Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Rear View Mirror November 15, 2013

It has many faces and wears many hats. But the faces scare me and (let’s be honest) hats are not a dog’s best friend. Evil. It’s become such a foreign concept to me in my forever home, that it’s commonplace for me to forget it exists altogether.

Then I see something like I did on the side of the road on the way to the dog park, and it all comes rushing back. I know mom saw it too, and neither of us knew what to do. It was startling. So we drove on, and I wondered whether that was really the right thing to do. A man and a woman were arguing by a car when it happened. The man took the woman by the neck and (rather violently) threw her toward the nearby ditch. I was relieved to see them both get in the car and drive away from the safety of the rear view mirror.

Rear View MirrorWe made it to the park a few minutes later and I found myself lost in my thoughts as mom and I walked together on the trail. I realized that’s kind of the embodiment of evil in my life. The rear view mirror. It’s in my past, behind me and forgotten. And for that I am so grateful. But it’s not that way for everyone. Seeing what happened to that poor woman on the side of the road today was proof enough of that.

Maybe I’ve been going about this concept of evil all wrong. Just because something is in the mirror doesn’t mean it’s not really there. It’s there, alive and real, and ready to take the wheel if we let it. It does no good to pretend it isn’t.

Evil. My journey through life has led me to believe it has many faces and wears many hats. It’s that man on the side of the road. It’s in the eyes of Demon Dog in my backyard. It was in the hands of the man with the leather belt. It’s in the worry currently consuming my people. The faces of evil scare me and (let’s be honest) hats are not a dog’s best friend. But that’s no reason to ignore it altogether.

“Wisdom we know is the knowledge of good and evil,” suggested American writer John Cheever, “not the strength to chose between the two.” It’s an easy choice to me. What’s more challenging is looking in that rear view mirror, acknowledging the evil that exists, and moving on. Make them wonder why you’re smiling. Because good ultimately wins that battle every time.


A Pet’s Life For Me June 2, 2013

Being a pet in a funny thing for a dog. There’s so much about it that feels like we are fulfilling our purpose in life, and yet there are things we (as dogs) are bred to do that contradict with most pet etiquette. Don’t mark your (beloved) territory anywhere in your forever home. Don’t rub your furry self all over clean laundry. Don’t chew on your parents’ underwear. The list goes on, but today my preoccupation is with our urge to explore. (Also known as don’t run away off-leash in the neighborhood, even though I could navigate home in my sleep). 2013-04-04 15.21.13

Familiarity and routine are two words a dog grows to love, but there is something in our blood that urges us to get outside and explore. Travel the unfamiliar. Make our mark in new territory. I don’t think it’s that unusual. In fact, I think it’s a characteristic we share with our human best friends, given the famous words of poets and authors about taking the road less travelled and making paths for others where there were none previously. 2013-04-04 15.19.30

I do some of my best thinking on expeditions, regardless of what my forever parents would tell you about how easily distracted I get. (I’m just trying to soak it all in!) I love a good long walk somewhere new (or anywhere, for that matter) as much as the next dog, but it’s not my preferred method of transportation when I’m exploring the world. No sir. There is too much to see in too little time in this life – how could I possibly see it all on four paws?

Ever since I was a puppy, the concept of a car was so fantastical to me I could barely stand it. I remember seeing dogs hop into cars in parking lots and envying them before I even understood why. What’s not to love? I’m exploring the world from a much higher vantage point with my favorite people (at least until I get my doggie license figured out). I’m hanging my head out the window to feel the wind run through my fur. I could care less that my tongue is slapping me in the face. I’m in the zone!

I even have a preferred order of seating arrangements in the car: the lap of the driver, the lap of the passenger, then the center console. I’ve been told it’s terribly dangerous to squeeze my way into the lap of the driver (which is so sad because I love to feel like I’m driving), but I don’t mind any seat in the car as long as I’m close to my people pack enjoying the scenery all around us.

That’s what I’ve learned from being with my people pack for almost three years now. They are more special to me than any of my bad habits. Don’t mark your beloved territory anywhere in your forever home? Check. Don’t rub your furry self all over clean laundry? Working on it. Don’t chew on your parents’ underwear? Why not? 🙂 I suppose it’s worth it to give up doggie nature to spend the rest of my doggie life with these special people of mine. That’s the funny thing about being a pet. We are man’s best friend, fulfilling our purpose in life. We are exactly as we were meant to be.