not even these ridiculously steep steps. Haven’t you heard of building codes?

Don’t Cry For Me.

It could be easy to feel sorry for Chérie.

  • She’s homeless at 1 1/2 years old.
  • She’s fighting some kind of skin infection.
  • Because she was just spayed on Friday, she’s not allowed rough play.
  • Oh, and she has a crippled hind leg. The folks at the SPCA speculate that an old injury was never treated.

But Chérie does not feel sorry for herself. She copes with whatever life throws at her with resilience, sweetness, and just a little bit of mischief.

I’m Scared. But That Won’t Stop Me.

This morning I took Chérie for her walk while Mike and Honey slept in. When we got outside, we heard distant rolling thunder. It made Chérie uneasy but we set out.

About half way up the next block, Chérie turned back toward home. She led the way into the back yard. And, once there, she keep looking up at the door for Honey.

Yes, I’m a little slow. But I finally figured out she wanted her friend to join us on our walk.

Luckily Honey and Mike are very forgiving about being woken up early. So they joined us on our walk. And Cherie was just fine. She needed something to make her feel comfortable, she asked for it the only way she could, and she moved on.

Causing Trouble is a Sign of Fun.

Rescue dog Cherie sits in the hostas

I love sitting in the flowers. It brings out the blue in my eye.

Chérie, with her gimpy back leg and shy manner, might fool some into thinking she’d never get into trouble. But she has a sense of mischief. We’re having to remember we’re now living with a dog with a mild tendency to counter surf. And just a few moments ago, Chérie did something sly.

She walked up to the living room table, took a little sniff, and ever so gently took my bookmark out of the book I was reading with her teeth. She looked back at me with a silly gleam in her eye and deposited it on the rug. Chérie looked at the bookmark for a few seconds as if she was thinking of shredding it but decided not to.

It’s good to see her causing little bits of trouble. Especially since she listens so well when she’s doing something we really don’t want her to do.

Her sense of mischief shows us just how resilient this young pup is.

Foster Dogs Teach Us Resilience.

Let’s face it. No one has a life free of problems.

But, if we can learn to recover quickly from setbacks, we’ll be much more successful in life.

Neither my husband or I are emotionally resilient. We have a strong tendency to hang on to our hurts. And that’s not good. It’s a big time waster for one.

That’s why we’re both trying to learn how to bounce back quickly when things pull us down. We can’t change the things that happen to us in this world. But we can control our reactions to them.

Luckily we have a good tutor in having a positive attitude in Chérie.

She’s Gonna Be Just Fine.

Because of her resilience, Chérie is going to be great when she finds her new family.

  • She’s friendly to every person she meets.
  • She greets dogs easily and without excitement.
  • Although she’s unsure of new things, she doesn’t let that stop her from exploring her world. I’d call her Cautious Curious.
  • Her gait draws notice from everyone who sees her. But her old injury doesn’t seem to cause her pain and it certainly doesn’t keep her from enjoying her walks.
  • She’s affectionate and loves to cuddle.

Chérie is a dog who bounces but doesn’t break. I want to be more like her.

Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue


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  1. Oh what a cutie, messing with your bookmark. What a sweet face. Glad Mike and Honey could help her out.

  2. What an awesome way to get the message out Pamela.

    I find I learn so much from my dogs, especially Delilah. Dogs who are rescued seem to have a different outlook on life. Whether they actually know how precarious life is or just sense they have an opportunity for greatness I’m not really sure. We can all learn life lessons from them.

    Cherie sounds like she has the “Just Be The Dog” motto down perfectly.

  3. She is such a cutie. She seems very hound-like to me. I think you might find yourself in for a bit of mischief more often than not if she is. 😉

  4. I have never fostered but I would guess people that do it feel that they get something in return. There is always the “i am helping a animal in need” reason but I like that you have taken it further to find out what these fosters have to teach YOU. Because of my life circumstances, I learned early on to be resilient. I still work to improve though. It can be a real struggle sometimes but let me tell you – It is liberating!

