Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

To The Rescue March 26, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:31 pm

In a word, I was scared. I think we all were. Well, everyone except for dear baby Carter who (miraculously) was sound asleep a few feet away.

Whatever illness it is mom has been fighting with got the best of her last night. The coughing reached the point where it almost resembled one of my most fearsome barks. The pain from all of it brought her to tears. I knew it. Dad knew it. She knew it.

She was scared. I even heard the words “emergency room” mentioned once or twice.

Instead, they powered through and somehow managed to salvage an hour or two of sleep. But it wasn’t over. A sense of panic filled the walls of our forever home from the moment dear Carter woke. Whatever this thing is needed to involve a doctor. But what to do about work? What to do about Carter?

Within minutes, my dear grandma arrived at the scene. Dad went to work. Mom went to the doctor. And she and Carter and I played the day away. When mom came back, she had news that at least brought light to the situation. Hard at Work

Walking pneumonia. From the ground up, it doesn’t sound good.

So grandma stayed until dad came home from work. And mom rested as best she could with all the coughing. I snuggled as best I could as she struggled to get comfortable.

But today wasn’t about me. Today was about dear grandma coming to the rescue in our time of need. As she walked in the door, I felt my fear turn to relief. I knew that while she can’t fix anything (no one can), she could at least bring a sense of comfort to the situation.

And that is exactly what she did.

So today I am grateful for my dear grandma, and for all of those like her who have ever rushed to someone in need to give them whatever they needed, no questions asked. You are all heroes in my book.


A Dog’s Year In Review

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:19 pm

A walk down memory lane.

Wiley's Wisdom

I think we all had a feeling. And it wasn’t even the kind of feeling that we really just wanted it to be over and behind us. It was the kind of feeling where we just knew we were ready for the next chapter. So it was really no surprise to me when Carter Joseph Schmidt entered the world almost three weeks early. Looking Forward

Tomorrow marks his two-week birthday (still a couple days short of the January 16 due date) of December 31. It also marks the two-week observation of New Year’s Resolutions for people all over the world who aspire to make 2014 the best year ever. For some, these resolutions – eating better, exercising more, finally kicking that bad habit – are in full swing. For others, they’ve already been forgotten.

That’s why I don’t particularly care for the theory behind resolutions. So last year I resolved not to make resolutions. Instead, I set goals…

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All I Could Do March 25, 2015

I think I would probably put it darned near close the very bottom of the emotional barrel. Somewhere close to negativity and rage. It’s just one of those personal things with which I, the dog who makes an effort to find the good in all people, places and things, struggle to find a silver lining. Helplessness. From the ground up, there is really no way to sugar coat the way helplessness breaks my heart.

Yet that’s how I have felt for going on three days now, as my dear forever mom does her very best to fight some sort of cold that won’t quit. .Not since Battle Bra Royale in her pregnancy with Carter have I seen her so miserable. And not since then, when (if I recall correctly) she was oddly enough also right about seven months pregnant, have I felt so incredibly helpless. Deep Thinking

At least I am in good company, especially with my dear forever dad who also struggles with the insatiable urge to fix it. (Carter is pretty oblivious, I think, though he has been somewhat more generous with the hugs he gives mom in recent days).

Helplessness. It shook my forever home today as dad ran to the store (twice) for something (anything) that mom can take that is deemed “safe” for pregnancy. Twice he came home with the wrong thing, causing mom to break down in tears. It really was a lose-lose situation for all of us today.

Until tonight, when I did all I can do. As she snuggled into bed much (much) earlier than usual, I snuggled my way as close to her as possible, laid my head on her protruding belly, and sighed heavily. She looked at me, with her puffy eyes and bright red nose and smiled a brighter smile than I’d seen from her all day. She snuggled me closer to her, and I laid there by her side until she fell asleep.

Helplessness. From the ground up, it’s one of those things I struggle with being the optimist I am. Not only is it hard on the helpless helper, but it implies someone or something in need of help isn’t getting what they need. That is, until you realize maybe you’re not as helpless as you think you are.


Lighting the Way

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:36 pm

We all need a little light when we lose our way.

