Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

It Could Happen To You September 25, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:56 pm
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It can happen to anyone. These powerful works are too frequently forgotten in the life of an average human, in my humble opinion. This is not to say I am anything other than the optimist you’ve come to know me as, but I certainly have gained some wisdom through life experience in the almost two years I’ve shared with you.  I am the Fish Flying in the Sky

Take today, for instance. I listened as mom spoke to a woman who recently addressed the national Food and Drug Administration about how they have been addressing the needs of those with blood disorders. I stood by mom’s side as she cried when the woman told her the whole (very real) story of how the topic had impacted her life.

She didn’t even know she had a blood disorder until she had her firstborn son almost thirteen years ago. Moreover, she didn’t know her newborn son had hemophilia until after his circumcision wouldn’t heal when he was eight days old. To make a long (very real and emotional) story short, this local woman has been dealt a pretty tough hand in life. But in talking to her, you couldn’t have guessed it.

Instead of letting the reality of the worst case scenario encompass her, she has become an advocate at a national and global level for others like herself. She makes it her mission to bring the power of knowledge to those around her so they can do the same. She is an inspiration.

Because when all is said and done, she’s right. What she said to mom today didn’t stop at inspirational stories. It stopped with the truth. It can happen to anyone. Anyone’s life can be turned upside-down by such a thing at any given time. And when (and if) it happens, it doesn’t matter what kind of background you have. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are for it happening to you. What matters is the people who surround you with love in those moments. What matters is the reality of joy coming alive around you. What matters is life.

 

On Morality and The Good Life

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:44 pm

I can’t help it. Thinking about this post makes me think of One Republic’s song “Good Life.”

Wiley's Wisdom

I did the right thing today. It went against everything my terrier nature told me to do. And it wasn’t easy, which is why I know it was right.

Dad was using that scary loud contraption called a lawnmower in the backyard when it happened. He came across something on the ground that prompted him to turn off the machine and stare. Which prompted me to investigate what he was staring at. Sure enough, the rabbit I’ve been seeing a lot of in our yard lately suddenly appeared from beneath the ground and darted away. I chased her, but she was too fast for me and quickly ran beyond the length of my lead. I’m certain she was hoping to cause a diversion, as dad and I quickly discovered she left behind two little rabbit babies (each no larger than the majority of my chew toys) and they were both in my reach.

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I’ll Be Missing You September 24, 2014

It sounded so silly when I heard it out loud. Because when it comes to routine, I’m a number one fan. I think a lot of other four-legged friends would agree that structure is the way to go. But today I heard mom say something that confused me at first.

She was talking with dad about how it is possible for routine to get in the way of relationships. Habits, and all they encompass, can sometimes be a bad thing. At the root of her concern was mention of the idea that you can see someone frequently and still miss them. There are a variety of contributing factors to the aforementioned breakdown in communication, and not all of them are bad. 

Take, for instance, my mom and her sister (fondly known as Aunt Morgan). Since I’ve been part of this family, mom and Morgan have spent a lot of time apart, while Morgan lived in a different part of the state. That changed about a year ago, when she moved back to town into an apartment a mere five minutes or so away from my forever home. And when dear baby Carter was born, she was our biggest source of support from day one. She brought to life the idea of being there for someone (or in our case someones), spending countless hours caring for Carter while mom caught up on housework, ran errands, or snuck in a quick nap.

To this day, she is over here a few days a week, albeit not for extended periods of time, but her presence is welcome. Yet, while there is no absence of presence, mom told dad today that she misses her.

It sounded so silly when I heard it out loud. It didn’t make sense to me at first. But the more I thought about it, the more alive the idea became. I think it is entirely possible to get so caught up in routine and schedules and errands and chores that you can end up missing everything a relationship has to offer. Like companionship, ridiculous laughter, and all kinds of other shenanigans that breathe life into the structure. I get it now.

And now that it makes sense to me, I decided to recommit to the relationships in my life. To respecting routine, but not letting it get in the way what really matters. Relationships. From the ground up, they are the world’s most complex puzzle. But I’ll figure it all out someday, I promise.

 

A Midsummer’s Spell

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:51 pm

It’s funny how different things can be year to year. We didn’t have many such days this year.

Wiley's Wisdom

The weather cast a spell on me today.

