Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Moments Like These October 31, 2014

As goblins and ghouls take to the record-settingly chilly streets of my beloved neighborhood for trick or treat tonight, I pause and remember a truth of mine I don’t think I’ve ever shared before. I used to be afraid of the dark. I know it’s an unusual thing for a dog, and I’ve spent the greater part of my canine adult life trying to figure out why.Trick or treat

It isn’t like there is a traumatic event or something involving darkness in my past. Nor is there anything in particular I can recall that aided in my recovery from the admittedly silly aversion I once had. Or so I thought. I found myself pondering this as darkness fell today (it falls earlier and earlier this time of year) and I realized I can indeed trace back the day of my new-found fearlessness.

It was the day after I lost Rusty, my pal from the humane society who was the only reason I survived my first night there. He went down a hallway and never came back that day, but his words stayed with me long after I last saw his wagging tail. He encouraged me to find the light. To see the bright side in even the darkest of situations. And that day, I made the decision to do just that.

My persuasion toward light has never faltered, but somehow my choice that day has led me to find the light in the darkness that dissolves my former fears on an almost daily basis.

Like tonight, as I knew craziness was happening in the darkness on the streets of my neighborhood, something special was happening inside the walls of my forever home. The bedtime routine hasn’t changed much, but dad has gotten more involved with it in the last couple of months. That was the case as usual again tonight, as he held Carter and mom said his bedtime prayers. Carter put his little head on dad’s shoulder and left it there as he drifted peacefully into dreamland almost instantly upon mom’s recital of the prayer. I stood by, as I always do, playing my (albeit silent) role in the whole routine.

I realized in that moment it doesn’t matter how dark it is in the room when this all unfolds. The love illuminates all of our hearts so brightly there is no reason to so much as question the darkness. As we all sneaked silently out of the room, I felt overwhelmed with the warmth of the loving glow in the room. Sometimes I’m in awe of how a decision I made so long ago can have such a profound impact in moments like these.

 

Advertisements
 

If It Wasn’t This

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:08 pm

Sometimes it takes a brush with the other side to remind you to appreciate life.

Wiley's Wisdom

I don’t get it. Car rides are joyous occasions. More often than not, the journey leads to exciting destinations. Not today.

Today I witnessed something terrible from my perch in the passenger seat. Today I witnessed death. There I was, safe and secure in my one of my happiest places, and there it was. I counted three mangled cars, and watched in horror as two people and a little person were carried away in beds with wheels. There was a Disney Princesses backpack in the road. Everything about the scene broke my little doggie heart.

As we pulled away, I listened as mom said a prayer for all those involved as well as their families. And we didn’t make it to the dog park. It took five times the normal amount of time to get there because of the accident (and no, it wasn’t just my perception of time moving at a snail’s…

View original post 365 more words

 

A Change of Scenery October 30, 2014

I shouldn’t complain. It has been weeks, months maybe, since we last had something like this happen around here. But that doesn’t make it any less real when you’re living it. It certainly didn’t change anything about mine and mom’s reaction to it. You’d think we would be used to it by now. Trained for action, so to speak. Truth be told, I don’t think a person is ever really prepared to deal with what happened today.

The WatchdogThe funny thing is it only lasted an hour and a half. Relatively speaking, that’s not that long. In spite of relativity, I will tell you it felt like an eternity. Carter was unhappy. He was crying, real baby tears, and screaming at the top of his tiny baby lungs. I know this comes from a fairly compact dog that has a surprisingly intimidating bark, but I can’t believe how loud a sound such a small little person can make. And for how long.

Mom tried everything. He wasn’t hungry. He had a clean diaper. He seemed tired, so she put him down for a nap, which only made him scream louder. She let him cry a bit in his crib, thinking he’d fall asleep. No such luck. She rocked and swayed and cuddled him, but he wanted nothing to do with any of that. She put him on the floor to explore and he sat there like a very loud and angry stone, tears continuing to fly all over the place.

There were brief moments of peace intermixed, mostly when he was up to no good. He threw his nuk in the toilet. He opened the door to the fridge. He pulled a few things out of the lazy Susan. And my goodness, few things in life make him as happy as the television remote. I don’t think he was doing any of this to be particularly sassy, because he is generally an incredibly well behaved little man.

Whatever the reason, mom wasn’t having it. She lost her cool and scolded him a bit louder than necessary a couple times more than necessary. The crying didn’t stop until dad got home and I am not exaggerating when I say it stopped like a light switch. Like a dark knight, dad walked in the door and Carter’s epic emotional roller coaster drew to an abrupt stop.

I thought mom would be upset, given that she just literally did everything in her power to bring that train to a halt for the last hour and a half. Instead she marveled at the quiet in the house. It’s a simple thing to be sure, but truly and honestly I could almost see the relief wash over her to see Carter smiling in dad’s arms.

I know I shouldn’t complain, so I won’t. Instead I will comment as the observer of life that I am. I’m no expert in baby behavior, but I think I learned something about human behavior today. Sometimes it can seem like the world is ending, but really you just need a change of scenery to put things in perspective. When the world is spinning, control over your perspective can be the thing that gives you sound footing. From the ground up, that’s what I’ve found at least.

 

How Are You Really?

