Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Smile and A Garbage Can February 28, 2015

Weeks or even months can go by without it happening. Maybe it has something to do with it so often seeming much easier to complain or focus on the negative than to praise a job well done or focus on the positive. Regardless of the reason, I’m happy to report that today it happened twice.

A smile. From the ground up, it is exactly as simple as it sounds.I'm a Half Full Doggie

Today it was dear baby Carter’s smiles that made a difference in the world. Eighteen. That is how many different people’s hearts mom said he touched today with nothing more than his contagious grin. One heart in particular was touched in a slightly unexpected way.

Apparently mom and Carter were shopping the cereal aisle at Target when it happened. They came across an older lady who Carter simply loved. He smiled and giggled and smiled some more. The game continued as the duo encountered her again a few minutes later. And again in the checkout line, where the woman said it.

“I feel more loved by this little guy than I have in days,” she told mom, who was touched by the sentiment.

Then there was the garbage can. From the ground up, it is as necessary as it sounds.

A piece of plastic broke off ours recently thanks to the frigidly cold temperatures and we needed a new one. To get it, mom needed to call the city and request one be dropped off, which they said would happen in one to ten business days. So you can imagine my surprise when a new one turned up way ahead of schedule about a half hour later. It might sound silly, but that simple thing made the lives of my people a little easier, and for that I am grateful.

Kindness. From the ground up, it isn’t complicated.

Too often it seems easier to complain. Or to focus on something negative. So today I do the opposite. Today (and every day) I choose to stand for all things positive. If it happens in smiles, great. If it comes in a less conventional package (like a garbage can for example), so be it. The point is to find these things, these moments, that remind us of all the good there is in the world and do everything we can to pass it on.

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A Snow Globe Life

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:18 pm

Maybe I don’t need more. Now there’s a thought.

Wiley's Wisdom

At first I thought for sure it was the snowflakes. It snowed again yesterday and I found myself in awe of the glittery magic all around me. It was like being in a snow globe. The flakes fell from the sky so peacefully. Once they lay to rest, they create a blanket of sparkling diamonds in my backyard paradise. So I thought maybe if I could collect anything in the world it would be snowflakes.

But today as the snow melted ever so slightly I realized how silly that would be. There are no lasting remnants of the snow after it’s gone. By summertime it’s like it never even existed. That is, until winter rolls around again and brings with it the frozen particles of joy.

So maybe if I could collect anything, I would collect toys. In all of their various shapes, colors and sizes, they are vessels…

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A Heart Full February 27, 2015

There are now two cribs in my forever home. Two closets filled with tiny clothes. Two car seats. Two changing tables. And if I’m being honest, it’s all a bit overwhelming. But if there is something I would prefer not to hear again any time soon, it’s a set of words I find condescending and unnecessary.

“You’re definitely going to have your hands full,” people have been saying to my forever parents. It’s been uttered by friends and family. It’s been referenced by doctors and nurses. It’s even been joked about by complete strangers at the grocery store. And while 18 months (to the day) is not a big gap between little people by any means, it is certainly not one to be condescending about either. Thinking in the Nursery

Because while this may not have been in my parent’s play book for the ideal sibling spacing situation, it wasn’t up to them. From my perspective, it may not have been their plan, but it was certainly God’s plan. And that’s what matters.

Now that I’ve experienced infancy through early toddlerhood, I feel like I can say with some sense of (albeit doggie) authority that I think any sort of spacing would come with its fair share of pros and cons. In our case, I’m happy my people won’t be pushing the reset button after Carter is grown enough that they have forgotten how to survive through sleepless nights. Diapers and bottles and all things baby are all still fresh on their minds.

I know it won’t be easy. I’m just mentally prepared for a couple of pretty challenging years.

But beyond any of that, I heard mom say something today that put things in perspective for me. She was on the phone for work and I’m not sure who she was talking to. I cringed when I heard whoever it was say “you’re going to have your hands full.” Mom didn’t bat an eyelash.

“That’s probably true, but at least I’ll have a heart full too.”

It’s true there are now some doubles of baby things in the house. Soon it will probably look even more like a day care than the organized oasis of peace I once knew. But I’m okay with that. Because I know what mom said is true. These things are signs of what is to come. Right along with the extra crib and diapers and sleepless nights will be more love than any of us knew we even had in our hearts. And that right there is more than worth the extra trouble.

 

Shadow of Joy

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:00 pm

“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wiley's Wisdom

It startled me at first. There I was in my snowy backyard paradise when I saw the strangest yet most beautiful thing. It was so big it made me feel small, which was somewhat intimidating in a space I consider my own. But tonight the yard was not mine. It was the tree’s.