I’ve always been one to appreciate lounging in the sun on a hot summer day (who isn’t?), but today I was obsessive about it. Forget the refreshing comfort of air conditioning and bring on the warming comfort of the heat, I thought. You can imagine  my disappointment when this became a point of contention with my mom and dad. I heard them talking about the heat and how I shouldn’t be in it very long…something about 100 degree heat indexes. Whatever that meant.

This is my beg face

So I begged and whined and pestered until I got my way, albeit in five-to-ten minute increments (for my alleged safety). Each time I was barely out the door before I found my comfy spot in the grass and instantly I was in heaven. Weather is one of those unbelievable constant sources of inspiration for me. I relish every falling snow…

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A Little People Time September 23, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:39 pm

Something has happened around here the last few nights and it has not been pretty.  There’s piercing screaming that leads all involved to eventual and certain despair. I think this thing called teething is once again rearing its ugly head in dear baby Carter’s mouth. I know it probably never actually stopped altogether, but the pain seems to have spiked uncontrollably.

It happens at the same time every night, right around bedtime, for four nights in a row now. There is laughter one second and tears the next. It’s that quick, and when it happens there seems to be no other way of stopping it than to let the crying give way to sleep (usually some cuddling is thrown in for good measure). Wiley and Carter

It’s tough on Carter. It’s tough on my forever people. It was tough on dear aunt Morgan, who did all she could to calm him while my people were away last night. And, as if all of that weren’t enough in itself, it is tough on me. I realize this is partially because of my the empathy I have in my heart for all of the aforementioned people. But also I just wish I could do something, anything, to help.

So tonight dad thought to try something nontraditional. He told mom he thought maybe Carter just wanted a little extra time with the two of them since they were away last night and the majority of today. Lest we put him to bed without having such time. And it worked like a charm. Within a minute or two of time with nothing much in terms of stimulation other than the physical presence of mom and dad, he calmed down. He finally took his bedtime bottle he had refused minutes earlier. He sat quietly with them for a bit. And he went to sleep with no fuss whatsoever. It was magical to see.

And it got me to thinking about how powerful a little time with loved ones can be. I know not everyone is fortunate to have everyone they love under the same roof very often, and that is a sad shame. But ultimately that means nothing other than how that time is more precious than most other things. I know it’s as true for me as it was for Carter tonight. Because it is the moments when we are surrounded with those we love that matter the most.

 

Won’t Back Down

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:22 pm

Smiles are a priceless thing.

Wiley's Wisdom

I made at least 76 different people smile today. I’m not certain of the exact number but I don’t need to know that to know how happy this makes me. Today mom took me to Fido Fest, a local celebration of all things canine. And it was fabulous. There were hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dogs of so many different shapes, sizes and breeds. It was a sight to be seen.

So we seized the day and shared my joy from the ground up with whomever would take it. Literally. This morning mom printed off 150 fliers with my silly face on it promoting the blog. We got to the festival, found a good spot, and I stood proudly by her side as we handed out the fliers. I thought it would be fun but that optimism faded away a lot sooner than I could have imagined.

The first person who walked by said no thank you. The second person didn’t…

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Family Forever September 22, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:19 pm

I thought it would be a while before this happened again. Like at least two or three years. But it turns out I was wrong. As this (obviously) doesn’t happen often, I was a bit peeved to say the least. And it was a double whammy since I was wrong and my forever people are gone tonight. Two birds with one proverbially painful stone.

I sensed it coming a couple of days ago when I saw the dreaded suitcase. But I tried not to worry much since I didn’t think they were ready to leave dear baby Carter, and the way I saw it, I would also be involved in whatever journey would be taken. Happy Family

But alas, they left this morning to go to that place called the spa they have gone to for their anniversary the last couple of years. Today they celebrate seven years of marriage, and they chose to do it without Carter or I along. It is the first time they will both be away from Carter for this long, and I had to be the one to break it to Carter they would not be back right away. I expected tear shed and all-around unhappiness from him at the news.

So you can imagine my surprise when I got the opposite reaction. We were to spend the next 48 hours or so with grandma, and she would take good care of us. Well, he obviously didn’t share such things with me out loud (as he just said his very first word yesterday, after all), but I could tell from all the giggles he and grandma shared throughout the day that he would be okay.

As would I, I realized, as perhaps I too was a bit worried about my people leaving me in charge of Carter for two whole days. Sure, grandma was around to do all the dirty work, but I knew my people were trusting me with the task of being the familiarity for him during their time away. That, in itself, is an honor in a category of its own.

