Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Not-So Little Luxuries September 7, 2013

It’s kind of like counting sheep. It’s my understanding people do this sometimes to calm their minds into falling asleep. This would never calm a canine mind (for obvious reasons) but my method sure does bring me peace. I count my blessings.

The list includes the obvious characters who make up daily life (like mom and dad), as well as the less obvious things (like my special spot under my favorite tree in my backyard). Today I noticed something about the list I couldn’t keep from sharing: it never seems to get shorter. Instead, it seems only to grow to include more of the obvious (and not-so-obvious) luxuries in life.

I recognize this in itself is a blessing, and yet it got me to thinking. What would happen if something fell off the list? What if one of life’s not-so-little luxuries went away for some reason? Which could I not live without?

My constant flow of healthy food and water came to mind, followed closely by their (slightly less necessary) tasty counterparts peanut butter and bacon. And Mr. and Mrs. Prickles. Losing them would be a major problem. But I know my people would never let me go hungry. And (as much as I hate to admit it) Mr. and Mrs. Prickles are indeed replaceable (exhibits A and B: Flea and Angry Bird).  My Comfort Circle of Characters

It wasn’t until later in the day I realized what ties the list together. I tend to think through these things around the same times each day. Morning and evening. Both times have something very important in common. My bed. And I’m not talking about the dog bed in the kitchen. Nor do I understand the appeal of a dog bed (which comes home smelling like a factory) compared to a people bed (which contains all of the smells of our people us dogs long to be near at all times).

My SpotIt was not an easy battle to conquer either. I took mom down first with what I fondly refer to as “the look” combined with my persuasive cuddling skills. Getting dad to agree to the arrangement was a whole other game entirely. I had to be strategic about it. And patient. Until one night (after more than two years of effort on my part) “the look” and my cuddling skills struck again.

Since then I’ve secured my spot in the bed and I will not let it go for all the dog treats in the world. It’s ridiculously comfortable. It smells heavenly. And it’s where I count my blessings at morning and at night. But the more I think about it, I suppose even the bed itself is replaceable at least to a certain extent. Because (as much as it is indeed the coziest bit of people-smelling cloud a dog could ask for) it’s so much more than a bed.

As American screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola reminds us “I like simplicity; I don’t need luxury.” I suppose I don’t need luxury either. I just need my people. It’s that simple. So as I count my blessings tonight from my perch on the bed, I give thanks not for the comfy cloud itself. Rather I give thanks for its representation of the love I have for my people, and their love for me. Ultimately I think that is the luxury I truly could not live without.

 

Safety First August 26, 2013

Before this, it was a pretty simple battle. Me verses the toilet. Before this, the toilet is pretty much the only piece of furniture (if you can all it that) I am not allowed to claim as my own. Before this, it’s always been a losing battle for me since I don’t actually have any desire to try to spend any time on it.

Well all of that ends today. The toilet has welcomed a comrade to the mix of things, and I’m not so sure I can just sit by and let them win this one. This new piece of furniture is called a crib, and apparently it is where the baby will be sleeping.

My people put it together yesterday, and when they were finished I was certain the job couldn’t actually be complete. That can’t be right, I thought, as I eyed the high railings that start just an inch or so off the floor. So while they were away at that place called work today, I took time to think this through. Certainly it must be a mistake. There is no way for me to safely navigate into the crib, nor is there a way for me to squeeze underneath it.Life Lessons on Trust

I don’t understand. How am I supposed to protect this baby if I can’t snuggle with it in the night? It doesn’t make sense. Then again, I don’t suppose it makes much sense for me to be pairing the toilet and this new crib together on a battle against me for furniture supremacy. The truth is, I don’t mind not being able to figure out the toilet. But this, not being able to snuggle with and protect what promises to be one of the most snuggly and helpless creatures, this bothers me.

The more I pondered this situation, I was reminded of something I haven’t struggled with for quite some time. I have trust issues. They’ve long been collecting dust on one of the suppressed file folders of my little doggie mind, but they’re still there. That’s the thing about the past – it has a way of sneaking up on you sometimes. The problem is, I know it’s not my people who I don’t trust. Indeed, they are among the only people around who I wholeheartedly trust more than anyone. Clearly they know what they are doing with this crib contraption and I simply need to trust they are doing the right thing. Even if it means I can’t enjoy snuggle time with the baby who needs protecting.

So I am considering this a battle lost, and I’m okay with that (even if it means losing to team toilet). Instead of fighting, I consider the words of Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu who challenged “he who does not trust enough will not be trusted.” Step aside trust issues. It seems I’ll just have to find other ways of keeping my new little person safe.