The Puppiness Project – You’ll Feel Better After a Walk

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.
Golden Retriever on a leash

C'mon. Let's go for a walk.


I love walking my dog. Except when I’m not actually doing it. Then I hate it.

Sometimes the thought of dragging my butt out the door, especially when it’s rainy or freezing cold, is pure torture.

But sweet, little Honey gently encourages me (insert “BARK, BARK, BARK” and dog dropping slobbery toys on my feet here) to take her for a stroll.

Of course she’s right. I’m always glad we went out. We see fly fishermen in the stream, snakes on the path, other dogs walking by with their people, stars in the sky, lightning, rainbows, and all sorts of other wondrous things.

There’s something enjoyable about every walk. Or maybe it’s just spending time with someone I love.

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  1. There is nothing like a dog walk to get you to see the world in a whole new way. I’m always so envious that I can’t smell it in a whole new way like they do.

    (or maybe not)

    • That’s my question–I know smells give lots of information to dogs. Are they also pleasant?

      Maybe just one day with a dog’s sniffer would be enough to help us understand their world. I probably couldn’t handle more than that.

  2. You know, I was really frustrated when I got home today and I went for a run. I did feel better!

    • It’s so true that our bodies are meant to be in motion–not sitting at a desk. Good for you that you listened to your body (and thousands of years of evolutionary biology).

  3. I know exactly what you’re saying! Right now, it’s near the end of the school term and things are hectic. I’m trying to just be kind to myself and if a walk happens, it happens. I’m always glad when it does, though!

    • The hard part, when we’re under stress, is trying to figure out what being kind to ourselves means. It’s not always clear, is it?

  4. Sometimes it can make or break my day if I don’t take a walk with one of the dogs. There’s really something to sharing the time and the adventure of it. Funny the weather used to never bother me, but something about getting older I need that extra push and with six dogs it doesn’t take much! :)

  5. I wish you lived next door, Pamela :)

    It’s suddenly cold and wet again today. AARRGHHH!

    • Although I’m not fond of winter, I think one of the reasons I moved North ten years ago was so I could face a winter of snow instead of rain. Rain can really take it out of you over time. Snow is much more fun.

      However, I have learned from the little kids around here. They all have big rubber boots to wear in the rainy spring. If my feet stay dry, even walking in the rain isn’t so bad.

      Honey wishes we lived next door to you too. I think she’d really like GLP.

  6. It’s so true, isn’t it? Sometimes I really, really don’t feel like facing the weather outside and would rather do anything else. But once I’m out there, I usually find a way to enjoy myself. Often I’m sure it’s just my dog’s company. Even if I have to drag myself out the door, I never regret going.

    It’s funny that Honey drops toys at your feet when she wants to go for a walk. Shiva does the same thing!

    • Isn’t it amazing how hard that push out the door can be, though?

      So Honey’s not unique, huh? How long did it take you to figure out Shiva needed walking after she dropped toys on your feet?

  7. Buster has a way of insisting on walks too, and I’m so thankful! Left to myself, I’d sit on my butt. Buster makes sure that doesn’t happen – and I’m in better shape physically and emotionally for it.