Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Middle December 30, 2013

It all started with a fairly routine trip to Petco. I was there for a quick nail trim (in between visits to my regular groomer) and one would think I would have been sidetracked by all of the 50% off holiday toys and treats. No such thing. Instead I spotted them right away and I could tell exactly how they had spent their day.

It was a family of four, complete with a mom and a dad and their two little girls. With them stood a patient and surprisingly well-behaved terrier mix who (with a little help from mom) I later learned to be named Cooper. And the cart. From puppy training pads to Petco’s very best all-natural treats and dog food, it was loaded to the brim with everything a family taking in a new dog could possibly need.

Reflecting on lifeBut Cooper wasn’t just any new dog. He was a one-year-old rescue dog, his mom explained, and they had just adopted him for Christmas. The older of the two little people (who I would guess to be about five-years-old) was gripping Cooper’s leash like the lifeline I know it to be. When I saw the way her little hands proudly held that leash, it was like she was holding something in my heart. In that moment, I was overwhelmed with excitement and joy and happiness and the slightest bit of cautious anxiety for the journey on which this family was about to embark.

Under most circumstances, the anxiety is abnormal for me. At least in my world, a house is not a home without the special pet who (in his or her own unique way) somehow completes the picture. I think that’s why I felt a certain cautious emotion I recognized as anxiety.

Because I know one too many dogs who have recently left their forever homes for the Rainbow Bridge. Snuggledog was put down after he got so sick and the doggie doctors couldn’t figure out what to do to help him. He was three. A few days earlier Rusty took his 15 years of wisdom with him to doggie heaven. And then only a couple of nights ago, eight-year-old Raider got a little too interested in something in the road and was hit by a speeding car.

It starts and ends with my otherwise routine trip to Petco. Amidst so much loss, my encounter with Cooper and his new family struck such a tender chord in my heart. This week, as the family and friends of Snuggledog, Rusty and Raider pick up the broken pieces of their hearts, Cooper’s family becomes whole as he settles into his forever home. Life. From the ground up, each day is precious whether we are at the beginning or the end of our journey. Because ultimately it’s how we spend the middle that counts.

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9 Responses to “The Middle”

  1. Wiley, this post made me cry. You’re right, it’s all about the dash between our birth and death dates…do as much as you can with the dash! My sad heart from the ground up tonight for the families of your pup buddies.

    • Oh goodness, I never intend to make people cry and yet it always seems to be the good cleansing kind of cry so I guess that’s okay. Thank you for dropping by to see me again, dear friend. You’re absolutely right about that beloved dash. I know that poem well, and it is something I reflect on regularly. To us and our dashes!
      Lots of love,

  2. kiwiskan Says:

    You have made me sad as well Wiley. Memories of dogs I have loved in the past

  3. huntmode Says:

    Oh Wyles… three of them. My heart to their loved ones and my heart to Cooper’s new family – may it be the beginning of the best years of their lives. Beautiful pictures there, Wyles. Well done, my friend. HuntMode, Ella & Elby

  4. utesmile Says:

    You say it so right again as always. For us humans too, every day is precious and counts. Make that last day of the year count and wishing all the best for many many more precious days with your wondeful loving family in the new year! To more love and joy while we are in the middle and we will always remember the loved ones on our heart who are not with us any more!

  5. That’s so sad and a lot of tears are running here. They will always have a place in my heart and in my memory.

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

    A few hours later, labor started.

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