So rather than dwell in the painful truth that I was wrong, I got in the action. I played and snuggled as best I could as I know that is what my beloved forever people would have wanted. I held my head high. And with it, my heart.

 

 

Enjoy the Ride September 21, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:39 pm
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I had a crazy thought today. It’s one of those things I think everyone comes across once, twice, or maybe countless times in life. But I’m not sure it happens that frequently in a dog’s life. So when it happened to me today, it took me by surprise. Time. From the ground up, the passing of time really is something you need to be a dog to understand. And today I realized how quickly time flies when there is a little person around.

I know it’s hardly a novel concept, but that doesn’t mean it was any less strange to me to come across. There was a moment today when I honest-to-goodness could not believe my dear little baby Carter has been in my life almost 9 months. It feels like yesterday when I first sniffed his tiny little self in his baby carrier when my forever people first brought him home. So it absolutely floored me when something pretty special happened in the Schmidt home this morning. The Boys

It started like most Sunday mornings do, as my parents have a tradition of spending time with Carter in the bedroom after he wakes from his first early morning nap. Carter started mumbling in his room a tad earlier than usual and mom rushed off to grab him for family snuggle time. This was all nothing out of the ordinary. That’s when it happened.

“Dada,” Carter said at first glace at his dad this morning. He looked him straight in the face and said what I think might be his first intentional and legitimate word. Sure, we’ve all sworn he’s been saying “hi” on purpose since he was a couple of months old. And yes, he immediately resumed his more normal baby babble upon completion of his (albeit epic) greeting.

But the ruling on the family field is we have a talker. And nine months ago he wasn’t even in our world yet. So I know I say it all of the time, but really is something to be said in cherishing every moment. I think I take it for granted sometimes since I already live with the understanding that a dog’s life is much too short. There is no time to waste.

Because I sometimes think of life like a roller coaster that coasts through certain parts and speeds through others. Time. From the ground up, it is a pretty precious commodity. It seems I’ve found yet another reason to hang on and enjoy the ride.

 

Everybody Poops

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:09 pm

The inside scoop on the doggie poop dance.

Wiley's Wisdom

It’s time to talk poop. That’s right, you read correctly. Everybody does it. I hear there is even a book about it for toddlers who are potty training. Taro Gomi’s aptly named “Everybody Poops,” brings to life one of life’s most private and unspeakable things. Well, consider this topic private and unspeakable no more.

If you’re a dog, you already know what I’m about to say. If you’re a human, you’ve undoubtedly witnessed the spectacle firsthand. Either way, the poop circle is a very real thing in the canine world. Most of us labor and pine to find the perfect spot to go number two and just because we find it doesn’t mean the process has ended. Indeed it has only just begun. There is sniffing. There is turning in circles. There is more sniffing. And more turning. Until finally, sometimes a minute or two later, the deed is done.

Embarrassed?

I’m…

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Happy Endings September 20, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:57 pm

At first I thought it was too terrible to share. I thought it offered an odd sense of undue credit where it is certainly not merited. I thought it points to a hideously awful side of human nature that I will never fully understand. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized it is for these reasons the story must be shared. Praying :)

It happened a little more than a week ago to a dog I’ve come to think of as somewhat of a soul brother. His name is Eddy, he is 10-years-old, and he was almost going to become homeless. Instead he’s now living with my mom’s friend Margaret.

He was a present to her and her sisters after her parents got divorced, but to 15-year-old Margaret he was a lot more than that. He was a friend, a confidant and a shoulder to cry on  (and snuggle with) on a regular basis. So you can imagine how shocked and devastated she was to find out her mother’s more recent intentions for Eddy.

She no longer wants anything to do with the poor little guy. She hit him with a garbage can and tried to shoo him out the door and run him down the street. She contemplated leaving him in the garage for as long as it would take for him to starve to death. These are very real and honest terrible and horrendous things this woman wanted to do to get rid of Eddy.

Hearing these things broke my little doggie heart. At first I thought it was too terrible a story to share. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that is exactly why I needed to tell you about it. Not just for Eddy’s sake, but for all of the other Eddy’s out there who are being abused or run out of house and home. Because there is a silver lining to even this terrible tale. Margaret. From the ground up, she rescued dear Eddy from all kinds of heartache.

Now Eddy lives with her and her other dog Ellie, where he will never (ever) be beaten or left outside to die again. I pray each day that other doggies find a similar happy ending to their stories.