Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Remembering Wiley September 17, 2013

He kind of annoyed me at first. The people at the shelter called him Wiley and my first impression of him resonated perfectly with his name. He was small, but you wouldn’t have known it from all the noise he was making. Whining and pacing and scratching and whimpering. It was all too much. Worse than that, I’d seen it all before. These young pups come in here all anxious and adorable. I don’t understand what all the fussing is about. I don’t understand why they let themselves get so worked up.

Meanwhile I’ve come to the conclusion I will not be adopted. The Oshkosh Humane Society will be my final forever home. No one wants a 15-year-old golden retriever when they can have the puppies, or the anxiety attack two-year-old terrier mixes like my new neighbor. But I have made peace with that. I’ve lived a long and fulfilled life. I had a forever home with people who loved me. I had a family who loved me, played with me, and brought joy to my heart. I know what it means to be man’s best friend. I also know I’m not quite finished. I have something left to offer the world, and I am going to do it through this new neighbor of mine.Rusty

Because there is something different about this one. I can see it in his eyes. They are wide open to his soul, just like mine were at his age. And in that moment, his little soul was desperate for connection. For love. For hope. I could see it in his eyes. He was about to give up, and I was not about to let that happen.

So I told him my story. I couldn’t tell if he wanted to hear it but I didn’t care. My purpose in life was to share joy from the ground up with whoever would take it. To see the best in all people, places and things. To walk the walk. And, perhaps most importantly of all, to respect that sometime we get pushed on our backs to force us to look up and see some sunshine.Remembering Rusty

I’ll never know what he did with the wisdom I shared with him that fateful night. And it was incredibly hard for me to say goodbye to him before the people took me to that place in the shelter a few days later. (I’d come to recognize it as the “deliveries only” kind of room where the old, unwanted dogs go into never to return). But I know one thing for sure.

He kind of annoyed me at first. He had all that energy and he was wasting it all on pessimism. But I’d been through too much, seen to much, lived too much to let the opportunity slip through my paws. So I lived my purpose that night by sharing my wisdom with him. It was like the final chapter in a long life of joy from the ground up. And I wouldn’t have traded my time with him for all the Beggin’ Strips in the world. That annoying little Wiley will know better than to mourn my loss, I thought as I made my way to the Rainbow Bridge. No sir. He will paw it forward.

This post was written from the perspective of my dear friend and mentor Rusty from the Oshkosh Humane Society in response to today’s daily prompt: Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal, or another person.

Rusty was right. His optimism lit a flame in my heart that night no one can ever blow out. I will never forget, dear Rusty. I will not forget.

Related Posts: Remembering Rusty, http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/02/17/remembering-rusty/


27 Responses to “Remembering Wiley”

  1. likeitiz Says:

    Nice! I enjoyed it, Wiley.

  2. The C-Sweet Says:

    Oh Wiley, how very poignant. I’m speechless…it’s been that kind of day for me. Oh yeah, that was yesterday. It’s today already and I’m up in the “middle of the night”. You always get to my heart Wiley. Love you for that!

  3. stanze Says:

    It’s probably not meant to be sad, but I find it sad as well.

  4. Thank you! That was so very beautiful. As soon as I dry my tears, I’m sharing your story with my friends and giving Splotchy an extra big hug!

  5. Clowie Says:

    You brought a tear to my biped’s eye.

  6. Heartbreakingly beautiful.

  7. huntmode Says:

    Wyles – you punched me in the heart with the “deliveries only” sentence…. One of your best stories – and those pics. My guys were making me crazy today – Elby sprawled on my notebook and book I was studying; Ella whimpering for this, that or something not clear – a high pitch sound that demands soothing – I did my best with both thinking I was lucky to be so interrupted, but…. grr, but…. However, at the end of your story, I glanced over and both are stretched out and sound asleep. It was my turn to disturb them with hugs and kisses – and, of course, they were very good sports about my interrupting them. 🙂

    • Dear friend,
      I didn’t intend to punch you in the heart though I’m glad my words resulted in some extra loving for my best buddies in spirit – dear Elby and Ella. A while back I blogged about my similar approach to my beloved people sometimes – pestering them for attention. I’ve joked if attention-getting were an Olympic sport, I’d win at least a bronze. 😉 And I’m sure Elby and Ella would be right up there on the podium with me.
      Lots of love to the whole family,

      • huntmode Says:

        Ah, it was a good punch, Wyles – your mentor sounds so special and loving and may the sun always be shining on the grass at Rainbow Bridge Park.

      • I’m glad it was a good punch, dear friend. Those are all right, I suppose. And yes, in my book the sun is definitely always shining on the grass at Rainbow Bridge Park. 🙂

  8. Beautiful job Wiley. And Rusty! ♥

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

    Sometimes a change in perspective teaches us powerful lessons.

  10. Tessa Says:

    Well that left me with tears in my eyes. Great for Wiley, but sad for Rusty. Oh well I needed a good cry. Very well written from Rusty’s point of view.

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