Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Always Live Love July 31, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:15 pm

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. I wish I could speak dog, mom will say. That or she’ll ask me what I’m thinking about. To which I can do nothing but will her to read my mind. Such is the continental divide of communication in a dog’s life.

But today I heard a story that broke the barrier. Apparently my doggie cousin Joey knows a thing or two about getting a point across. His was an idea that was truly both mad and brilliant. (It is remarkable how often those two threads coincide). He tore up all of my aunt Morgan’s flip flops. Every single pair.

At face value it sounds like a very (very) bad thing. Especially for the women folk in my life who make a hobby of collecting shoes that I’ll never fully understand. It certainly isn’t something I would do (not after the pink heel incident of 2010). And he knows it is probably something he shouldn’t have done.

Carter and Joey

Carter and Joey

But I’m never one to stop there. At face value, yes, it sounds pretty naughty. Then I realized why he did it and the skies opened and the rays of heaven shined down on me. He did it so she can’t go to that place called work, a place she frequently goes for what feels like forever to him. Sure, she has to work to pay for the roof over his head, food in his bowl and all those toys and treats he likes. But to Joey, all the treats in the world are no substitute for his time with his beloved forever person.

It is quite the conundrum, this communication thing. That’s why I give Joey credit for finding a way to tell Morgan he doesn’t like her going to that place called work. Not only that, but the thought behind these things reminds me of the importance to enjoy every moment with loved ones because you never known when it could be your last. Always kiss goodnight. Always say “I love you” before hanging up the phone. Always live love. It’s the universal language, after all.


Great Minds On Forgiveness

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:02 pm

What do you think? Do great minds really think alike?

Wiley's Wisdom

The great and infamous “they” say great minds think alike. I’m not so sure.

From what I have observed, there are a lot of great minds that have thought alike in the wrong kind of way. All it takes is a quick internet search of “stupid celebrity moments” or “celebrities say the darndest things,” and you will find some things that will change your philosophical perspective in the wrong direction.


Being in the limelight nonstop might start to affect people after a while, but I’m not sure that makes some of what happens excusable. Last year, names like Chris Brown, John Travolta, Halle Berry and even alleged lovebirds Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart made headlines for all the wrong reasons. More recently, Michael Richards (who is known best for his role as Kramer in the American comedic sitcom “Seinfeld,”) said some incredibly choice words that got him in incredibly hot…

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We Have Lived July 30, 2014

It actually sounds a bit crazy to think about these days. Yet it doesn’t change the truth. The majority of the first several weeks of dear baby Carter’s life, it was ridiculously cold around here. I know such things are a matter of perspective, but today I reflected back 190 days ago In The Grassand alas, it was two degrees that day.

The thing is, after that frigid a winter (with abnormally regular temperatures in the negative 5 to 10 degree range) people around here now have something new to complain about. A cold summer. So far, we’ve only had a few uncomfortably hot days and my all intent and purpose summer as we know it is indeed drawing to a close already. It seems too soon. It seems like we deserve more after the absolute north pole-esque winter we had.

Instead we have this, a fairly mild summer. And while it’s easy to be pretty upset about that, I can’t help but think back to 190 days ago when it was freezing cold and baby Carter cried. All. The. Time. It ironically even came to mind today what those days were like, three weeks after Carter was born. When no one slept more than an hour at a time. Stress and all other emotions were running at full steam ahead. And neither of my people would have changed a single thing about it.

Joy. It doesn’t sound like it to most people, but that is what those first few weeks were for my forever people. It’s just taken us all a bit to realize it since we were in such an over-tired, exhausted haze of sleep depravity at the time. Now that Carter has been sleeping through the night for some time, I am reminded of those harder (yet somehow joyful) times all those months ago. He hasn’t been sleeping quite as well, do doubt do to something mom keeps calling teething. So I stand by and hope (for everyone’s sake) that sleep will still resume to its previously happy normalcy.

In the meantime, I know how far things have come since all of those months ago. January 21, 2014 it was literally two degrees outside. Mom would never have thought to let me outside to do anything other than relieve myself and come back in (for fear I may have formed into a doggie icicle of some sort I suppose). And I realized today that my dream that day, that frigidly freezing day, has indeed come to fruition on multiple occasions. I am so blessed to say I had hoped and prayed all of those months ago that dear baby Carter and I would have a chance to play together in the grass.