My favorite tree was casting the most dignified shadow across the majority of the yard. Once I got over my initial inner battle with something else ruling my space, I paused to appreciate the image before me. A clear sky shed it’s full moonlight on the yard, resulting in this statement of majesty that somehow remained mysterious.

It certainly put me in my place. And it got me to thinking about the shadows we cast in life. It starts with the light necessary to create such a thing. My light comes from the joy I find in…

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I Will Have Lived February 26, 2015

It’s something I’ve honestly never done. I guess I could blame any number of things for why it isn’t a priority in my life. Regardless, I can’t say its something I’d ever like to do.

Planning ahead. From the ground up, it never has been and never will be something I particularly care to do.

I’ve found through my life experience that if something is meant to be it will be. I believe that everything that happened to me as a puppy – from that moment I lost my birth mom and brothers to my time on the streets to my time with that first foster family who returned me to the humane  society – led me to where I am today. I wouldn’t redo any of it and I have no regrets. Thinking big thoughts

And if I look back in time, I know for certain no amount of strategic planning on my part would have gotten me to this point. I’m at the mercy of my people for most things, and I wouldn’t change that for love or money.

So when I heard the words of one of America’s beloved founding founders, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I’ve had it wrong all this time.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” suggested Ben Franklin. As one who has never really made (or executed) a plan in my entire doggie life, I found this concept somewhat troubling. It made me wonder what my life would have looked like if I had somehow made a plan. Or what it would look like if I made one now.

I thought maybe five years would be a good place to start. Especially since that’s the equivalent to 35 in dog years. In five years (God willing) I will be twelve. Or 84 in dog years.

What’s interesting is that based on where I’m at in life, five years seems like a blink of an eye. Five years ago, I was a few short months away from finding my forever home. Or my forever people were a few months away from finding me. That feels like yesterday. And it feels like years and years ago. At the same time.

I think that’s why I’ve never tried planning ahead. Not only because I believe in making the best of any situation (and therefore don’t think I need a plan), but because I’ve never had a reason to question the natural way of things. It might not be a popular perspective, but it’s one I’ve decided to stick to. Does that make me a failure? I don’t think so. Instead I chose to live the life I’ve been blessed with, embracing the twists and turns that make it interesting.

Because when those five years are up I might not have done anything according to the plan. But I will have lived. And to me that means more than any strategic plan ever could.

 

Survival in the Real World

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:03 pm

It’s an addiction all it’s own.

Wiley's Wisdom

It’s a pretty crazy world out there. Yesterday was Friday the 13th and (though neither of them believe in the meaning of such things), both my mom and dad came home regaling a series of unfortunate events involving unexpectedly odd amounts of crazy. Their stories were incredibly different, yet one thing bound them together. Negativity. Not enough money. Not enough time. Not enough heart to practice common courtesy around others.

Going Somewhere?Mom would never have expected that nicely dressed elderly woman to literally push another woman out of the way over a bar of luxury bath soap. But it happened. Dad didn’t believe his eyes when he witnessed a near hit-and-run accident in the parking lot over a spot that was literally five feet away from the next closest spot. Wherever that person was going sure must have been important.

Regardless of the source, this negativity thing is like it’s very…

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With the Lamp Lit February 25, 2015

I don’t understand any of it. But I’m a dog, so I think that’s okay. What I do know is all that worry weighing on mom’s heart a couple of weeks ago has been has been lifted slightly. At least for now.

When she left dear baby Carter and I with Aunt Morgan, I could tell her nerves were getting the best of her. I knew wherever she was going something important must be happening. So I wished and hoped and did all I could to send all things positive with her as she left a very upset (very teething) Carter behind to tackle whatever she was about to do. In the Deep End

When she returned home, she was a different person. Even her step looked lighter. (Well, as light as it can be at six months pregnant). I stood by listening anxiously as she filled Morgan in with all kinds of technical medical jargon that went in one ear and out the other. But I didn’t need to understand any of it except for a few precious words.

It’s better than it was, so that’s a good sign.

That’s all I needed to hear to breathe my own sigh of relief.

Meanwhile, I know the journey isn’t over. We are not out of the proverbial woods just yet. Mom gets more information from her doctor on Friday, and I’m hopeful there is more good news. Until then, I shall follow mom’s lead and proceed with caution until at least Friday (if not longer, depending on what the doctor says).

Because while I share in the enthusiasm and overall anticipation to meet this new little person, I do understand he or she shouldn’t be meeting us just yet for health and safety reasons. So we will wait, cautiously, but somehow I knew in my heart what I saw in mom’s eyes today.

Hope. From the ground up, it’s a pretty powerful thing. Christian author Tertullian certainly thought so when he said “hope is patience with the lamp lit.” I don’t need to understand anything about all things medical to know this as truth.