The Puppiness Project – Time To Say Goodbye

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.

Honey the Golden Retriever takes the lead at the dog park.

Just follow me. I’m full of good ideas.

I am so not like my dog.

  • I’m not spontaneous.
  • I over think things.
  • I don’t play enough.
  • I spend far too much time in front of screens.
  • I’m not fuzzy.

Well, maybe I am like Honey in the last way. My legs won’t be seeing a razor again for at least six months.

But other than that, I really need to get my Golden Retriever going on. That’s why I started writing The Puppiness Project two years ago.

Learning From My Dog

Many of us lead lives disconnected from reality.

We work indoors and check the weather by watching television or going online. We use our brains more than our bodies. And we over think everything instead of just taking action and moving on.

We can learn much from our dogs who are gloriously connected to their bodies, expressive, and live in the moment.

Honey has a lot to teach me. If I only remember to pay attention.

What has Honey taught me lately? That it’s time to stop writing the Puppiness Project posts.

It’s Feeling Old and Tired

When I decided to write a weekly post on things I learn by watching Honey, I didn’t know how long I could go. I wrote down 25 ideas for posts before starting and thought I might have 6 months of lessons to write about.

I surprised myself by continuing for 2 years and writing 90 posts.

But lately, I’ve felt less enthusiastic about writing my Puppiness Project posts. I feel like I’m repeating myself. I’m uninspired.

I’d tell myself it was time to stop. But someone would tell me it was their favorite series and I’d keep going.

Plus I’m inertia girl. I find it hard to start new projects. But once I get going, it’s hard to stop.

And finally, I seem to think everything has to be just a bit uncomfortable. My husband told me yesterday that my comfort zone is whenever I’m out of my comfort zone. So if something feels hard, I assume it’s supposed to be that way.

Gretchen Rubin Has Moved On

Even my inspiration for the series, Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, is no longer current.

Rubin has a new book out—Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. She has moved on. It’s time for me to move on too.

Where? I don’t know.

I love getting life lessons from my dog. I’ll probably do something similar to the Puppiness Project but with a different spin. Who knows? Maybe I’ll shamelessly steal another idea from create another homage to Gretchen Rubin.

What do you think of Puppier at Home?

Honey the Golden Retriever Steps off the path.

We don’t need to keep following this path. I’ll show you a new way to go.

How Honey Taught Me To Let Go

Okay, so what does all this have to do with Honey? After all, this is a dog blog.

Honey responds when something is uncomfortable. She doesn’t keep doing something without addressing it.

If she’s lonely, she crawls into my lap. If she’s scared, she runs away. If she’s hungry, she barks at me for a snack or to remind me it’s dinner time.

Something in my body is telling me it’s time to say goodbye to The Puppiness Project. So I’m going to be like Honey and listen to that message.

It’s easy to keep doing the same thing. But if I keep doing the same thing, I’ll never make room for something new.

Goodbye Puppiness Project

I’ve enjoyed writing these posts. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.

Go back and enjoy some of your favorite Puppiness Project posts while I look for an inspiring new idea.

It’s time for me and Honey to create a little mischief while I wait for her to give me a new idea.





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  1. I have enjoyed them, but sometimes we do have to move ahead. It’s usually for the best.

  2. I completely understand. I’ve been giving lots of thought to ending/changing my business (For Love of a Dog). Like you, I sometimes keep doing things because I somehow think I should. It’s tough means to me that I should keep going. To conquer it maybe? Whatever. Thanks for giving me more food for thought, as well as some encouragement to follow my gut. (And my dogs would be thrilled if I closed my business! More time for doggie time)

  3. Married with Dawgs says:

    I have enjoyed your puppiness project posts & will miss them. But I’ve got a feeling that you’ll have a new project and new words of wisdom for us in no time!

  4. Good luck to you and Honey as you search for AND find a new project. You are a very talented and entertaining writer…so find something new soon!

  5. I’ve always LOVED the Puppiness Project, but I know whatever you have in store I’ll love too. You are such a thoughtful and inspiring blogger, thank you!

  6. Hey Pamela, I do love the puppiness project, but it is because I enjoy your writing and your way of looking at things. I’m sure whatever you change to, I would enjoy as well, even if you just blog what’s on your mind and don’t “structure” it. I felt my blog needed a change too not so long ago, which is why I started the Just Toby posts. I’m still not 100% sure I’m going to continue with it, but it is fun to try to write something new for a bit. And you’re right, we all spend too much time in front of screens, and I’m trying to rectify that too in my life. It’s a hard balance sometimes!

  7. I love all your posts Pamela and I’m sure you will find something equally wonderful to replace the puppiness project.

    I would have to say that this is exactly how I feel about my WTF/Whoo Hoo Wednesday series, for mean that is just draining all the negative, horrible stories. I’m giving that a rest and while I may still write it in the future, I don’t think it will be a weekly series.

    I look forward to whatever comes next for you.

