Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Painted Baby Blue February 23, 2014

I thought we were past all of this. The exhaustion. The disoriented distracted state of mind. The emotional instability. But mom has seemed especially disheveled the last couple of days and I can’t put my paw on why. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t love dear baby Carter. That simply can’t be the case as she tells him she loves him even more than she tells me. Something isn’t right.

Unbeknownst to my people I have done my own research on these things. Apparently it’s normal for new (especially first-time) moms to experience something called the baby blues. (It’s a good thing blue is one of the colors I can see). Usually it happens early on, within the first couple of days, and wears off over time. Feeling Blue?

That’s why I’m not completely convinced that’s what’s wrong. (But I’m ready with all kinds of love if it is). That, and the fact that it seemed at least mostly cured by something pretty silly today. I will never understand why people paint their nails. It’s enough of a rigamarole for me when I get mine trimmed. Mom frequently takes it quite a few steps farther when she gets her fingers and toes painted, blue of all colors. That’s what she did today.

She left dad and I alone with Carter (a fairly new and unfamiliar experience) and came back with a new color about her. I got the impression it wasn’t so much about where she went as it was that she went at all. It doesn’t mean she loves us any less. It doesn’t mean she wants to return Carter to the magical place he came from. She just needed a little time away to regroup.

I don’t think we can call this the baby blues. Because I think if we are all honest with ourselves, we all need that every now and then. A little time away to regroup. Whether it’s a five-minute walk around the office or a week away in a foreign place, experience demonstrates it does the body good. It doesn’t mean we love our lives any less. It just means we are human (or canine in my case). And, as Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle suggests, it fuels our drive to persevere.

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes a strong soul from the weak.”


Rainbows of the Heart July 29, 2013

There are those who believe dogs cannot see rainbows. Then there is me, and I’m here to tell you we can. Sure, they may not be quite as vibrant and fabulous as what people see but they are still visible to us.

In actuality colorblindness isn’t all that bad. We can see the color spectrum; we just struggle with certain (albeit important) colors like red and yellow. But it doesn’t matter that our real-life rainbows look more brown and blue than red and purple. We don’t need to see all of the colors to appreciate their significance. Opinions vary from person to person, but I’m a believer in the theory that rainbows signify a promise. Storms happen in all areas of life, sometimes when we least expect it. But the rainbow always follows, carrying with it a promise of renewal. A promise of safety. A promise of peace.Singing in the Rainbows

I saw a different kind of rainbow today. It happened when I met Winston (the terrier mix) and Mallory (his two-legged best friend) at the dog park. Mom was kind enough to arrange the meeting in response to an email I received recently asking if I would be interested in guest blogging for the local chapter of the American Red Cross. (It is my understanding this is the place called work for Mallory). They have been wanting to integrate some dog-friendly information, and hoped to do so with a new voice.

Well, to say this new voice is excited is definitely an understatement. But excited isn’t the only thing I feel after our meeting. I feel like I came face to face with a completely different kind of rainbow. Not the physical kind that little people watch for in the sky after a downpour. The kind that originates in the heart.

While the Red Cross focuses on proactivity and preparedness, most people are more familiar with their responses to disaster. To the shocking aftermath. To devastation. And rightly so, if you consider the staggering numbers of people that the Red Cross has assisted. In the ten minutes it takes to read this blog post, 2500 people were assisted by the Red Cross*. Two thousand five hundred people who have encountered various types of disasters. Helped in life-changing ways. In ten minutes.

I’m no stranger to emotional disaster. Maybe that’s why I like rainbows so much. So I don’t agree with those who believe dogs cannot see rainbows. Indeed red is one of the colors us canines struggle to identify, but that doesn’t mean we don’t recognize a rainbow when we see it. Today I saw the rainbows the Red Cross brings into the previously stormy lives of others. Rainbows of renewal, safety and peace. And I was inspired. It didn’t rain today. There wasn’t a rainbow in the sky. Instead there was a rainbow in my heart.

*Statistics obtained from http://redcrosssewiblog.org/

(This is also the blog to which I will soon be contributing. Check it out!)