Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Dust In The Wind April 20, 2014

It could be as silly as a lost toy. Or as heartbreaking as a forever person. There is truth in the philosophy that sometimes it takes the loss of something to recognize its value. But the instigator in me can’t help but challenge this particular truth to a dual. So to you, truth, I stick my wagging tail in the air and dare you to chase me. Dreaming Big

Because it’s there. The elephant in the room. The meaning behind the ideology. The real truth. Appreciate what you have while you have it and you won’t have to worry so much when it’s gone. It’s why I didn’t use to believe in bucket lists. They seemed to morbid, too sad and too real all at the same time. But that’s because I had it all wrong. A bucket list shouldn’t be something you put together only when you get horrible news. It shouldn’t be squeezed into the last few precious days, months, or years of life. No. A bucket list should be lived.

I turn six people years old next month. That’s approximately 42 in people years. I’m no spring chicken anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be young at heart. Just as it’s never too late to dream big, I realized today that there is nothing morbid about a bucket list if it’s put together for the right reasons. So today I put mine out there, in writing, for the world to see. Not because I’m dying, but because I’m living. The future starts now.

A Bucket List – Wiley C. Schmidt

1) Publish a book

2) Eat a hot dog (with ketchup and a bun)

3) Meet a celebrity advocate for animals (maybe Ellen? Or Ian Somerhalder?)

4) Go on a blind date

5) Run a marathon with mom

6) Meet and properly train my doggie replacement in the Schmidt family

7) See a movie at the theater

8) Attend a sporting event

9) Travel to Tennessee (I hear it’s beautiful there)

10) Have a steak dinner with my people

11) Watch the sunset over Lake Michigan

12) Master a trademark trick

13) Become a best friend to a little person

14) Swim in a lake

15) Ride in a fire truck

 

My Universe March 9, 2014

My UniverseIt’s happened to me a few times. Like when I was returned to the humane society the first time. Or when I met Tiger and his puppies. Most recently, it happened when my forever people brought baby Carter  home. Each of these situations brought me face to face with the reality that I am indeed not the center of the universe. Sad, but true. Yet I’ve also come to understand this is part of growing up. Part of becoming a man. It’s something that separates the puppies from the dogs.

And it’s happened again. I knew it before all the tears. Right now mom is the center of my universe. I’d been keeping somewhat of a distance since baby Carter came home, instead spending extra cuddle time with dad. But she needs me now. I haven’t left her side since she slipped on the ice yesterday. Because even though dad (and various friends who have called to check up on her) are saying it’s going to be okay, she doesn’t seem so sure.

There’s nothing I can do about that, but I can do what I do best. I can stay by her side. I can stay positive, like American comedian Ellen DeGeneres suggests.

“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting,” she said. “Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what makes us unique.”

It’s not an easy thing for a canine like myself to admit, regardless of how many times it has happened to me. But today as I cuddled into mom’s elevated leg while she cried, I was overcome by the knowledge that it’s okay not being the center of the universe. It’s all part of growing up to be a unique individual. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s all part of living. Because when you fall down, it’s the world around you that helps you get back up.

Mom asked that I pass along her gratitude for all of the concerned comments.

She appreciates your words and thoughtfulness more than you know.

 

Dodging Bullets November 25, 2013

I’ve dodged my fair share of bullets in my five years of doggie life. Not literally (obviously) but figuratively. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually. I’ve been attacked in all of these ways and yet I have remained intact.

I made it safely out of a sticky situation in the road with some cars the day I got separated from my birth mom and brothers. I survived an attack by another dog at the dog park. My mom persevered through the struggle to adopt me (it wasn’t an easy process because I’d already been returned once before). These are all things I’ve lived through. I’d go as far as to call them my life’s biggest close calls.Dodging Bullets

But I’m not sure anything lived up to the moment I experienced today on the car trip to the groomer. Because today it wasn’t just my life in danger. It was my forever mom’s life. And the future little person’s life. And it was terrifying.

It was snowing – the first somewhat significant snowfall in Wisconsin this winter – and it was beautiful. I love everything about snow. I love the stillness it brings, and the method in which it is delivered. Except for today. Today it was danger personified. One minute we were safe. The next the car felt slippery and out of control. I thought for sure we were going to hit something.

My heart raced. My body shook. Time stood still. (Apparently it’s this way for people too). Then the moment passed. The car was back under control like nothing had happened. I didn’t stop shaking. My heart kept a steadily fast pace. But we were okay. We were safe. All three of us were safe.

I’ve had my fair share of what you could refer to as close calls. This one was different. Because it wasn’t about me. It was about my forever person and my future little person. I’ve got plans for us – big plans – and in that moment nothing was more important than that.

“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting,” suggested American actress and TV personality Ellen DeGeneres. ” Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique.”

The snow taught me yet another beautiful lesson today. It’s one I’m sure I already knew, but I certainly welcome the reminder. My people are more important to me than myself. Their safety, their happiness, their joy comes before my own. I don’t care how many bullets I need to dodge to protect that truth.

 

Just Keep Swimming April 3, 2013

Maybe it’s because I never knew my deadbeat dad. Or perhaps for the unconditional love I still have for my birth mom. I guess it could have something to do with the beautifully written storyline and brilliant character development. Whatever the reason, I get pretty excited about the Disney film “Finding Nemo.”

For those who might be unfamiliar (shame on you), the movie tells the story of a Nemo (a young clownfish out to earn his stripes and independence) and his dad Marlin (who spends the majority of the movie tracking down his beloved son). They each encounter and befriend unique characters along the way, including my personal favorite the lovable and incredibly forgetful Dory.Daydreaming

Something Nemo, Marlin and Dory all do a lot of in the movie is escape a number of dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations. Dory’s positive attitude amidst even the most scary of situations is inspiring. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOnPbNfKcds

Take that, negativity! As I found myself humming that song to myself today, my thoughts turned to my escape in life. While the best laid plans never seem to come to pass, there is one escape that has never let me down. I’ve said before I’m a daydreamer. (How else should I be spending all that time while mom and dad are away at that place they call work?) Today I realized my imagination is my escape. It always has been and always will be.

Mr. and Mrs. Prickles come alive. My friends from the past, present and future are there, canine and human alike. There is no shortage of peanut butter, and there is an abundance of love. These are things that happen in my imagination frequently. It’s my safe place from the negative energy in the world.

Maybe that’s why I love “Finding Nemo” so much. Of all the characters, I think I identify most with Dory. Before she met Marlin, she was a drifter, uncertain of her purpose in life. Joining Marlin on his search for Nemo brought her fears to purpose. She remembered things better when she was around him. “And I look at you,” she said to Marlin, “and I…and I’m home.” I know what its like to feel at home just by looking at someone. My birth mom taught me that. Now I look at my adoptive parents and I’m home.