Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Not-So Happy Endings February 6, 2015

I wonder sometimes why things happen a certain way. Why, in a world filled with such distinctly exciting opportunities for joy, are there any stories of hate? Why do there have to be bad days mixed with good? And why (oh why?) do bad things happen to good people?

I seek to find the good in all people, places and things. And I thought for sure I had found it in this story. A few months ago, a friend of mom’s took in 10-year-old Eddy to save his life. His owner decided he was too much work in his old age and tried awful things to encourage him to move along. She hit him with a garbage can. She tried to shoo him out the door and run him down the street. She thought about leaving him in the garage until he starved to death. These are real and horrible things she tried to do to rid him from her life.

In swooped her daughter, Margaret, to save the day. Margaret has since offered her home to Eddy, even though she has a small child and another dog to care for already. She has cared for him and seen him through multiple emergency visits to the veterinarian for issues with his diabetes and a urinary tract infection. Because she loves him. Praying :)

Which makes this new chapter to the story that much harder to tell. Dear Eddy has been nipping at Margaret’s nine-month-old son for a couple of days now. And it’s not getting any better, in spite of training and other intervention methods. He is irritable and often is the reason the baby misses naps during the day and can’t sleep through the night. In spite of the love Margaret’s heart, something’s got to give.

I can’t imagine a harder decision than the one she faces. Eddy is miserable. He’s unhappy. He’s uncomfortable. But he’s loved, and in that way he is incredibly blessed.

Sometimes I don’t understand why these kinds of things happen. Why the family who has come to the rescue has to suffer like this. Why Eddy would purposely put a little person in harm’s way. And why stories like this don’t seem to have happy endings.

But, in reality, they do. Eddy has known the love of a person. The real and unconditional love that exists between a dog mom and her dog. He’s lived a relatively long and happy life that (until recently) knew no pain or misfortune. So I suppose if the time has come for him to go wait for Margaret at the Rainbow Bridge, the happy ending is, in fact, in the story itself after all.

 

The Luck We Make January 17, 2014

I don’t mean to be rude. Quite the opposite in fact. I make it a business of mine to speak the truth in love. Even if it hurts. And even though I can’t speak. (At least not on command).

JoyTruth. From the ground up, I have some to share today. It occurred to me as I watched more snow diamonds fall from heaven. Snow is a pretty common occurrence in the beautiful state of Wisconsin, but it never ceases to amaze me with its understated beauty. In today’s peaceful stillness of the snowfall I found myself counting the flakes, each one a reminder of the blessings I have in life.

Family. Love. Loyalty. So many things money can’t buy, all at my paws at a moment’s notice. But I wouldn’t say this makes me lucky. The truth is, I wouldn’t call myself lucky. Friends and family call me this all the time and I tend to disagree. But not for reasons one might think.

I’m not bitter. I have no reason to be negative. But I believe in a lot of things, and luck isn’t one of them. Luck implies happenstance. Chance. Random good fortune. I’ve had too much good in my life happen to believe in such things.

Instead I count my blessings. Each one is unique and brings me a different kind of joy. Like today when baby Carter grabbed my paw in his sleep. My heart surged in that moment and I instantly forgave him for all the screaming he’s been doing morning, noon and night.

No snowflake is alike, and no true and lasting moment of joy is either. Each is a blessing of its own, entirely separate from this think called luck. Truth. From the ground up, I mean no disrespect to anyone who believes in luck. Instead I tend to side with World War II general Douglas MacArthur, who once suggested “the best luck of all is the luck you make for yourself.” And my luck isn’t luck at all. It’s joy. From the ground up, this is the truth I speak in love.