Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Somewhere In The Clouds January 13, 2015

I guess some people might think it’s pretty disgusting. Repulsive even. But us canines have a guilty pleasure that I would argue life would not be the same without.

I’ll take a garbage can filled with all things grotesque as long as it smells good (and it usually does). I always choose the toys I have had the longest over a new one because of the familiar scent that even my forever family thinks is too stinky to handle. And when it comes to laundry, I just don’t understand why my people would want to wash away their fabulous natural scent. I think it’s a beautiful thing. A boy and his dog

So when it’s time for my forever mom to wash the bed sheets, I get downright disappointed. Except for today. Today what happened as those sheets and blankets became a pile of laundry on the floor of the bedroom was all right by me.

I stood back and watched as dear baby Carter jumped into the pile with more gusto than he does a lot of things. He almost flew into the gigantic pile like it was a fluffy cloud. He rolled around in it and hid from mom in it and giggled. So much giggling. Again and again he repeated the flying leap into the pile. Mom laughed. I wagged. And the next thing you know, we were right there too, playing around in a bundle of sheets and blankets on the floor.

Time pauses in these moments, I know this for sure. Because in that five minutes, we were not rolling around on the bedroom floor. We were somewhere in the clouds. There was not a care in the world and nothing else mattered.

I know sometimes adulthood has a way of eating away at this kind of behavior. It breaks my heart to think about the possibility that one day Carter will stop playing around in blankets and start keeping his feet on the ground. That he’ll outgrow these kinds of foolish games eventually. That the simple things will get overshadowed.

That simply cannot happen. And it will not as long as I’m around to do anything about it. Because I don’t care how old we get. From time to time we all need to spend a little time with our hearts in the clouds.



Dreams Are Dreams September 13, 2013

Some things just aren’t meant to be. It would take a miracle (for example) for me to fly. Or ride a roller coaster. Or walk on the moon. Just because all of these things happen frequently in my daydreams doesn’t make them real.

But let’s say (just for a minute) things that happen in our dreams really do come true. I could finally catch those elusive squirrels that taunt me in the backyard. I could whine my doggie guts out on The Whizzer at Six Flags (yes, the starter coaster – don’t judge). And perhaps one day us dogs will walk on the moon. How amazing would all of this be? Snarky Sparky

I think there’s general misconception about these things in our society. We have our dreamers who think anything is possible, we have our realists who keep the dreamers grounded, and we have our pessimists who don’t bother thinking outside the box. I (obviously) fall into the first category, but I have characters in my life who I know have given up on their dreams. They may not say so, or even admit it to themselves, but they’ve stopped reaching for those goals. And it breaks my heart.

I’ve said it before, but it seems even more relevant now. The journey can be half as much (if not more) fun as the destination if we only let it be. It’s one thing to drive across America to get from A to B. It’s something totally different to stop and see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Kansas on your way to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. To take the scenic route through Minnesota instead of the highways. To hike through the mountains of Tennessee rather than drive. These are the moments that make a journey worth living.

There are two ways to look at things, and I think this dog Frankenstein is the perfect demonstration of both.

To our realists, it appears the prize is just out of reach. To our pessimists, the goal is simply unattainable. But to our optimists, our dreamers, it looks like he is (at the very least) having fun making his dreams come true no matter how stubborn and challenging they may be.

I think we can all take a lesson from Frankenstein. It’s one thing to respect that some things just aren’t meant to be. Let’s face it: the chances of me ever being able to fly, ride a roller coaster or walk on the moon are pretty slim. But dreams are dreams and I will still have fun trying.


Reach For the Stars September 6, 2013

I saw a shooting start last night. And I made a wish. But I can’t tell you that or it won’t come true.

I can tell you it was a night to remember. My mom took me along to grandma’s house, which is exciting on its own without the surprise that awaited me. Alas, my aunt was visiting from out of town so that means my usual source of attention (my mom) had just multiplied by three (to include my grandma and my aunt).

When You WishMy cousin Buddy was there too, so we wrestled and chased and engaged in our epic dog staring contests (all of which I reigned victorious). I scored a whole bunch of people food treats, including the residual ice cream from my aunt’s dessert plate. Amidst everything I was busy doing, I noticed the upbeat conversation focused on all things baby. Everything from how mom is feeling to baby name brainstorming was on the table for discussion.

And as much as I enjoyed all of this, the best part came later. The air was cool and quiet as all five of us sat outside and stared at the night sky. The great and powerful “they” say us canines can smell fear. But that’s not the only thing we can sense. In the silence of these precious moments I smelled joy. I could feel it like a cloud hovering like a protective blanket around us.

I’m generally not a noisy dog (other than when I bark protectively at any and every animal on the television – live or animated, canine or reptile), but in that moment I felt an instinctual desire to howl at the moon. Not because I wanted to communicate with other dogs as part of a hunt. Not because I was left outside too long. Rather because I wanted to share the overwhelming sense of joy I had in that moment I saw the shooting star.

I still can’t tell you what I wished for, but I can tell you this much about wishcraft. “The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers. But above all, the world needs dreamers who do,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. “Don’t just entrust your hopes an wishes to the stars. Today begin learning the craft that will enable you to reach for them.”