Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Tell Me You Love Me July 26, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:03 pm

It happens at the most random of moments sometimes. There I will be in the living room or on the bed or outside and she will say it. “I love you Wiley!” Usually there is an impending love fest to follow as well. You know, the kind with lots of pets in all my favorite places (like behind the ears and on my belly). And if I’m being honest, it catches me off guard sometimes. Don't Worry, Be Happy

Like tonight, when it happened (as it always does) my dear forever mom said something kind of startling in addition to the norm. “I love you Wiley. Do I tell you that enough?” Of course you do, I thought. Truth be told, she says it all the time. Multiple times a day at least, I would say. To me, to dad, and to dear baby Carter. And I never tire of hearing it, so I certainly know the obvious answer to the question. It’s like asking why the chicken crossed the road. (To which, I say the answer is to get to the bacon, but that is just my opinion.)

Yes, my dear forever mom. Yes, you say you love me enough. Not only that, you show me you love me. Sometimes that’s even better than saying so. But the more I thought about it, I realized the answer to what seems like an obvious question isn’t always yes.

I know (because I lived it in a prior life) that sometimes people don’t say they love each other (or me for that matter). They don’t kiss each other goodnight. And they certainly don’t snuggle. Or maybe they do. But then that one day comes along when they don’t. Maybe they had an argument the night before. Or maybe they argue all the time. None of that matters when life is as short as it is. You never know when it might be the last time you see someone. It could be the last chance you have to tell them you love them.

Around here it happens at the most random of moments sometimes. But today I was reminded that is exactly as it should be. And you can’t say it enough.


Dreaming Out Loud

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:47 pm

I miss my buddy Indy since he left for Minnesota.

Wiley's Wisdom

I’ve noticed a trend in popular music of today involving a reverie for the younger years in life. Every song tells a story of its writer, who was inspired by any variation of emotional situations. The Lumineers tell us to keep our heads up and remember when we were young in “Stubborn Love.” Fun. suggests we are young “so let’s set the world on fire, we can burn brighter than the sun.” Lyrics like these bring to poetry to life.

Looking UpEvery now and then it happens to me too. I’ll be going about my day sleeping in my doggie bed, monitoring the neighborhood from my perch in the bay window, or playing with my forever people and BAM! Poetry comes to life before me. I blame author and poet Susan G. Wooldridge for this (dare I say) habit of mine. It’s no secret I’m a lover of words, but I’m also a believer in…

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Something Fairly Precious July 25, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:46 pm

I’m not going to lie to you. It was one of those things I had come to expect as a given in my life. As one of those things you simply don’t worry about any more. And then came dear baby Carter. From our sleeping patterns to our daily life, his arrival has changed so much about what I thought I knew as routine in my forever home.Mom and I on the lake

It simply is not the same anymore. And some days I am a little bitter about that. As a six-year-old terrier mix these days, I question anything that messes with what I have come to know as standard around here. I don’t see anything wrong with this behavior, since I feel I have earned the right in my (relatively) old age to do such things.

Then along came Carter, who has completely thrown everything about life as I knew it on its axis. I can’t say all the changes have been negative (having mom home at more random times throughout the week has certainly been a plus), but I also can’t say all have been positive.

I struggle daily with how to appropriately deal with Carter’s ever-evolving mobility. I thought I would be ready. Well, I’m not. At almost seven months old he is almost beyond crawling. Instead he is pulling himself up on whatever vertical surface he sees, trying to stand up. While I can’t say I blame him, what seems to be a fabulously great thing terrifies me at the same time. And I know mom feels the same way because she consistently tries (and fails) to get him to snuggle like he used to.

It was only a few months ago that the child would cry the second he wasn’t being held. Now he cries and wiggles if he is. And, at least from my perspective, it’s infuriating.

So I’m not going to lie to you. It bothers me this is something I’ve come to expect as the norm in my family. I love snuggles, and wish I could impart my wisdom on dear baby Carter. And I will. But until then I found I have something fairly precious of my own.

I have my own snuggle time with mom. It’s the time she (for a few weeks until a couple of months ago) used to snuggle Carter in the early morning. Now he doesn’t like that time as much as he used to, so I stepped in. And it’s one of the best things I’ve done.

Because I know the joy it brings me, but I also know the joy it brings mom. I might not be Carter, and I know I never will be. But I too have pretty stellar snuggling capabilities that (God-willing) will be around well beyond when Carter graduates from primary school. The least I can do is spread the joy with one of life’s most important people in my book.


