Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

No Freedom Without Love May 19, 2013

Shelter dogs long for it. Teenagers drool over it. Adults occasionally miss it. The way I see it, there is this thing about independence I can’t quite put my right paw on. It’s almost like its one of those things in the world that isn’t all it’s written up to be. But what exactly is it written up to be?

Well, you’d better believe I thought I knew the answer to that question while I was fending for myself on the streets all that time ago. After the initial anxiety I had about being separated from my mom and brothers wore off, I had a newfound and overwhelming surge of pride in my independence. I could do whatever I wanted wherever I wanted with whom ever I wanted. I didn’t have to report to anyone, rely on anyone or support anyone but myself. It was fabulous!

Feeling the LoveOh dog, did I have some growing up to do. I realized it a few days after I became an adjunct member of Tiger’s family. The dog (for whom I was previously uncertain whether to fear or despise) was my single most embarrassing misjudgment of character. It turned out he had four pretty good reasons to be protective of his food and shelter. Their names were Sam, Spike, Lucy and Lana, and they were only about eight weeks old when I met them for the first time. I wasn’t that much older than them myself, but upon meeting them I instantly felt protective like I would have been of my own brothers.

My moment of self-discovery happened a few days later when I had a rough day finding anything to bring home to share with Tiger and his pups. I scrounged harder than when I was on my own because I felt responsible somehow. I was so embarrassed to come home with empty paws that day, but Tiger didn’t mind one bit. He had a hidden stash of food for days like this. I was stubborn at first when he offered me some crumbs of a loaf of bread and a couple of almost-rotten carrots. I didn’t need his help. I could fend for myself. I was better than this. Stronger than this.

In that moment as Tiger’s earnest eyes held out to me my portion of the scraps I realized sometimes knowing when to ask for or accept help is wisdom at its core. There is more strength in those who ask for help than those who refuse it. Indeed, I was no longer the only dog who cared if I lived or died. I was no longer completely independent. And it wasn’t so bad. A few seconds later, I was scarfing down those precious little scraps with more joy in my heart than if I had returned home that day with a feast.

“Independence? That’s middle class blasphemy. We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth,” said Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.

What a silly young dog I once was, thinking complete independence was the best thing since sliced bacon. Independence, at its skeletal core, is not all its written up to be. It’s not about being completely alone in all things, plotting through life to “figure things out.” It’s about understanding yourself well enough to know how you best relate to others. It’s about making the best of our moments of solitude and sharing the resulting joy with someone. It’s about asking for help when you think you need it least. There is no true independence, no freedom, without love.

Today’s post is lovingly dedicated to a four-legged blogosphere friend of mine named Claire.

She passed away a few days ago, and she will be sorely missed.

Claire and Frond

 

24 Responses to “No Freedom Without Love”

  1. finnhoward Says:

    Very well said buddy. We are sorry to hear about the loss of your friend too. Have a good night.

  2. huntmode Says:

    Oh, Wiley, you took my breath away. I literally was transfixed staring at the screen and seeing my Claire, who would be so PROUD and I am sure she is up there in Heaven grinning in anticipation of your move and its impact on me. My dear four-footed friend, you have made me so humbled and happy to see your post. First time, tears sprang instantly to my eyes since I wrote of her passing. They were happy, profoundly grateful tears. Thank you, Wiley. Love HuntMode

    • Dear HuntMode,
      I’m so happy thinking of Claire smiling rays of happiness down on us from doggie heaven. Thank you for your kind words. My thoughts have been with you all week, and this was the littlest way I could think of to “say” so.
      Lots of love as always,
      Wiles

  3. huntmode Says:

    Reblogged this on Chasing Rabbit Holes and commented:
    Oh, Wiley, you took my breath away. I literally was transfixed staring at the screen and seeing my Claire, who would be so PROUD and I am sure she is up there in Heaven grinning in anticipation of your move and its impact on me. My dear four-footed friend, you have made me so humbled and happy to see your post. First time, tears sprang instantly to my eyes since I wrote of her passing. They were happy, profoundly grateful tears. Thank you, Wiley. Love HuntMode

  4. writetowag Says:

    With all that grey, a true dog lover knows that Claire’s heart was full of love, honor, faithfulness and above of all, just like you, FULL of wisdom. Bless you on the loss if your friend…tears…Big hugs my friend…

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself, dear Trev. Thank you for your kind words to me, as well as dear Claire. I know she had a profound pawprint on the heart of her fur-ever mom, who will appreciate your words as well. Big hugs to you!

  5. Thank you for your words of wisdom this Sunday night Wiley and all of us at Casa de Canterbury are very sorry you lost your friend Claire. She was a dreamboat.

  6. Lyn Says:

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us once more Wiley. Humans are also prone to pride and independence. I was guilty of it myself for a short time while trying to raise my three little ones on my own. I soon learnt though, that help was offered in love. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Claire, she was beautiful xx

    • Don’t be silly, dear Lyn. You should most definitely take some pride in what you’ve accomplished raising three little people on your own! You deserve a few extra scratches behind the ears for that (or whatever the human equivalent of that is). Please don’t cut yourself short on your accomplishments as a mother. 😉 Help is, indeed, though offered in love, and usually when we need it most. I’m glad people stepped up and helped in your times of need. We are so blessed.

  7. Thanks for your post, Wiley. I’m sad too about the loss of Claire.

    • I know – Claire definitely had no shortage of friends in the blogosphere that are mourning her loss. At least we are in good company. Lots of love, pal. High paw!

  8. My deepest condolences for the loss of Claire. Such very hard times.
    Wiley, you are truly a master of the wise. What a hard start you had but what an incredible insight it has given you.

    • It’s so true that where we come from shapes who we are. It does help when we come across special characters who help us along our path. Thank you for your words and thoughts as always. Lots of love, Wiles.

  9. huntmode Says:

    To Wiley and to all who have commented here, my appreciation runs deep and strong for all your kind words about Claire. How lucky we all are to be able to share in this virtual world of ours. Love HuntMode & Elby

    • It’s a pretty special thing when people can unite all over the world and throw our arms around each other in times of need. Lots of love to HuntMode, Elby and all who commented on the loss of dear Claire.

  10. […] No Freedom Without Love | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  11. FlaHam Says:

    Wiley, Life is a constant learning experience, you learned a very valuable lesson early and it will help you forever. It also takes a significant amount of courage to ask for help, clearly you have it, You were fortunate that Tiger took you under his paw, and it doing so found you had responsibilities you hadn’t before, but again you stood tall for those new self-imposed responsibilities. Take care Wiley, be safe. Bill

    • Dear Bill,
      Thank you for visiting again – it’s a pleasure to see someone our friend Huntie holds so dear. Courage is something that isn’t always easy to come by, as you said, so I appreciate your words. Take care, dear Bill!
      Lots of love,
      Wiles

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

    It makes me sad to think about loves lost, but that is selfish of me as I know in my heart they have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s