Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

I Chose Life July 2, 2013

What we know in our hearts we believe with our minds. It might sound simple, but this canine way of thought can also be incredibly complex. It’s also true regardless of what side of the doggie door we live on. If we’re on our own we are responsible for everything, in stark contrast to life in a forever home where the majority of decisions are made for us. Down to what we eat and when we eat it, we rely on our people to make the majority of life’s decisions for us.

But there is one thing we control regardless of whether we wear a collar with our names on it. We control how we feel about things. And I have to admit I didn’t always like the way I felt about people. Though I would argue puppies are born into this world with an innate connection to people, I learned not to trust them within the first few days of my life. My birth mom didn’t seem to trust them, so neither would I. I didn’t know the rationale behind her behavior, but it didn’t matter. It was decided. I too wouldn’t trust people. After I was separated from my mom, my belief remained intact for the most part. That is until various characters came in and out of my life that began to alter my perception. Maybe I was right all along, I remember thinking, we should trust people. My instincts were right! Yay Life!

It wasn’t long after that I met Jo and the man with the leather belt. Also known as the man with the baseball bat. And the man with the power drill. I didn’t make many decisions when I lived with them, except for the one I could control. I will never ever trust people again. What my heart knew was confirmed in my mind that day when the man left me on the side of the road. I remember Jo crying in the backseat, and I cringed thinking of her punishment when she got home and I wasn’t there to protect her anymore. The reality of that thought made me lose any shred of respect I still had for people.

It was a defining moment in my life. And the more I thought about my unconditional love for Jo, the more I realized I couldn’t give up all hope in people. I was faced with a decision, a fork in the road, and instead of doubt I chose hope. It made me too sad to think about a life without hope and trust and that unconditional love for a person. My purpose in life was not to be a scared little dog with no one to love.

That awful man may have scarred me emotionally, but he would not define the rest of my life. I knew in my heart that day I could trust people again, so I believed it. Complex as the journey was, it was actually surprisingly simple. Regardless of whether we wear a collar with our name on it, that is what we canines control. We control how we feel about things and no level of domestication can take that away from us.

I hate to think of what would have happened had I decided to stick to my decision not to trust people. I certainly wouldn’t have let that nice lady pick me up and take me to the Oshkosh Humane Society. Once I got there, I wouldn’t have tried my hardest to seem adorable and adoptable. I could have been that bitter dog who stays at the shelter until…well, they aren’t at the shelter anymore.

Instead I chose life. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

Related Posts:

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

Man’s Best Friend – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/06/16/mans-best-friend/


27 Responses to “I Chose Life”

  1. Wiley, you made a wise decision! Wooooohoooooooooo! Ku

  2. likeitiz Says:

    I’m glad you chose life.

  3. Lyn Says:

    For some reason, all my favourite blog posts made me cry today. Oh Wiley, I’m so glad you decided “the man with the belt” wasn’t going to define your life or who you were going to be. You are the most wonderful pup (even though you are technically a big dog now) with an incredible forever family. Sending you a cyberhug {{{{{Wiley}}}}}

    • I hate hearing I made someone cry, BUT you paid back the favor with your words dear Lyn. You touched my heart with your words and your cyberhug. Lots of love to you and the family!

  4. pieterk515 Says:

    Wow. Amazing post. Let’s take a lesson from a canine today.

  5. Basil Says:

    Big hug my pal!

  6. Good choice, Wiley. You have enriched many lives besides your own with your decision. It would’ve been tragic if you gave the bad man with all the stuff the power to control your life even after he was out of it. By letting go of what he did to you, you took back the power to live your life in joy and loving.

    Love and licks and joy right back at ya,

    • I have to say your comment (yet again) touched my little doggie heart. Thank you for always knowing exactly what to say. Lots of love and joy to you and your Mom.

  7. That was the best decision, Wiley. Things we learnt and felt can be changing. Last year I was bitten by a belgian malinois – without a reason. I’ve learnt not to trust this dogs and when I saw one I went in “defense-mode”. This year another one of this breed came up to me and I thought now we will have a free for all – but he played with me and we shared a water bowl. Now I know not all this “orange dogs” are mean and there is no reason for me to growl or to bark.

    • Oh my goodness…I hate to think of anything happening to you, one of my dearest and most loyal blogosphere friends! You take care and use that defense mode as much as necessary!

  8. utesmile Says:

    Very good choice Wiley! You are a very wise dog with a heart of gold !

  9. […] I Chose Life | Wiley’s Wisdom […]

  10. huntmode Says:

    Hi Wiley – Victor Frankl said it for humans as well, “The last of human freedoms – To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances and to choose one’s own way.” Glad you chose again, Wyles!

  11. I love you wise Wiley! So brave.

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

    And how does that make you feel? You decide. 🙂

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