Empires of the Mind

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:27 pm

This is honestly one of my favorite posts since I started this blog. I love dreaming about the future and can only hope the future feel as favorable toward me.

Wiley's Wisdom

Mom, dad and I played around in the backyard together today. We all got dirty with mud, but we smiled and we laughed under the springy afternoon sun. It lasted about a half hour, but it was one of those half hours that remind you to be grateful to be alive.

I was grateful for the moments, but the recent loss of Rusty makes me stop and think. What would happen to these moments if I weren’t in them? I’m sure mom and dad would enjoy each other’s company, but I wouldn’t be there to interrupt. I wouldn’t be there to try to intercept the softball they were throwing back and forth. I wouldn’t be there to make them smile.

Don’t be silly, I told myself, they would be smiling without you here. While I know that’s true, I can’t bear the thought. It’s a funny feeling, to be sure. I certainly…

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Bigger Than The Sky July 24, 2014

It happens around here more than once a day these days. Mom says to whomever might be listening that she loves him bigger than the sky. Dad smirks, Carter grins and I sigh a big old commitment to happiness when it happens. Music like “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons Rescuedor “Us Against the World” by Coldplay is most likely playing when it happens, but not necessarily.

Regardless of the soundtrack that accompanies it, it would be challenging to assign a soundtrack to the summer of 2014. What I know for sure is music plays a very important role in dear baby Carter’s development. It’s as simple as that. Because sometimes things that mean the most are (in fact) that simple.

Take this summer, for example. It hasn’t exactly been the warmest or most beautiful summer in Wisconsin by any means. Yet it has, because of the joy that lights the sky around here. Mom is happier than I’ve ever seen her, which means dad is happier than I’ve ever seen him, which means I am one happy canine.

I usually don’t question when a good thing enters my life, but in this case I have. I want to know what is to thank for all of the joy around here lately. While I know a good deal of happiness comes right from dear baby Carter, I know in my heart there is more to it than that. Beauty is all around us this summer, and my life is no exception.

I know it for sure because mom keeps saying something she hasn’t before. I love you bigger than the sky. She says it to Carter and dad and me on a daily basis. And considering how very big the sky is, these words have come to mean an awful lot to me the last couple of months. Because it happens around here more than once a day these days. Mom says to whomever might be listening that she loves him bigger than the sky. And that is why I know hers is a true and mature love.

“Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you,'” suggested German psychologist Erich Fromm. I would have to say I agree. I’m not certain what mom means when she says she love me bigger than the sky, but I am certain of how it makes me feel. I  am needed. And that makes me feel blessed bigger than the sky.


Pawprints in the Sand

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:10 pm

Have you had a moment you were sure God left you when later you realized he had carried you through the rough patch? I know I have.

Wiley's Wisdom

Remembering RustyI heard some pretty sad news today. A doggie friend of mine out in cyberspace went to doggie heaven on Saturday. I was never fortunate enough to meet Rusty in person, but my mom and the people in his life were pals back in a place in time called high school. She remembers her time spent with him fondly, as I understand he shared my belief in joy, from the ground up.

His people have been showered with love and prayers on all sorts of social media today, and I find myself reflective of not only the blessing of life, but the blessing of the people (and pets) in it. I do enjoy my routines, but I can’t help but notice that sometimes the familiar scenery starts to lose its color. The characters don’t change much from day to day. One day blurs into another and it becomes all-too-easy to forget to pause to…

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Sky Full of Stars July 23, 2014

When we’re little, we can’t wait for it. It’s like something we have our own internal countdown for, just waiting until that special day arrives. Then it does and we wish it hadn’t. Birthdays. From the ground up, I’ve come to wonder about them, mostly because I’ve always thought I would know when that day came. That day, when I knew beyond a doubt that I was completely and utterly grown up. That day, when I felt on my game. That day, when I felt wise.

Well I don’t know about you, but I haven’t yet recognized such a day. At the tender age of six people years old (which is equivalent to about 42 doggie years old), I say with complete honesty that I can’t say I’ve ever actually felt like a grown up. Not in the traditional sense of the term anyway. But today, as I paused to watch my forever family for a bit, I realized maybe it isn’t about that.Think with the Heart

I sat by, as I always do, while mom and dad had dinner together. More recently, dear baby Carter has joined them for dinner as he eats various concoctions of what my people call “solids,” which (at least in my opinion) greatly resemble soups of various homemade flavors. His options thus far include mango, sweet potato, broccoli, avocado and (as of tonight) banana. And it’s all very exciting both for him, as well as my beloved forever mom and dad.

