The Puppiness Project – You Don’t have to Pursue Everything that Catches Your Interest

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.

Do you have piles of projects waiting for you? Notes on things you want to do? A bookshelf full of how-to  books? I do.

But I’m trying to learn that I don’t have to chase everything that strikes my fancy. Sometimes it’s ok to acknowledge that something is interesting and let someone else pursue it seriously.

Golden Retriever in deep snow

I'm not going to chase anything. I'm just going for a little sniff.

I was pleased to hear that Honey decided not to pursue one of her interests this weekend.

Honey joined us on a visit to friends. While we watched our one friend perform in a play, his wife and daughter watched Honey for us.

I was worried that one of the family cats would take off at sight of Honey and she’d be spurred to chase. Luckily the cats hid themselves upstairs when they sniffed the newcomer in their home. But a couple of times, a cat would appear at the top of the steps to check out the situation.

Honey was interested. But she also seemed content to just watch the cat–no barking, pulling, or scrambling to run up the stairs.

If Honey can do it, so can I. I’m going to pursue what I have time for and just be content that other interesting things are out there but it’s ok if I just watch.

Congratulations to bloggers Houndstooth4, 24 Paws of Love, Bella and Daisy, and also to Carol G. for winning By Nature dog treats in my review giveaway. I’ll also have a special treat for Ettel E who also took time to visit and comment.

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  1. Is Honey naturally good with cats? We’ve been trying so hard to get Georgia cat-friendly or at least cat-tolerant. As long as they don’t run or scratch her, she seems fine. But certainly not as calm as Honey.

    I also have lists of things I want to do, places I want to visit, blah blah. I start every morning with a list for the day. I wish I didn’t need them and I get upset when I don’t have enough time or energy to complete the tasks. I. Must. Learn. To. Let. Go.

    • This is Honey’s first time meeting cats in someone’s home. But she frequently seems them around the neighborhood and when we’ve had training classes at the SPCA. She seems pretty relaxed as long as they don’t run. Then she assumes they’re asking for a good chase.

      I had to work to get my previous dog, Shadow, dog-tolerant. I’d get really good treats and stand across the street when a dog came by. If she looked at me, I’d say “dog” and give her a treat. We slowly increased the proximity as she became more comfortable. I see no reason why a similar method wouldn’t work with cats (except cats aren’t usually on leashes and can surprise you from nowhere).

      I’m trying to figure out what’s important and stop doing the other stuff. Watching tsunami footage is a good reminder not to get too attached because you never know when the things you’ve built your life around will get swept away.

  2. We can learn so much from our pets! My dog Kelly has the best attitude about life.

    • And they’re cheaper than therapy! (Of course, therapists don’t shed on your sweater, either so maybe it’s all equal.)

  3. It seems like my life is sometimes governed by my to do list. My dogs seem to have a why bother? list.

  4. Woo hoo! I won something! 😀

    I think you’re right! I’ve also learned that I can’t be good at everything, and doing a few things well suits me better than doing a lot of things poorly. I’m not a good juggler of activities, that’s for sure!

    I was nervous about Bunny being around my sister in law’s cat for the first time, too, but after she managed to get a good sniff of the cat, and I mean inhaling cat hair so far up her nose I expected her to have furry eyeballs, she was over her curiosity. Thank heaven!

  5. That is so hard, good for Honey on making the right decision! Obviously all that training has paid off in surprising ways.

    Sometimes, I feel almost panicked at the thought I am not going to be able to read every book I want to read in my lifetime. If I think about it too much, I won’t be able to sleep. It sounds so silly, but I get where you are coming from.
    Maybe, just maybe, it is okay if I never finish Moby Dick.

    But I really would rather finish it.

  6. I’m so excited to have won! Not sure how to get you my info though. 😀 This is the first time we have won something!

  7. Honey is simply exhibiting the principle “Good things comes to she who waits.” Lots of good things should come to both of you!