Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Making It Happen March 31, 2014

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. That Isaac Newton sure knew what he was talking about. Thanks in part to treats involved with training and learning tricks, I’ve become something of a connoisseur on the topic through my doggie life. To Making It Happen

Sit. Get a treat. Lie down. Get a treat. Do nothing at all but look really (really) cute. Get a treat. Well, the last one only works every now and then. But the point is it does work. To think my beloved people think they are the ones training me! That’s what I want them to think.

Meanwhile, I got to thinking of this action and reaction concept today as it was mom’s first day at her new place called work. And as I reflect upon how this change came to be I realized something pretty powerful. It’s easy to be reactive. But something pretty awful comes with that territory. I think when you are completely reactive to the world around you, it is easier to find yourself waiting. And waiting. And then the waiting can bring with it negative thoughts about waiting. Suddenly the waiting becomes an inevitable dance with destiny and the result often isn’t worth the wait.

The solution isn’t this waiting game. It isn’t waiting for something bad to happen. The solution is to be proactive instead of reactive. Make it happen. Make the good happen.

That’s what mom did when she decided to change jobs recently. She stopped waiting. Instead she did. She made it happen. It wasn’t easy. And the transition isn’t going to be easy. But I have a feeling about this change. I think it’s for the best. And I’m not just saying that because I think I will be seeing more of mom as a result. I’m saying that because I really want her to be happy. Sadly there are no treats I can give her to reinforce happiness. (Wouldn’t it be nice if there were?)

Instead I remember that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Because that Isaac Newton definitely hit the nail on the head with that one.

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The world is my dog park

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:52 pm

It was 60 degrees in Wisconsin today and I longed to be at the dog park. No such luck, but I did score a pretty long walk around the neighborhood!

Wiley's Wisdom

“Why, except as a means of livelihood, a man should desire to  act on the stage when he has the whole world to act in, is not clear to  me.” Dear George Bernard Shaw, how I enjoy your words. Not to mention My Fair Lady, but that is a whole other conversation.

I am back in Simple Abundance mode, looking to day four: This Isn’t a Dress Rehearsal. Today is about today, not about practicing for today. We have the whole world to act in, as Shaw put it, so why don’t we use it?

Today’s challenge to live each day as if it were our last got me to thinking about where I would want to spend my last day. Like many of my canine pals, it didn’t take much to come to the conclusion that one of the contenders for my final hours would be the dog park

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Jumping For Joy March 30, 2014

Apparently it’s frowned upon. It’s one of those behaviors that helps earns a dog (who shall remain unnamed) the title of obedience school drop out. It’s one of those things that makes a lot of people say “no!” in loud voices. Jumping. From the ground up, it is literally one of my life’s true conundrums.

JoyBecause my forever people seem to like it. From day one, I have reacted to the simple motion of a person patting their legs while standing as a cue they would like me to jump into their arms. Obviously that must be why they are patting their legs like that. So I use the imaginary springs in my legs to jump two or three feet into the air and voila! Success for all parties.

Unfortunately not everyone understands this gesture as the sign of joy it is meant to be. I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that the thought of catching my 23-pound frame would seem daunting if one is physically unprepared. But it got me to thinking today about the unique power of the unexpected.

The unknown. From the ground up, I know it can be scary. And usually there is no way to prepare. But if we overcome it by bringing fear to purpose, it can become a beacon of joy. If we let it.

This is not to say my methods of jumping for joy are always the best. To each his own. At least I know it works for me. And for my people. And, as it turns out, it worked on the photographer visitors that were here in my forever home recently. It turns out they didn’t forget about me at all. They actually included me in a second version of the commercial, which begins with a lovely image of mom and baby Carter.

Of all things, I was jumping. There I am doing the thing that most dog trainers frown upon. The naughty thing that gets dogs like me kicked out of obedience school. The thing that seems to elicit the “no” response more than most other things I do. There I am doing what I do best. Jumping for joy. I don’t think I will ever be convinced it’s such a bad thing.

To see the second version of the commercial: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=573205620437&l=8948471090623811603

 

 

Silently Speaking: Life’s Little Reminders

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:08 pm

Making light of one of my least favorite things.