We have, and in doing so, I would say we have lived.


Life: One Breath At A Time

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:12 pm

A 15-year-old girl tells us the Chronicles of Life. I think she nailed it.

Wiley's Wisdom

The prolific and powerful American poet Emily Dickenson had a lot to say about life and death. It breaks my heart that most of her beautiful words didn’t reach the hearts and minds of readers until after she had left this world, but what a blessing they are nonetheless. So many of her poems continue to live by breathing life into the pages of historical literature.

“To live is so startling, it leaves little time for anything else,” she once said.

Indeed, life can take us by surprise in so many powerful ways if we let it. Sometimes I fear we are our own stopping points because we think don’t have time to stop and take notice about the life all around us. In 2001, a very nervous 15-year-old girl made her way onto a very large stage to take notice. She shared the following words with the crowd that…

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Falling From The Sky July 29, 2014

It’s normally not one of my favorite things when the sky cries. It happens a lot around here in the springtime, and (at least this year) pretty frequently in the summertime. The summertime storms are not my favorite, with their loud crashing sounds but I deal all right compared to a lot of the stories I’ve heard about fellow four-leggers. To be honest, it is definitely one of few things I am in denial about there being a silver lining. All right, I suppose there are some benefits (like the plants flourishing, for example). But in general, rain does not bring good things in my opinion.Heavenly Reflections

At least that’s what I thought until tonight. I went outside to keep mom company as she refilled the bird feeders that now scatter through my backyard paradise when it happened. The smell. If you’ve ever stood outside a few moments before a spring or summer rain, you know what I’m talking about. It is a distinct and indescribable scent that somehow uplifts and restores the soul. I can’t explain it.

Mom smelled it too, because she seemed somehow to be floating through the yard as she busied herself with the feeders. Meanwhile, I sat back watching as fireflies danced and a cool wind blew through my fur. It was a pretty perfect moment.

I find these happening from time to time. Moments with raindrops and fireflies that somehow bring joy to everyone there to witness them. In this (albeit rare) case, I was happy to welcome in the rain that continues to pitter patter on the windowsills as I write. In this case I find it soothing, comforting and refreshing. Like most things, I know it’s all a matter of perspective. Maybe God knew I needed a reminder of that tonight so he brought to life a thought by English writer and philosopher Gilbert Chesterson.

“When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down,” Chesterson suggested. “Without the rain, there would be no rainbow.”



All the Small Things

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:33 pm

Want to know my perspective on how we can obtain world peace? Read on!

Wiley's Wisdom

I figured it out! I know what we have to do. World peace is at our fingertips people! All we have to do is hug one another. All right, all right, I know I’m likely not the first one to throw this theory on the table, but please hear me out. The power is in the numbers.

Today I enjoyed 76 different petting sessions, made close to 20 people smile at least once, and spent more time being hugged and played with than by myself. That, my friends, is a good day. I’m certain I didn’t make anyone’s problems disappear, but peace was in the air in my favorite kind of way today.Small Smiles Make A Big Difference

All kidding aside, my experience today led me to wonder what the world would be like if we all committed to the theory to kill our enemies with kindness rather than violence. Perhaps one of the reasons…

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The Proverbial Dog House July 28, 2014

There really is no excuse for what happened this morning. One minute I was happily exploring my the subconscious otherwise known as my personal dreamland (which today was filled with peanut butter rolled in bacon). The next minute, my tail was being pulled HARD, effectively bringing my delicious dreamy feast to a startling end. And what happened next is something I can’t take back.

I gave dear baby Carter three tries to back away from the tail. One small snarl, followed by a slightly louder and more fierce snarl, followed by the angry nip. It all happened so fast. I didn’t know the third tug came from mom’s hand instead of Carter’s. Clearly she was testing me to gauge my reaction the third time. And I failed. Miserably. Say a Little Prayer

My reaction wasn’t nearly fierce enough to hurt mom, but I realized moments later in the bitter aftermath it probably could have hurt Carter. Pretty badly, in fact. Because mom was mad. And by mad, I mean she was yelling and screaming at me like I’ve never seen her yell and scream at me before. Ever. “BAD DOG, WILEY!” she yelled. “BAD DOG! BAD DOG! BAD DOG! THAT COULD HAVE BEEN CARTER’S FACE!” It went on and on for what seemed like an eternity. I think people forget sometimes that we move along in our minds well before we do in our hearts. But that’s neither here nor there.

