The Puppiness Project – Trust the Universe; Trust Yourself

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.

The Watchful Dog

Golden Retriever sleeping in back seat of car

I know my universe is small but the back seat of this Fiat is really shrinking things.

Honey looked concerned.

Mike was packing the rental car. I was trying to convince Honey to take a walk before we left.

No doing. Honey wouldn’t go any farther than she could see the car. Something was happening and she was a little worried about being left behind.

It happens every time we pack up for a trip.

Are we going together? Will Honey stay behind? Will we be back together soon? You can almost read the questions in her fuzzy, wrinkled brow.

Once we load her into the car, she instantly relaxes. She knows what’s going on now. Her universe is back in order. We’re all together.

And, as long as we’re together, nothing too bad can happen to her.

Do You Trust the Universe to Take Care of You?

My friend uses an interesting phrase when she’s making life-changing decisions. She says she trusts the universe to take care of her.

By that, she’s saying that she’ll do her best to make wise choices. But, in the end, she believes things will work out ok and she won’t find herself living under a bridge and starving to death. She’ll figure out what she needs to do to keep things from getting too dire.

You might think that philosophy comes from never having suffered. But my friend has had her share of sorrows, like anyone. Her life has not always been easy.

But she has an underlying optimism.

When I hear my friend say she trusts the universe to take care of her, I think of all the ways she has helped the universe do just that. She’s intelligent, highly skilled, continually learning, and very resilient. She’s spent decades honing skills that put her in a good place. So if one of her plans goes wrong, she won’t be sitting around waiting for the universe to surprise her with a solution. My friend has built the solutions to her problems all along.

Do You Trust Yourself?

When my friend asks me if I trust the universe to take care of me, I think about it and suppose I do.

I look back at my life and see how lucky I’ve been.

  • I was born middle-class in North America (although, unfortunately, not Canadian; I guess we can’t have it all).
  • I live in a mild climate, free of dangerous weather extremes.
  • I have a supportive family.
  • I have enough native intelligence to allow me varied and safe work.
  • I have crazy good health.

It seems to me the universe has been pretty darn kind.

So what holds me back when I’m trying to make a change? After all, the universe has not let me down yet.

I don’t trust myself.

I know the universe has heaped tons of luck on my head. I’ve been building skills my entire life. But, when it comes down to it, I know I’m the weak link. If everything lined up perfectly, I’d find some way to sabotage myself.

I don’t think I’m alone. Am I?

Autumn leaves on the highway

The view over our 6 hour drive. Honey slept the whole trip.

The Dog Trusts the Universe

One of the nice things about being a dog is you don’t over think things.

Honey observes luggage coming out of the house and knows something is going on. She shows some concern. But she also has over two years of experience that let her know we won’t leave her without responsible care.

Even when Honey doesn’t travel with us, we leave her with someone she’ll find fun. And once the uncertainty about what’s happening resolves, Honey settles in quickly, without signs of stress.

We’re her universe. And she trusts us to take care of her.

But even more importantly, Honey understands her place in the universe (the doggy-sized universe, not the entire cosmos). She feels loved. She acts on that feeling. And she’s secure.

And from that place of safety, Honey is learning all kinds of interesting things.

I need to learn from Honey:

  • The universe hasn’t let me down yet.
  • I have skills that will get me through any number of setbacks.
  • I have a place of value in my universe and should feel secure in that knowledge.

And if I never learn enough faith in the universe from Honey to set the world on fire, maybe I can learn just enough to create a bit of mischief.

Do you trust the universe to take care of you? Does your dog?

Welcome to Monday Mischief – The pet blog hop that wraps up the weekend! This Blog Hop is brought to you by Alfie’s BlogSnoopy’s Dog BlogMy Brown Newfies and Luna, A Dog’s Life and you can read more about how to link up here.

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  1. Woof! Woof! YES I agree … dogs don’t over think too much. Beautiful written. LOVE it and Golden Thanks for sharing. Happy MM. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  2. Aww, Honey looks very cozy in that photo.

