Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

An Interview with My Incouragable Mentor May 15, 2013

Once-in-a-lifetime is the only (albeit lengthy) adjective I can think of to describe the opportunity I had in my daydream today.

I was sporting a doggie suit and tie (yes, they actually make those) but that wasn’t the unbelievable part. Sitting across from me was the one and only Marley. Mr. Incorrigible, Mr. Obedience School Drop-Out himself. But that’s not all! When I finally gathered my thoughts and opened my mouth, out came words! People words! (My voice was much deeper than I’d expected, too, so that was an added bonus.) This was truly a dream come true.

Marley and MeThe conversation didn’t last long (this was, after all, a daydream), but it meant the world to me regardless of it not being real. I asked him all about his escapades chewing the floors, jumping out of moving car windows, chasing down a baseball at Dodgers stadium, and causing all-out chaos at Dog Beach.

“I never did any of that for the attention or out of spite like I’m sure some people think,” he explained. “I did it to live life to the fullest. Looking back, I can say I did everything I wanted to with my doggie life. I have no regrets.”

His live-each-day-as-if-it-were-his-last outlook on life had a softer side too, in moments of extreme emotion in the Grogan home.

“I always knew when something was wrong,” he said. “I sometimes sensed it before it even happened. It is agony not being able to say anything to make it better, so I loved with all my heart in those moments and I think that helped in its own way.”

Sad times aside, there were a good deal of happy times to which Marley contributed as well. I was pretty excited to talk with Marley about our shared interest in dancing with our forever moms around our respective kitchens.

“Oh that,” he said with a laugh, “It was terribly uncomfortable as I’m sure you know, but it was worth it to see her smile that big because of me.”

I confided in Marley that I’ve often wondered what will happen to that special time together with my forever mom after she has children of her own. Marley scoffed at the thought.

“I loved every new addition to the family like they were my own pups, and (in a way) they were,” he explained. “That’s what being a family dog is all about. Living each day to the fullest, loving with all your heart, and finding any opportunity to bring joy to others…no matter how small they might be.”

And, with that brilliant soliloquy, my daydream was interrupted by my mid-afternoon visitor also known as the mailman.

Regardless of the interruption, Marley’s words stuck with me throughout the remainder of the day, echoing in my soul like a constant reminder of who I am and what I am meant to be to the people in my life.

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours,” said John Grogan, owner of Marley and author of Marley and Me. “Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

I can only hope to have impact like this in the lives of my people.


18 Responses to “An Interview with My Incouragable Mentor”

  1. Wiley you are such a well-read dog! Woowoooos to yoooowooooo! Ku

  2. Purnimodo Says:

    When opened WP this morning I was just thinking by myself: ‘I haven’t read some good ol’ Wiley Wisdom in a while’ and then. tadaa you show up in my browser. 😀

    As usual ubercute and uplifting!

    Och.. Marley and me.. I cried my eyeballs out!

    • Thank you for sharing your story…I am so flattered that you thought of me this morning! And I’m excited too, because I haven’t seen you in a while – I love it when familiar friends stop by to say hi. I know what you mean about crying – my mom cries the entire last 1/3 of the book and the last half hour of the movie. I try to tell her it’s okay – I’m still here – but I don’t think she hears me. It’s the darndest thing. 🙂 Lots of love to you, friend!

  3. Basil Says:

    I am sure you already have!!

  4. You make an impact like that every single day, Wiley! Not only with the people at your house, but with all of your fans. You are the best teacher in the world. All of us dogs know about living in the now, but you’re the most eloquent in the sharing. xoxo

    Love and licks,

    • Dear Cupcake,
      You mean to tell me I have fans? I hardly think so. What I have is friends. Like you. 😉
      Thank you for stopping by and making my heart smile with your words as usual.
      Lots of love,

  5. I’m sure you have, Wiley. I think dogs leave their pawprints in their family forever. We only read the book of Marley halfway-through, because Mom can’t read books about dogs without an happy end. (therefore my granny is the “book taster” and has to mark all sad parts with a paperclip)

    • You mom is lucky to have a book taster to play keep away with the sad parts of books. Thank goodness granny is willing to suffer through the entirety of emotional sacrifice…that really is quite thoughtful of her. 😉 Kidding aside, I think you’re right about the pawprints we leave on our forever families. At least I hope so with all my little doggie heart. 🙂

  6. likeitiz Says:

    Loved that book too!

  7. Maria Says:

    A person truly can learn, quite a lot, from a dog – and so I follow each new post of yours.
    High paw and tail wag!

    • And a dog enjoys, quite a lot, high paws and tail wags! It brings joy to my little doggie heart to read your words. Thank you for being such a fabulous friend, dear Maria.

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

    My own kind of tribute to Marley.

  9. Bongo Says:

    Marley is my mentor. I try to be like him in every way possible.

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