  8. I loved hearing about Honey and her antics and seeing her pictures. i hope your next project is equally as enjoyable and fun.

  9. I love the Puppiness Project, but I also understand your need to move on. Maybe you could pull together your favorite posts into an ebook to share. After 2 years and 90 posts, I’m sure you have more than enough material!

  10. Whatever your approach I love to be reminded that we have more to learn from our dogs than we have to teach them.

  11. Good bye Puppiness Project – we will miss you! And yes – its one of my favorite features on your blog :) I look forward the future.

  12. Ha! We would make an excellent team because I am “get things going girl”. I love the creative process and planning them but once I finally get started I lose interest.

    I look forward to see what other areas you explore not that you have “freed up some of your time.”

  13. I love the Puppiness Project too but I understand the need to move on. Sometimes I do think we need to be uncomfortable, such as when trying something new, but other times that discomfort comes because something just isn’t right. I have a feeling whatever you come up with will be just as lovely and insightful to read. Good luck in starting a new project! That’s very exciting!

  14. I, er, we enjoy everything you and Honey share with us. I’ve learned to be more zen with life, letting go of whatever I have no control and striving to do daily what needs to be done. The Puppiness Project taught me to love my dogs, to see how the way my dogs live can enhance how I live aside from having them bless my life by just being.
    Thank you – and I, er, we, look forward to your next project – and every blog post you write! Think I’ll check out Gretchen Rubin’s new book….

  15. How exciting, bringing one thing to an end in order to find what lies around the corner! I hope you keep us apprised!

  16. I completely understand the need to move on. I hope you find an exciting new scent to follow X

  17. Oh geez, I still haven’t really cracked open that book. I bought it when I went on vacation, but then it seemed too serious for a vacation book and now it’s outdated! Who knew? I really enjoyed your Puppiness Projects. Honey is an excellent teacher and I can’t wait to see what you do next!!

  18. Mike Webster says:

    From the Husband.

    My wife subtitles her blog “An Amateur’s Musings on Dogs and Their People.” For me, The Puppiness Project has consistently represented the height of Pam’s achievements in this category–especially for me, I should say, because I would first share a house with Pam and Honey for a week, and I would then read Pam’s Monday morning post, and I would then realize how little tuned in I had been to the things the Person had picked up so easily from her Dog. Throughout this feature, Pam has gently reminded me that there’s something to be said for paying attention each day.

    Many thanks to Gretchen Rubin for writing the work that inspired Pam’s efforts. And many thanks to Pam for letting me watch them come together.

    I’m always impressed, sweetheart, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

  19. The Puppiness Project has been one of my favorites for a long time, but I also recognize that people need to grow and change. I am sure that whatever you come up with next, it will be fabulous and we’ll enjoy it a great deal!

  20. I’ll miss your Puppiness Project posts, but I understand about needing to move on. That being said I think 2 years of posts equals a book and I for one would be interested!

  21. I admit it. I will miss them. I loved how you always got me thinking. But, I also know how hard it can be to stick with a theme and keep it going over time. I have been inspired by your posts. I have no doubt you will somehow bring some of your learnings from Honey into future posts. Thank you for sharing so much and using them to bring insight into ourselves and our own dogs.
    Kind of feels like a right of passage doesn’t it? Ot makes sense that you would move on to other things. I have no doubt they will be just as inspiring. :)

  22. I will miss your posts, but look forward to what is happening next as I am sure it will be great!!

  23. I have never commented on your blog that I remember. However, I have tried to read about you and Honey each week. I enjoyed reading very much and seeing you and Honey grow and figure each thing out. I am going to miss reading, but it is terrific that you have reached a point with Honey where you feel comfortable moving on to something new. I will miss reading about you two, and hope to hear what you chose to do next. Whatever you choose, do for enjoyment.

  24. I’ve enjoyed your posts very much – I look forward to your next project!

  25. Well, I’ll miss it, but as a fellow Ithacan, at least I get to see Honey (and you and Mike) in person!

  26. Like everyone else, I have loved the Puppiness Project posts, and I will miss them. But what made them so great was your investment in them. If you’re no longer feeling it, then definitely stop. Go out on top. Leave us wanting more and excited to see what next Monday will bring.

  27. In no way should this guilt you into keeping it up, but I adore this series (and coming from a gal who didn’t even finish the original book, that’s something). I absolutely understand wanting to focus on new things and find new inspirations and I know whatever you bring us next will be incredibly awesome.

  28. I’m late, but I wanted to say farewell to the Puppiness Project, which I have greatly enjoyed over the past two years. I love that one final lesson from Honey helped you realize it was okay to move on to something new. I look forward to reading anything you write here, whether it’s the Puppiness Project or something else, so I can’t wait to see what comes next!


  1. […] Monday, Pamela wrote, “The Puppiness Project – Time To Say Goodbye“  Pamela has learned a lot from her dog Honey and she’s written more posts than she […]