Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

My Big American Dream March 6, 2014

Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes life just sucks. Momma said there would be days like this. But here’s the thing. That inherently implies there are also days like that. When things feel pretty perfect. And life is wondrous in all its glory. That was today for me.

For the most part, it was like any other day. Same old routine. I can always sniff out excitement though, and today it was definitely in the air from the start. It wasn’t until this afternoon when two men with big cameras and lights came to visit my forever home that I found out what all the fuss was about. Our family was “image cast” to appear as a normal family living the American Dream for a promo for a local news station. Family Photo (Throwback Thursday)

It’s a concept I’ve thought a lot about my whole life. What is normal? As a puppy, I longed for normalcy. I wanted to be like those puppies I heard about who found homes with a mom and a dad and kids. I wanted the American Dream before I understood what that phrase even meant.

Today it made sense to me in one of the most real and honest ways yet. The photographer men had mom doing “typical” things a mom and baby would do in the morning like getting baby Carter out of his crib, rocking with him, and changing his clothes. And Carter behaved like a champ. But my lesson came to life when one of the photographers said it.

“It’s okay if he cries,” he said to my mom. “We want this to be real.” We want this to be real. Now there’s a thought. Because I know so often what we see on TV and social media isn’t always real. It’s airbrushed and edited and perfect.

But nobody’s perfect. Sometimes life just sucks. And there are indeed often those “days like this.” But these are the real moments that remind us to cherish the times when our dreams are realized. These are the moments that make life worth living. These are the moments that bring the American dream to life. That was today for me.

**Stay tuned for the promo, set to hit local TV stations by the end of March! Spoiler alert – I’m featured in it too, so it is going to be pretty cute!**

 

The Company We Keep July 5, 2013

Advertising works. I’ve seen it happen in forever home enough to know it to be true. That latest miracle face cream appearing in the bathroom a few days after the commercial. The occasional trip for ice cream after a tempting tease between classic “Friends” episodes. Even that new kind of dog food that (definitely doesn’t taste as good but) is supposed to be better for me.

This came to my mind as I made the best of my people deciding to watch entirely too much television when they got home from that place called work today. Here it is, a gorgeous afternoon and evening, squandered away with mindless chatter. We could have gone for a walk, or to the dog park, or on a car ride! But as I’m in the habit of finding the silver lining in things, I pawed my way into the perfect cuddle spot between my two favorite people and joined in the (albeit incredibly boring) family activity.

Watching TVCommercials always have a way of catching my attention (usually because of the animal activity) and tonight I got to thinking about one particular type of commercial that used to be a head-scratcher to me. The dating sites. We all know them. E-Harmony, Match.com, OurTime.com, and ChristianMingle.com are among the first to come to mind (see what I mean about advertising working?). I used to see those commercials and (somewhat mockingly) dream up my own personal ads.

SCM (single canine male), 5 people years, 24 inches, 22 pounds, with floofy tail and point ears seeks a friend for the end of the world. (Nope, sounds too desperate). SCM, 35 doggie years, 24 inches, 22 pounds, with a heart of gold and lots of joy to share seeks a female canine to spoil with love. (Too cheesy?) SCM, mysterious, seeks someone to enjoy the journey with as much as the destination. (I kind of like this one).I'm a Half Full Doggie

All joking aside, I didn’t believe in this cyber-dating concept until recently when I found a new home in the blogosphere. We are family here, friends joining together from all over the world to comment on life’s refreshing moments of silliness and embrace each other in moments of struggle. It reminds me of one of the first moments I found myself just outside my mother’s protective cuddle zone when I was a puppy.

At first I was all alone in the tremendously bright sun feeling miles away from my mom and brothers who had all been cuddled so closely together for what felt like forever. (It was really only the first few days of my life, but time has a way of dragging when all you can do is sleep, eat, and sleep some more). In reality, I only felt far away from my family because of the closeness we had previously shared. Then I remembered I was there, out in the open, with my brothers and mom by my side. Suddenly it wasn’t so scary anymore. I didn’t know it then, but the company I kept in those terrifying moments made them worth living.

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary simply by doing them with the right people,” suggested American actress Elizabeth Green. Advertising has a way of making even the least desirable things seem necessary. But when the rubber meets the road, we don’t need the miracle moisturizer, ice cream cone or even the fancy designer dog food (that tastes like cardboard). We need people in our life to share moments with, even if it means cuddling together in front of the TV instead of enjoying the great outdoors. From our everyday people to the family we create on the world wide web, the company we keep make moments worth living.