Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

My Circle of Comfort April 2, 2013

My name is Wiley Schmidt and I am a nurser. Some say its because I was weaned from my mom too early. Others theorize that I was abused. Reasons and theories aside, it’s true. I nurse on toys to relieve stress and calm myself down. No other method of soothing has the same effect.

For me, the behavior dates back to the first night I was separated from my mom and brothers. I was scavenging for food outside a busy retail area when I found him – my first friend in my new chapter of life. The plush toy slightly resembled a squirrel, but it was hard to tell for sure since it was so beaten up. I saw a piece of my soul in that squirrel that day. It was cold on that first night by myself and I found myself turning to Mr. Squirrel for warmth. So I did what came naturally and started to suck on him like I would have sucked on my mom a mere 24 hours earlier. While the behavior in no way compared to being with my mom, it was soothing to me for reasons I didn’t fully understand at the time.

When I lived with Jo and the man with the leather belt, I had a small Tiger toy that Jo had given me from her already sparce toy collection. It meant the world to me since the man we lived with didn’t believe in spending money on toys for poor Jo, let alone for me. Just as it had when I was alone on the street, my nursing on Mr. Tiger brought me comfort like no other.

At the humane society, there was also a shortage of toys but the angel who took care of me the majority of the time brought me a special gift one day. It was a little squirrel, similar to my first Mr. Squirrel. There was no way for Katie to know it, but it was like a piece of home in a strange place and to this day is one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten.

My name is Wiley Schmidt and I am a nurser. Not only that, but all the theories are true. I was weaned from my mom too early and I was abused. There, I said it. But rather than turning my back to the past, I have decided to take a page from the little people in my life whose childlike minds and hearts are always open. My open mind has allowed me to accept the things I cannot change by finding solace in the familiar.

The Comfort CircleI’ve found that my inner puppy possesses a familiar verve that sometimes lacks in my adult mind. “Verve is passion,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. “And how do we learn to develop a finely honed sense of verve? By paying attention to the details. By accepting each day’s attempt to teach us more about our authenticity. By being constantly on the lookout for the ecstatic experience: what excites us or moves us to tears, what makes the blood rush to our head, our hearts skip a beat, our knees shaky, our souls sigh.”

I would dare add that we find our verve by respecting the past and counting our blessings. I now have more toys than I know what to do with, and they each have their token indentation I’ve come to call my comfort cushions. Some experts question whether dogs who nurse are coping with stress in a healthy way, but I would argue that we are. One of the most important things I’ve learned from my inner puppy is he is just a much a part of me as anything else, and because of that some things never change.

Related Articles

Hands: Heads or Tails? https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/02/24/hands-heads-or-tails/

Home is Where the Heart Is https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/01/28/home-is-where-the-heart-is/

A Playful Trip to Paradise https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/02/03/a-playful-trip-to-paradise/

Wise Beyond Their Years https://wileyschmidt.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/wise-beyond-their-years/


30 Responses to “My Circle of Comfort”

  1. Good for you and your inner puppy, Wiley!! You are one lucky Pup to have your Forever Home – just like The Red Man! Celebrate your verve!

  2. Basil Says:

    Sending you a massive hug!

  3. I never heard about a nurser, Wiley, but one thing I know for sure is having lots and lots and lots of toys is FUN! I nap on top of some of my toys and try to hatch them like an egg. At night, Mom puts them all in my toybox. But sometimes, if I seem worried, she lets me pick one to take to bed.

    Love and licks,

    • What is up with people needing to put our toys away? I just don’t understand why they bother, as I usually dig them all out about as soon as their in the toy basket. Thanks for the blog love, Cupcake!

  4. Lyn Says:

    Oh Wiley, I’m so glad you have lots of toys. I’ve got a huge basket of soft toys that my family’s Grandma bought me – pigs, cats, mice, lambs, teddies and a rabbit. My absolute favourite is Mr Bunny and if you were to come and visit, I’d let you to play with him. Grandma’s best friend loves me almost as much as Grandma does and I call her Aunty Jan. I love it when she comes to see us, because she pretends to hide Mr Bunny and says, “No, he’s my bunny.” But when she sits down I jump up on her lap and she hugs us both. She doesn’t mind if I give her lots of kisses either. Next to Grandma, Aunty Jan is my favourite person.

    • Well hello dear Cally! How sweet are you to be willing to share your favorite Mr. Bunny with me. I would be sure to bring Mr. Prickles along for you to even the playing field. It sounds like you bring joy into so many lives. Grandma and Aunty Jan are lucky to have you and your hugs. 🙂 Loves, Wiles.

  5. I am in love with Wiley. Come meet kishmish on my blog

  6. huntmode Says:

    Wiley, I’m with you on this. I sucked my thumb until I was about 14 – mostly when I was going to sleep. Then they took the braces off and said all the pain would be for naught if I continued…. I thought about those two years of pain and chose to quit that night… but I’ve got to say there have been times when I miss the comfort of that thumb. Claire said to tell you, she passed on the stuffed buddies, and licks the couch instead – a greyhound thing to do, apparently. Elby, that Cat!, on the other hand joyfully took all of Claire’s neglected toys and attacks ’em without reservation – makes him feel good! Stick with what gives you comfort, I say.

  7. Nessy San Says:

    Verve is Passion. Perfectly said Mr. Wiley! Definitely this is one of your cutest photos! 😀

  8. Wiley, you take good care of your inner puppy and your toys! There’s nothing wrong with it 🙂

  9. Maria Says:

    Creative, witty and completely endearing way to wrap a good story – thnx!

  10. […] previously referred to these (albeit stuffed) characters in my life as my Comfort Circle and for good reason. Ever since I was a pup, I have found comfort in nursing on the soft little […]

  11. […] My Circle of Comfort | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  12. […] My Circle of Comfort | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  13. You stumbled into a way to soothe yourself.
    That’s quite interesting you know.
    Knowing what gives you comfort actually gives you an edge.
    Lovely post! 🙂

    • So nice to meet you, new friend! Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my thoughts…I love seeing new paw prints on my pages!!! Please come visit me again soon!
      Lots of love,

  14. Reblogged this on Wiley's Wisdom and commented:

    There is this funny thing about comfort. Sometimes our lives change, but our sources of comfort don’t. So embrace them.

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