Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Off The Leash December 18, 2014

I know it happens to people sometimes. Sure, it seems more frequent for my forever mom than my dad. But that doesn’t make me any less manly a dog when it happens to me. (Right?)

Sometimes we all have those days. You know the ones. Nothing in particular went wrong. Nothing broke. Everyone’s accounted for and in good health. But there’s an emotional emptiness. A deafening silence. A weakness in the heart. That was today for me. Me and My Gal

Days like this there is really only one thing I care about. Attention. From the ground up, I’ll take it in whatever form I can get it. I (almost) never resort to sassy behavior, generally relying much more on the gift of nonverbal seduction. The head nudge under the hand. The shameless leap onto a lap that is already crowded with work and an 11-month-old. The stubborn stare down. These are all tricks I’ve perfected over the years; ways I’ve determined are best in dealing with the general sense of neediness I feel sometimes.

Today I tried them all. I played my whole hand, especially with mom. I followed her all over the house. I sat unnecessarily close to mom’s feet as she baked cookies. I hopped on her lap the second she sat down, even at the kitchen table at dinnertime (this was a new one for me). Sometimes we doggies just need to feel the love.

So you can imagine the love I felt when the topic of dinner conversation turned to a package we received in the mail recently. It was marked “royal mail,” which is a pretty big deal around these parts, especially when most of the mail we get is bills. Instead of a bill, the package contained love from London. Inside were a lovely note and book from a very beloved and loyal blog friend, Ute.

It was the first I was hearing of the special delivery and I’m not going to lie. My heart melted with happiness and gratitude to have received such a lovely and thoughtful token from someone out there in the blogosphere. The best part about it is the book, “Off the Leash: A Dog’s Best Friend” contains humorous comics highlighting the truths of a dog’s life. From the poop dance to the frequent napping behavior to our bed hogging tendencies, cartoonist Rupert Fawcett nailed it on the head.

He even had several references to our esteemed and award-winning attention-seeking skills. Namely, the things we do on days like today when we (for no good reason) just need a little love.

I know everyone has days like that. When you really just need a hug. Or a smile, even if it’s from a complete stranger. Or, in my case, a random piece of mail from loved one in another country. Some days are like that. But today reminded me it’s okay to have days like this. Because, if you let people in, there will always be someone there to give you the hug you need. Even if it is from halfway across the globe.

Off the Leash

 

The Secret Ingredient February 9, 2014

For some people, it’s a choice. For others, it’s as simple as a bloodline. And for me, it happened the day my forever mom and dad brought me into their home. Because they did more than that. They brought me into a family.

I was reminded of this over the weekend as both sides of my forever family joined together to celebrate my dad’s birthday. It was the first time the families have been all together since baby Carter was born and I was prepared for anything. Well, to be honest, I was prepared to step aside and let Carter steal the show. And he did.FamilyNo Secrets

But (to my surprise) I also earned my fair share of attention. I got pets and hugs and play time and treats and amidst it all I got the best thing of all. Love. From the ground up, I am blessed to be loved by such wonderful family members. It happened when I was playing what likely is my hundredth game of pickle in the middle with some of my favorite little people this afternoon.

I realized in those moments the answer to one of life’s most challenging questions. What is the secret ingredient in my recipe for joy? My family. It takes a village, as the proverb says, and I quite like mine. I had no idea that day I came home from the humane society just how blessed I would become.

Because that proverb is right – it does indeed take a village. We all need a good support system in place for those days when the ground shakes around us. For the times when we feel like its us against the world. And for the times we are overcome with joy and need to share it with someone special.

And that someone special may not always be a relative or family member. Sometimes the friends we make along the way become their own kind of family. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a few of those in my life as well.

So to those who say you can’t choose your family, I disagree. Because in my case, they chose me.

 

Bundle of Trouble November 7, 2013

It’s started. Just like Tramp said it would. Negativity is sneaking its way into my little doggie heart. And I don’t like it. Not one bit.

My people have left me at home two nights this week to go to something called baby class. They come back a few hours (which feel to me like a few days) later with an odd concoction of emotions weighing on their hearts. Excitement. Fear. Exhaustion. Happiness. It’s a lot for a little guy like me to handle at 9 p.m. on a weeknight.Thinking in the Nursery

So after they got home last night, I did what any dog would do. I tried to get a game of pickle in the middle going. Or fetch. Or chase. Something – anything –that will bring some emotional focus to the situation. And, let’s face it, I wanted a little attention.

I didn’t get it. No matter how hard I tried, both nights I went without my usual amount of love and playtime with my forever people. And it broke my little doggie heart. A conversation Lady had with Jock and Trusty in Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” came to mind. Lady asked “what’s a baby?”

Jock and Trusty said they resemble humans (except they’re smaller), they walk on all fours, they beller a lot, they’re very expensive – and breakable – but they’re sweet.

“Just a cute little bundle of trouble,” Tramp chimed into the conversation. “Yeah, they scratch, pinch, pull ears…aw, but shucks, any dog can take that. It’s what they do to your happy home. Move it over, will ya, friend? Home wreckers, that’s what they are!”

Tramp spends the majority of the story trying to convince Lady to leave her family for a life of freedom and bliss because she will otherwise be replaced in the hearts of her people by this little bundle of trouble.

“A human heart only has so much room for love and affection,” he tells Lady. “When a baby moves in, the dog moves out.”

It’s started. Just like Tramp said it would. Negativity is sneaking its way into my little doggie heart. And I don’t like it. Not one bit. But I realized something as I gave up my attempts to play with my people this week.

It’s all too easy for me to start to slip into that way of thinking. And I’ve never been one to take the easy way out, so I don’t intend to start now. Instead, I shall prepare myself to find joy in these moments of emotional confusion my people are having. To embrace them with my whole doggie heart. Tramp may have been right about babies being bundles of trouble, but I know differently of my little person. He or she will be a little bundle of joy for my people, and (in turn) for me.