The truth is simple. I screwed up. I wasn’t thinking, but that is no excuse. There is no excuse for what happened this morning. And there is punishment in knowing I can never take back that moment. I have to earn back the trust of my dear forever mom, which is something I held so dear. But that’s not even the worst of it. The worst of it is not the anger or the yelling. It’s the disappointment. I could see it in her eyes (which almost instantaneously welled up with tears) and I could hear it in her voice. She was disappointed in me. And that is truly heartbreaking.

But today, as I recommit and ask God for better patience with the ever-more-mobile dear baby Carter, I pause to reflect on the words of well-known American politician Martin Luther King Jr., who said “there can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.”

Thank goodness for that because I think I’ll be spending a little time in the proverbial dog house for a while.


A Night In the Life

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:30 pm

On sleep and sleep-related things.

Wiley's Wisdom

There is a lot to be thankful for about mornings. Every day the sun rises is a blessing. I have mixed emotions about the birds outside the bedroom window that seem to chirp a little earlier each morning, but I do give them credit for always catching the worm. So it might come to a surprise to some people that I would definitely describe myself as a night doggie.

In the mornings when my forever people get ready to go to that place called work I stay in a semi-sleep haze state until they both leave and I enjoy my morning nap. I sleep the majority of most days. When I wake, I daydream.

It’s my people time. It doesn’t matter if we’re all cuddled on the couch, playing pickle in the middle (even though I am always the pickle), or they are keeping me company while I blog: our time in…

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A Trip Takes Us July 27, 2014

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

It’s kind of like a duvet cover. Or tennis shoes. Or clothes. These are some of the people things in life I can’t say I’ve ever fully understood. But alas, they are commonplace in my forever home (and homes throughout my beloved United States of America I presume), so I have come to know these items as part of normalcy. Wiley Car Ride

Then there’s the emotional things. Like when mom was pregnant and would cry at the drop of a hat (which, if I’m being honest hasn’t changed very much). Or when dad compulsively trades things (I think he’s owned about 32 softball bats since he got back into the game about a year ago).

Or like last night. When dear auntie Morgan met up with her ex-boyfriend of quite a few years for closure. Nothing at all about that made sense to me. To me, it sounded like an accident waiting for a place to happen. To me, it sounded like a disaster. To me, it sounded like heartbreak. None of these things are anything I would ever wish on a loved one.

But it happened nonetheless, and I while I am surprised by the outcome I am even more surprised by the lesson that outcome has brought into my heart. Closure. From the ground up, it’s something I’ve never really experienced firstpaw. I didn’t get to say goodbye to my birth mom and brothers the fateful day I lost them. I didn’t get to give a farewell snuggle to dear little Jo before the man with the leather belt abandoned me on the side of the road. I’ve had issues with things coming to an end before I get to accept they have.

So when I heard about this whole closure thing, I was wary. I didn’t want her to get hurt taking a swing at something that has in my life never even been an option. But she swung anyway and apparently it was a worthwhile effort. Which makes me think maybe there is something to this whole idea of closure. I suppose the words of American author John Steinbeck ring true in this (and many) cases.

“A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless,” suggested Steinbeck. “We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

From duvet covers to the latest fashions, I know there are a lot of things I deem unnecessary in life. But when it comes to the importance of closure, maybe I’ve been missing out all these years. And, if so, I chose today to fix that. Today I accept the things I cannot change and embrace the future without the burden of things past. Because this trip has taken me and I have nothing left to do but enjoy the ride.


Seeing is Believing

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:35 pm

Mom loses her glasses once a week. Such is life.

Wiley's Wisdom

I look around my house all the time, but today I found myself counting the blessings of the words all around me.

“Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away” hangs over my beloved bay window.

“Simplify” graces one of the end tables by my favorite spot on the couch.

“Live, laugh, love,” hangs above the kitchen sink where I frequently steal any and every scrumptious morsel that falls to the ground.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in perfect harmony” hangs in the hallway where dad throws my toys for me to fetch.

These messages are all such fantastic reminders of what it means to be alive, and yet I live most of my days without giving them a second glance.

Sight is funny that way. I’ve noted before how familiarity…

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