Wiley's Wisdom

It’s official. I think my people are losing their minds. Maybe it’s because of the lack of sleep. I can’t be sure. All I know is there is a new nighttime Sleep, Don't Weeproutine in the Schmidt household and I’m not sure what to make of it.

It actually starts during the day, with all kinds of loud noises, open windows and bright lights. Then at 8:30 sharp, they shut off all the lights and put baby Carter in a dark room away from any televisions or other noises. They speak to each other (and me) in hushed tones and I get scolded even more than usual for barking at animals on the television (which admittedly is one of my more unusual quirks).

Apparently it’s to do with the baby’s days and nights being flip flopped. Daytime to us is nighttime to him, so to attempt to get him on track…

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No More Sick Days March 24, 2015

There’s coughing. And sneezing. And lots (and lots) of tissues. All of these things made for a very tumultuous night of sleep last night at absolutely no fault of dear baby Carter (who ironically slept more soundly than he has in weeks).

My dear forever mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. Though I’ve never fully understood that phrase, this seems an appropriate time to use it. Normally, she would run to the drug store for the usual arsenal of cold-fighting medicines and kick this thing in the butt. But she’s pregnant. So nothing is normal. Love in Truth, Truth in Love

Instead, I watched as she (albeit sluggishly) made it through the day. Though I would say that is exactly what she did (made it, barely), I noticed something throughout the day that made my heart smile. She woke up and got out of bed (very) slowly, rubbed her tired eyes, and slipped on her slippers. What surprised me came next.

“Good morning, sunshine,” she said to Carter, in her cheeriest voice. She smiled at him and he hugged her and (at least in that moment) everything was okay. I saw it in glimpses throughout the day, too. Because she was clearly tired. And that makes working and keeping up with a toddler even more challenging.

I listened as she kept painfully clearing her throat to cheerfully talk him through the day. I watched as he hugged her more than usual, almost like he knew she wasn’t quite herself (in spite of how hard she tried to hide it). And I felt the love in my dear forever home.


Today I realized there are indeed no sick days as a parent.

There was coughing and sneezing and so very many tissues. And yes, mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. But today she became living and (albeit barely) breathing proof that whatever this sickness is will not get the best of her. Because she’s a mom. She’s being a mom to the baby in her decision to use only natural means to tend to whatever illness ails her. She’s being a mom to dear Carter by doing her very best to stay cheery for him even though I know she feels anything but that.

She’s a mom. There is power in that. There is strength in that. If that’s not enough to kick this thing, I don’t know what is.



Living in A Moment

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

This, too, shall pass.

Wiley's Wisdom

I’m not complaining. I want to be clear about that. But I’m not going to lie. While I am overwhelmed with joy for the major life change my people have embarked upon, it kind of frightens me a little. All right, I’ll be honest. It frightens me a lot.

ChallengeI knew it would happen eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast. Mom and dad have thrown caution to the wind. Forget the baby books. Put aside the message boards. Just as I knew would happen, Carter is writing a book of his own. And I can’t say my people seem to happy with the outcome.

When mom was pregnant, dad used to joke that he wished she could give birth to a toddler. Though it would be physically impossible, it seemed appealing then to be able to fast forward through the “tough” newborn stuff and get right…

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Bruised Not Broken March 23, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:08 pm

It got to mom today. She has a little tornado toddler who makes a day of causing all sorts of chaos throughout the walls of my forever home. Curious is not just the first name of dear baby Carter’s favorite TV character (Curious George). These days, it may as well be his middle name.

On most days, it’s okay. Sometimes I’d go as far as to call it endearing. Today it made me take off to my safe haven under the bed in my parent’s bedroom. And it made mom cry. Backyard Fun

Because today it wasn’t okay. Or endearing. Today it was dangerous. On an average day, it’s normal to find a new bump or bruise here and there during his nightly bath, but today was not an average day. Today he bled. A lot. Three times, to be exact.

It was an incident with the windowsill, followed by another with a fall and one last one with a stick in my backyard paradise. The latter was by far the worst of the mix, partially because one minute he and I were playing together joyfully, running in the grass together as he giggled. The next he was screaming out in pain. (You know it’s bad when you’re actually relieved to see the blood coming from his cheek, instead of his eye where it looked like the stick went from my vantage point).