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 6:56 pm

Instinct and compassion. They might not always go hand in hand, but maybe they should.

Wiley's Wisdom

I’m not proud to admit this but I sent Mrs. Prickles to the emergency room recently.

One minute I was nursing on her as usual, and the next minute I couldn’t keep myself from tearing the little white fluff balls out of her. Both are instinctual behaviors for me, yet I was surprised to find myself enjoying the task of removing fluff balls. Several of the other members who make up my comfort circle have similar holes in them that I leave alone. So why now did I find myself losing control?

Truth be told, I don’t know what happened. And I think that happens sometimes. We get so caught up in something it kind of takes over our motor functions until someone brings us back to reality. I didn’t want to hurt Mrs. Prickles. I didn’t mean to. But I did.

It makes me stop and think about how I…

View original post 294 more words

 

Let It Go October 29, 2014

Apparently I live under a rock. At least that’s how I felt for a moment today as I heard a song I later learned has taken the world by storm. It’s not surprising to me at all that the song has become as popular as it has, with its positive message set to powerful chords. Throw that lyrical magic into a Disney movie for the kiddos, and you’re golden.

“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all,” sings Idina Menzel in Disney’s “Frozen.” The message certainly must have different meanings to different people, as any well-written song does, but to me the idea of letting it go is the standout life lesson. Moving on. From the ground up, it isn’t always easy to do. Grass is grass

It wasn’t easy for me to let go of my birth mom and brothers after I lost them that fateful day all those years ago. Loss. It wasn’t easy for me to get over being returned to the humane society (twice). Rejection. It wasn’t easy for me to trust the hands of people again after the man with the leather belt. Pain.

These could all be some pretty significant emotional eyesores if I let them be. That’s the thing about negativity. It’s pretty powerful stuff. I know I talk a lot about the contagion of joy, but I feel like negative energy somehow manages to multiply with even more ferocity than the positive. I think it might be because the roadblocks we encounter in our daily lives can make it easier to complain about not moving ahead than to focus on how to actually do it.

To do it, you need to make a whole other decision. And it’s not always easy. You need to put aside the negativity for a fresh look on life. You need to move on. You need to let it go. Just like the (ridiculously popular albeit new-to-me) song says to do. Take it from me, letting go is the best decision I’ve ever made.

 

Rainbows of the Heart

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:32 pm

Dogs can see rainbows.

Wiley's Wisdom

There are those who believe dogs cannot see rainbows. Then there is me, and I’m here to tell you we can. Sure, they may not be quite as vibrant and fabulous as what people see but they are still visible to us.

In actuality colorblindness isn’t all that bad. We can see the color spectrum; we just struggle with certain (albeit important) colors like red and yellow. But it doesn’t matter that our real-life rainbows look more brown and blue than red and purple. We don’t need to see all of the colors to appreciate their significance. Opinions vary from person to person, but I’m a believer in the theory that rainbows signify a promise. Storms happen in all areas of life, sometimes when we least expect it. But the rainbow always follows, carrying with it a promise of renewal. A promise of safety. A promise of peace.Singing in the Rainbows

I saw a…

View original post 322 more words

 

Eyes on the Prize October 28, 2014

I know it’s totally my fault. I know it’s because I am not one of those four-leggers who finds pleasure in ripping my stuffed toys to shreds. I’ve done so by mistake a couple of times because I was overcome with excitement for some unknown reason, but the only feeling I had afterward was disappointment. Loss. It was too soon to lose that furry little squirrel.

I’ve spoken before about my beloved comfort circle of my favorite characters, like Mrs. Prickles and my Angry Bird. Both are cherished in my heart, and are therefore still around to tell the tale. They are not abused, but rather cared for and appreciated as best I know how.

Young at HeartSo it should be no surprise to me that my toy collection doesn’t grow too frequently. There is no need to replace anyone because they remain intact. Though this is for good reason (I’ve been known to cling to things I love), I do occasionally miss the early days in my forever home when I was showered with all kinds of new toys all the time. Just because I chose to keep my toys in good condition shouldn’t penalize me in the new toy department, should it?

I didn’t even realize I felt this way until this weekend when (alas!) my forever people returned home with a bag with something for me inside. This used to happen a lot more frequently before my little person came home, but I don’t mind. The point is that in this moment, I had a new toy. I could smell it before they even came into the house. And when they got inside, I could tell dad was probably almost as excited as I was to see it as he was to give it.

The contents of the bag were somewhat surprising, containing a plastic ball with holes everywhere, and a couple of large dental treats. Before I could snap the treat out of dad’s hands, he shoved it inside the ball and I’ll be darned if I haven’t spent the better part of the last three days trying to get it out. It smells so delicious, and a little shard I was able to chew off confirmed it is as tasty as it smells.

It didn’t take me long to realize this toy is masked. It may appear to offer instant gratification, but instead it is in it for the long haul. Just like the rest of my toy collection. I know it’s totally my fault that I don’t get new toys that frequently anymore. But today I realized that’s not such a bad thing. I do love my existing collection to pieces, partially due to the lessons they’ve taught me. I already know the lesson I am to learn from the new toy, in spite of my inherent desire to dislike it. Sometimes you have to work for the prize. It’s not always handed to you. And oftentimes these are the prizes most worth fighting for.