Wiley's Wisdom

I’m a glass-half-full kind of dog. I wake up each day and make a heartfelt commitment to see the good in people, places and things. But even our best intentions get challenged. For me, a constant challenge to my outlook on life is silence. I hate not being able to talk. Perhaps that’s why I find such comfort in writing down my thoughts…because the silence drives me bonkers.Smiling for Silence

What I find most ironically disturbing about silence is how it can be more powerful than words. As a lover of words, I can’t help but wonder why is it that silence speaks so loudly?

I take the challenge. I am going to find something good to say about silence. Let us welcome Sir Francis Bacon to the conversation. Talk about finding the good in people. The English philosopher wore many hats, including one of disgrace following his political career. Yet…

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Circle of Love March 29, 2014

I don’t get out much. Between the never-ending frigidness that has been this winter and my forever people’s recent attachment to being home with my little person, it’s a reality of life lately. Walks around the neighborhood have been fairly nonexistent in this weather. Car rides are few and far between. And the dog park has been covered either in feet of snow or layers of ice for months. Such is life.Circle of Love

Every time I find myself feeling down about it something magical happens. This morning it happened during snuggle time. It’s always been part of Saturday morning in the Schmidt home in one way or another but its been different since baby Carter came home.

Until today. Today was special somehow because I was nestled between dad and Carter, and Carter was snuggled on mom, who was holding hands with dad. There we were. The four of us. Our own little circle of love. In that moment nothing outside that circle mattered.

The moment passed, the day went on, and I didn’t think it could get any better. But it did. Because today, after what feels like a very long time without leaving the house, I got to go on a car ride. Better yet, the car ride was to see extended members of the circle of love at Grandma Schmidt’s house.

My time there today more than made up for all of the time inside this winter. Not because I was the center of attention. That role obviously went to baby Carter. (It’s okay. I’m used to it.) Today I felt so much warmth, so much joy, it melted all that remains of winter away. It doesn’t matter whether it happens at my forever home or elsewhere. I was born to be with these people. From the ground up, such is life.

 

 

Simplify – An Inner Journey

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:27 pm

The least and sum of these is gratitude and joy.

Wiley's Wisdom

There is great power in words. Once uttered, they can’t be taken back. That is one of many reasons I love the written word. I’ve heard from a couple of different people that mom used to keep a book of words. Not in any particular or logical order, just a collection of words she thought were unique, insightful or just plain neat.

Day three with Simple Abundance is a reflection on some of life’s most powerful vocabulary words. “At the heart of Simple Abundance is an authentic awakening, one that resonates with your soul,” Breathnach writes. “You already possess all you need to be genuinely happy.”

In a world that seeks psychological acceptance from exterior sources, Breathnach challenges that genuine and sincere happiness occurs through internal understanding and appreciation of a set of big picture words. When weaved together, these high octave words piece together a road sign toward internal…

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Give and Take March 28, 2014

It’s been a long time coming. Yet it seemed to pass with the blink of an eye. Today was mom’s last day at that place called work. And I thought she’d be excited. Instead I was met with mixed emotions upon her return home. It wasn’t until later that I understood why.

Get what you giveIt had been a busy day around here, with my grandma and aunt Morgan spending time with baby Carter and I. There was an incident involving a teeny tiny cut that happened when Morgan was cutting Carter’s itsy bitsy nails. He cried. Grandma and Morgan cried. If I could, I would have cried. It was tough on everyone because we all know no one would intentionally hurt our dear little person. Yet he was hurt today.

I thought it was oddly poetic that mom seemed a little hurt too. She invested a tremendous amount of herself in that place, but even more so in the people it included. They became her work family. They came to her with troubles and she never once turned them away. As they took other opportunities in and outside the organization, she celebrated their success. She worked almost as hard to foster relationships as she did at her job itself.

So today, when she left the office for the last time with her box of office keepsakes, she did so with a heavy heart. Because she quite honestly didn’t feel very loved. Her work family let her go with very little fanfare. It was all too soon forgotten how she cared for them in time of need. And as she is taking an opportunity outside the organization, very few peopled celebrated her success.

But that’s the thing about give and take. It doesn’t always turn out like we plan. Just like no one would intentionally hurt dear baby Carter, I believe no one meant to hurt mom today. And I think deep down she knows that too. Or at least she does a pretty good job of pretending.

Because it has indeed been a long time coming. And it has passed in the blink of an eye. It doesn’t matter that mom didn’t take much fanfare home with her today. She gave 110%. That’s what really matters anyway.