Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

What You Give March 20, 2015

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:43 pm
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I knew it had to be bad. I saw the runny mascara and generally disheveled appearance of my dear forever mom as she came home, and something told me something pretty terrible happened. She didn’t seem herself the rest of the day, in spite of dear baby Carter and his good spirits. It turns out I was right, though this is a case I wished so badly to be wrong. I like tug of war

I listened in horror as she recounted the tale to dad later today, and it all made (hearatbreaking) sense.

I knew she worked extra hard this week. I watched her set aside time with dad at night so she could work instead. All so she could take Carter swimming this afternoon at a local workout place. She looked forward to it all week.

So when she called this morning to confirm “free Fridays” was still happening and was told that didn’t apply to our closest location she was devastated. I listened as she talked with the lady on the phone, who encouraged her to still come in and apply for a scholarship so it wouldn’t be so expensive to join. Mom’s eyes (and heart) lit up at the idea.

Off she and Carter went, and all too soon they returned.

Apparently the people charged with greeting and welcoming members and visitors were not feeling very welcoming today. They turned up their noses at my mom when she asked to apply for a scholarship, and made her feel stupid for thinking she could apply and swim the same day.

“All I wanted to do was take my son swimming today,” she told them. No such luck. Instead, she found herself crying on a bench outside the facility for all to see because she simply didn’t care.

As if it wasn’t hard enough for her to pack things up and head over there feeling all pregnant and huge (her words, not mine). Not to mention how hard it can be to ask for help, especially financially. Still, she was “greeted” with nothing but snickers and rude behavior.

I knew it must have been bad when they came home so soon. And when I saw the tell-tale mascara smears, well, that told me all I really needed to know. People are jerks sometimes. For whatever reason, they say awful and hurtful and terrible things. I don’t know why.

What I do know is things have a way of balancing out. Mom will be okay. She’s too strong to let any of this bother her for too long. I’m not a vengeful dog by any means, but I can’t help but think this is a case when the golden rule has been broken. And you get what you give.

Just because our forever family chooses to give love and joy doesn’t mean that’s everyone else’s first choice. And that’s fine. Because ultimately it’s their loss.


On Kindness and Diaper Wipes November 18, 2013

It’s not rocket science. I know it might be a mystery to the two-legged observer, but our canine bathroom routine is far from complicated. It’s all part of my process. I go outside, do my business, enjoy extra-curricular activities (like staring at the birds, attempting to chase off squirrels and occasionally conversing with Demon Dog), and come back inside.

I don’t use a toilet, let alone flush it. I don’t wash my paws when I’m done. And I certainly don’t use toilet paper. My Bathroom

So you can imagine how out of place I felt this weekend as I listened to a long and serious conversation my forever parents had about something called a wipes warmer. This contraption, which apparently warms diaper wipes to what is supposed to be a more comfortable temperature, has joined the ever-growing pile of baby things accumulating in the nursery. And my people are torn about its necessity amongst things like the diapers and wipes themselves.

While I consider it to be completely unnecessary (given my previously aforementioned bathroom behaviors), their conversation got me to thinking about what people refer to as the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have done to you. I highly doubt either of my people would like it if they were being woken up to go to the bathroom several times a night. Add to that some freezing cold toilet paper and you’ve got two very upset people. So why would you do essentially the same thing to a little person?

I’ll be honest. I think the wipes warmer is hogwash. But the argument for having one is incredibly solid. “Carry out a random act of kindness,” Princess Diana suggested, “with no expectation of reward, safe in  the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” While the sincerest acts of kindness and compassion require nothing in return, these things have a way of coming back to us in one way or another.

It doesn’t take much. It’s not nearly as complicated as our canine bathroom routine may seem to the two-legged observer. And it certainly doesn’t require anything to warm it to a conceivably agreed upon temperature. Something as seemingly insignificant as a smile (or in my case an enthusiastic tail wag) can contain within it more power than a thousand words. Forget the artificial warmer. Kindness. Compassion. The Golden Rule. These are the words of true warmth.