Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Tears of Joy August 10, 2013

For me, its in the simple things. Pursuing  a squirrel in the backyard (even if it outsmarts me). Making myself comfortable on the patio furniture (which I know is naughty). Jumping three feet in the air to catch a tennis ball (even though I always lose interest after a catch or two). These are things that bring me joy. Nothing fancy, right?

Well, the strangest thing has been happening around here lately. My mom has been finding joy in everything. At face value, I suppose this wouldn’t sound strange, and yet I can’t quite wrap my little doggie mind around it. While much of it is triggered by the same things as always (shoes, family time, Paul Rudd’s humor – you know, the usual), some of it is surprising me. I’ve come to understand laughter as an expression of joy (for example), but this whole tears of joy thing throws me for a loop.

I didn’t used to think people tears were a bad thing, but lately I’ve seen enough of them to second guess myself. She cries all the time, over the simplest things. Don’t get me started with that Wishbone commercial where the golden retriever welcomes his person home from that place called work. Tears every time. Today dad came home with a bag of treats (for me) and a bag of clothes (for the baby). Out came the tears again.

But I know with certainty these are not tears of sadness, grief, or anger. These are tears of joy. And apparently they are somehow linked to something called hormones. She’s apparently always had them, but she says they are heightened right now because of the pregnancy. I’ve heard mom and dad talk a bit about this, because mom’s tears usually trigger dad’s giggles (which mom doesn’t usually appreciate). I don’t know why dad gives her a hard time about it either. From what I’ve heard about pregnancy hormones (and their impact on patience, anger and tension), I’ll take the tears any day.

For mom, it’s in the simple things. I’m not sure what did it during my escapades in the backyard today, but it happened nonetheless. There I was, getting my joy on with squirrels, patio furniture and tennis balls. And there she was crying tears of joy. To be honest, that might be my new favorite thing about joy. From the ground up, it’s contagious in all of its forms.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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.