    I would be getting envious of those fall color photos that I’m seeing today. But we had a “cold snap” that has it down to 70 inside the house (we keep the air conditioning on 75 or more), and poor Silas is huddled up under my legs and two blankets. He would not approve if we moved back north.

  3. Yes I do trust the universe! And Sampson trusts the universe! Delilah I don’t think she trusts the universe yet. :-)

    I struggle mightily with any major decision, I have to weigh everything out, get a number of different opinions and then I make my decision, but many times I second guess it. However when I think back there are many things that happened that weren’t within my control and yet I somehow managed to be okay. That is the universe looking out for me.

    My BFF and I always say, throw it out to the universe, it will take care of you.

    May the force be with you Pamela.

  4. As usual, Honey (and dogs in general) are way ahead of us in trusting that the Universal will take care us. She has every reason to believe that everything will work out fine.

    BTW – you reminded me of a great song. Not sure if it was intentional, but appropriate nonetheless!

    I don’t want to set the world on fire
    I just want to start a flame in your heart…

  5. I learned a poem what seems like a lifetime ago:


    When you walk to the edge of all the light you have
    and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown,
    you must believe that one of two things will happen:

    There will be something solid for you to stand upon,
    or, you will be taught how to fly ~ Patrick Overton

    I do believe in the universe. Like you, I have been given too much grace to take it for granted. I also believe in myself. If nothing else, I believe I have the tenacity to muddle through whatever gets thrown my way – I’ll figure it out.

    Bella trusts only herself. I suppose her earliest exposure to the universe taught her it was not worthy of her trust. We’re working on that.

  6. Beautiful post. We are all lucky here. Have a lovely Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

  7. You know, it’s funny, I do trust the universe, but sometimes I need a reminder. When we were stranded in Chicago, my husband was FREAKING OUT! I mean serious, bring on the straight jacket kind of stuff. I can’t say that I was that worried. If we were farther from home, I probably would have been more upset, but I’ve found that things always have a way of working out.

  8. Wonderful post ’cause I don’t trust myself, either; too many dumb decisions leading to stuff with which I am still dealing. BUT, learned a lesson from the puppies yesterday which is in sync with your post:
    When Diva, the charmer, the active, the dancer, went out on a leash yesterday into a totally new experience with many new people and dogs, some in costumes, she often tucked her tail and backed away…I was surprised and then…
    her brother, Ralph Waldo, came out on leash with her; RW had no trouble going up to strange dogs or persons – Diva able now to follow his lead without hesitation.
    Seems like Ralph is a big part of the universe to Diva :).

  9. I’m with your friend. In fact, I often tell Cushion that the universe has been very kind to us and almost all the decisions we’ve made, however hard or awful at the time, have turned out well. The ones that didn’t, haven’t been soul destroying, just educational. That’s life and I’m no optimist. Have a great trip! X

  10. Thank you Pamela. I really needed to hear that today.

  11. Honey looks so comfortable and secure in that picture. I’m one to worry often, although worrying does no good so it’s something I’m working on changing. I do have faith though, and that is where trust comes in. Kelly is a bit more like me, I think she’s a worrier. Brooks just is happy and trusting all the time.

  12. I absolutely trust the Universe, to the point that I know – even if I make a bonehead decision – everything will be alright. Things either work out, or you learn a lesson and move on. Life’s about gathering experiences and if you’re out living there’s no way you can fail. It’s our desire to label a situation as “good” or “bad” that trips us up.

  13. I never really put much thought into trusting the universe… not sure why, but I haven’t. This post clicked with me today, though, since starting new ventures myself. Perhaps it’s just difficult to “trust” in general, rather than anything in particular. I will definitely be going forward with a bit more optimism… I was born Canadian, after all. 😉

  14. One of our evil cats gets so stressed when the peoples pack up the car that he gets cystitis. After cancelling TWO vacations to care for him, (since he was feral and strangers can’t medicate him), they learned to lock him in the office when they pack for a trip AND to pack last minute.

    Guess he doesn’t trust the universe to take care of him.


  1. […] The Puppiness Project – Trust the Universe; Trust Yourself – Pamela often uses her dog, Honey, to help her, and her readers, better understand our […]