Today as I watched what is my reality unfold I realized I am, in fact, living my dream. I can’t say I knew what it would look like when I was a puppy. I know I was like anyone else, looking forward to being a grown up more than anything else. I couldn’t wait for the outside world to see me differently. To see me as a grown up.

Today I realized none of that really matters as much as remembering your inner child. Sure, it’s fun to think about what it might be like one day when you’re all grown up. That one day when you have everything figured out. That one day when you feel wise. But I realized today being grown up has absolutely nothing to do with that one day. It has everything to do with the days that follow. It has everything to do with how you move forward, how you make a difference. How you live.

So today I recommit my life to one of wisdom. I recommit myself to seeing a sky full of stars whenever it’s in front of me. I recommit myself to live. From the ground up, that’s about as simple as it gets.



Peace Be With You

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

Reverence to the little people with big minds never grows old in my book.

Wiley's Wisdom

Yesterday I came across a vision in white. At first, I was blinded by it. Beauty that breathtaking can do that to a man (er, I mean a dog). She looked like a princess.

It happened after a longer-than-usual Saturday drive to what I thought was going to be my grandma’s house. Let’s just say I was excited to go see grandma and my cousin Buddy. When dad took a different turn on the freeway, I was a different kind of excited; I was curious about where we were going instead.

Behind the LenseWe ended up at the home of two of my favorite little people Sophie and Sam (and their parents, of course). From there, we caravanned to a church, where it is my understanding that Sophie had her first Eucharist. I didn’t get to go inside the church, as much as I wish I could have. Instead, I waited patiently in the car, and enjoyed a…

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The Walk of Friendship July 22, 2014

I’m not ashamed to admit it. After all, everyone has their flaws, right? Mine are few and far between (of course), but I do have them like anyone else. One of them finds its home in one of my very favorite activities: the walk.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a quick jaunt around the block or a hike on a beautiful mountain trail. That obedience school business of walking alongside my forever mom or dad? Forget about it. It’s just one of those things I haven’t quite mastered and I would be lying if I said I wanted to because I don’t. I like feeling (somewhat) free to smell and investigate and learn and meet new animals and their people. It’s nothing against my walker at the time. These are the things that bring a walk to life in my opinion.
But today I got to thinking about it within the psychological construct of friendship. Mom and dad and dear baby Carter left for a few hours tonight to go see some friends they haven’t seen much of since mom changed jobs a few months back. These are all good friends who my mom loves and I love by proxy. They have all come and gone as Carter was a newborn and now an infant. But time and distance has made it harder to get together recently. Until tonight.Friends
Tonight all they got together and caught up and smiled and laughed. (I only wished I’d been there to see it (not only because I love seeing my people happy, but also because I miss these people). Instead, I heard the evening recapped upon their return home, which was (almost) as good as being there in doggie person. Because there was joy in friendship tonight.
It’s the kind of friendship French-Algerian philosopher Albert Camus wrote of when he said “don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
I’m happy for my people they have friends who walk beside them. Even when they fall behind or run ahead, they all catch up from time to time. And those are the moments that make me think. Maybe I’ve been going about the whole walk thing the wrong way. Dogs are a man’s best friend after all. It might be time to make a change. In the meantime, though, I will give thanks for friendship. From the ground up, it really is a sparkplug for joy.

God’s Gift to Me

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:53 pm

Any day is a good day to stop and give thanks for the people who make the world a brighter and happier place.

Wiley's Wisdom

High PawI realized today I give out an awful lot of cyber hugs and high paws lately. I love my blogosphere. Seeing it grow into a forum for sharing smiles, joy, laughter, and sometimes even a few tears has been an unexpected blessing. These are all some pretty big feelings we talk about here, which I say brings us together in a way unlike any other.

It brings to mind the thoughts of South African social rights leader Desmond Tutu, who said “you don’t chose your family, they are God’s gift to you.” How blessed I am to have so many people in my life with whom to share all my big thoughts and emotions!

God’s gift came to life in a unique way for me recently, with my receipt of the WordPress Family Blogging Award from two truly inspirational people bloggers. Thank you, Melanie and Misifusa, for what you do…

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