I watched as mom scooped him up, just as she had done earlier, and tried her best to stay calm as she brought him inside to tend to the wound. She tried her best to stay calm. But she failed. Soon I watched as tears flowed down her face almost as steadily as they did down his, though much (much) more quietly.

Eventually the bleeding stopped, and shortly thereafter the tears followed suit. It was all pretty terrible to witness, but in doing so I realized something about moments like these scratches and bruises that have become part of the new normal around here. I already know and respect they’re going to happen. But they don’t have to break us in the process. Sure, mom got a little emotional bruising of her own in the process, but just like Carter she picked herself back up, dusted herself off, and moved on.

Sometimes that is exactly what we need to do.


A Little Dream

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 3:53 pm

Peace. From the ground up, that’s what was contagious in the Schmidt house all those days ago when Carter was so small.

Wiley's Wisdom

It finally happened. I’ve been thinking about it for months. But I didn’t want to push my luck and try it too soon. So I waited. Perhaps not as patiently as my forever mom and dad would have liked. But I waited. After almost ten months of waiting, that’s saying something.

Well today I got my chance. And let me tell you something. It was worth the wait. Today I got to cuddle with my new little person. It was just as beautiful as I imagined it would be. He was warm. And I could hear his little heart beating. Peace. From the ground up, that’s what was contagious in the Schmidt house today.Peace.

So there we were, snuggling ourselves into the nap world, when things took a turn for the unexpected. For this I was not prepared. It was fleeting. If I hadn’t been peaking at Carter out of…

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A Heart Full of Seeds March 22, 2015

It’s not the first time it happened, and I’m sure it wont be the last. My guess is this story started yesterday as I enjoyed a little more time than usual in my backyard paradise. The weather was nice, so I relaxed in the sun for a bit under my favorite tree.

I found myself daydreaming about the warm summer days to come, with Carter running around and swinging in the tree swing dad hung for him last year. And the new baby, most likely all bundled up and protected from the sun. And mom and I in my beloved cozy spot with her in her hammock. There is so much to look forward to as the weather continues to warm up, I found myself lost in all of it. Second Chances

So I suppose it makes sense I didn’t particularly stop and take notice when a teeny tiny tick decided to move his permanent residence from somewhere in my favorite tree to somewhere in my neck fur. I went about my daydreams and (as far as I knew) all was well.

That is, until my forever dad was petting me this morning and found the creature had embedded itself into my neck. He and mom immediately jumped into action, mom consoling me as dad carefully extracted it. It doesn’t necessarily hurt, but it does feel a bit itchy. I know a visit to the doggie doctor is likely in my future this week, too, just to make sure everything is okay.

I’m sure everything will be fine. But as I thought about this thing ticks do, burrowing into a host and potentially infecting it with disease, it reminded me a bit of that thing called negativity. It’s not a favorite people feature of mine, and for good reason. I feel like for every good thing you share with someone and they pass along, there are ten bad things that seem to catch fire even easier. I don’t know why this is, but I know I don’t like it.

Nor do I like the impact it has on the host it infects with its parasitic evil. However, I hold the belief that just like my dear forever parents jumped into action to remove that tick, negativity so too can be removed. It’s not always easy to flip the switch and turn things around. It can even be painful. But (at least in my opinion) it’s necessary.

“Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout,” suggested Japanese thinker Morihei Ueshiba.

None of those seeds will sprout in a cloak of negativity. They need light, they need joy, to come to life.


The Day I Met Myself

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:41 am

Along that path, we find out what challenges us, what brings us joy, and what we absolutely cannot handle.

Wiley's Wisdom

Wiley C. Schmidt. That is the name engraved on the new tag I got from my forever mom and dad recently. It was my Christmas present, mom said, a replacement for the one they got me the day I went home with them from the Oshkosh Humane Society. That one had tarnished over time to the point where a stranger would no longer be able to read mom’s contact information. (Heaven forbid!)

Just call me WileyI was surprised at how bittersweet it was for me to see that old tag go (I think mom put it with a memory box or something with my name on it). It also said Wiley C. Schmidt, and to me it symbolized something. A fresh start. A second chance. A new life. It was all of these things and more. Because that day when I walked into my forever home I felt like I met myself for…

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