  5. I’m always amazed at how a dog can encounter any physical disability and not seem to notice that they have any problem. Hey, I have three legs that work perfectly. I love the bookmark incident. She’s sort of telling you that she could make trouble if she wanted to.

  6. From the Husband:
    Now I’m a little put out. The last time I removed a bookmark with my teeth and left it on the floor, I didn’t get my own blog post. . . just a stare.

  7. Lol, “From the Husband” sounds just something my husband would say. I think “cautious curious” is a pretty good way to be!

  8. Dogs really are the most resilient creatures. It always amazes me. While I like to indulge in a pity party if things don’t go my way, my dog brushes herself off and tries again. It’s like failure isn’t even in her vocabulary. What an amazing way to live.

    Chérie is beautiful and sounds like a very special girl. Thank you for making time to help her into the next phase of her life.

  9. I try to be more like my dog too! I need constant reminding!
    She’s a lovely girl and it must be very rewarding, helping her out!

  10. Okay. I am already in love with her. That bookmark move was awesome. She clearly has a mischievous side. I love dogs who have that little bit of personality. She sounds like she will make a great friend for someone.

    She is also lucky to have such wonderful foster parents. I love that she has already bonded enough with Honey to want her along for the walk. How does your heart not melt?

  11. I agree with Leslie, Chérie does look somewhat hound-y to me. And I love her eyes! She sounds like a smart, special girl, especially in the way she let you know that she wanted Honey on the walk with you!

  12. She sure is a cutie!

  13. Oh my goodness – Cherie sounds and looks like an awesome pup!! With such a personality!! And of course, I have to commend her of her Mischief abilities!! Way to go Girl :)

    Big Wags :)

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  14. Cherie sounds like a wonderful little pup, I’m sure she’ll light up someone’s life very soon. And a little bit of mischief is endearing – Buster is the same way.

  15. I adore her face! Those eyes are a dog photographer’s dream! lol I love your message today. Once again, it comes at a time when I really need to hear it. Normally, I’m not a person to wallow, usually I vent and then I can forget it and move on, but recently I’ve been dealing with something I can’t vent about and I’ve had a much harder time letting it go. I admire Cherie’s spirit!

  16. I love what Cherie did on her walk and with your bookmark. It tells me she’s a smart doggy. I hope she finds a good family soon. Part husky you think? If she has blue eyes?

    I’m not a good bouncer either though I’m getting better at it in my old age. The Other Half, you have to kill before he’ll let go of old slights LOL.

  17. Oh, Cherie, you are too clever! I warned the couple who adopted Farrah that she was a quiet kleptomaniac. She doesn’t harm things but she is now aka “Twinkle Toes” for her stealthy quiet walks resulting in removal of objects to her pile of loot in the yard!
    I could take Cherie in a heart beat; what wonderful ears, what promising personality (going back for Honey!) and what a very pretty hound type girl! Sigh :).

  18. You are so right on with this Pamela! When I was at the dog adoption event this weekend I saw so many dogs that had the odds stacked against them, but they weren’t thinking about that, they just wanted to have fun and find a family that would love them for them!

  19. What a brilliant post, make me and my typist want to be more positive!! Cherie is so lovely we can’t wait to learn more about her and celebrate with you when she finds her forever home!

  20. I love hearing the lessons learned from your dogs. Cherie sounds like a wonderful puppy and I’m sure she’ll find a great forever home.

    I need to work on being more resilient like Cherie.

  21. So Cherie isn’t just a pretty face:) I love a dog with mischief in it’s heart! I think some credit has to go to you, Pamela, for listening to Cherie when she wanted to turn back for Honey. A lot of people would have just kept on walking or not been sensitive enough to realise why she wanted to go back to your house.

    Cherie couldn’t have better foster parents or foster sister:) She is in great hands.

  22. Wow! She sounds so much like Meadow when we first adopted her, right down to not wanting to walk without another dog. I think it is just so wonderful that you are fostering her, and I hope she finds a wonderful home. I love her eyes!

  23. I want to be more like Cherie too! Amazing, what dogs can teach us. Happy fostering :)

  24. Cherie sounds like a sweet and wonderful gal. :) Great way to spread the word for the blogging event.