Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Standing In A Moment September 27, 2013

There’s this thing about dogs. New breeds continue to emerge on a daily basis, both of the mutt and purebred variety. Some have pointy ears. Others have fluffy tails. Others weigh more than some humans. But underneath it all, we all have a few things in common. Most of us like to play. A lot of us have a crazy obsession with smelling whatever we can get our nose into. And the majority of us don’t always know what’s in our best interest. Beyond that, there are a couple of things that unite us all – including (but not limited to) our perception of time. Big Time Thinking

It’s kind of hard to explain in a context other than a story like what happened to me this week. My people left me at Grandma’s house with my cousin Buddy on Wednesday. I didn’t know how long I would be there, and at first I was downright miserable. That is, until Buddy’s contagious joy struck a cord with my little doggie heart. We chased around the house and I got lost in the moment with my friend and our silliness. In that moment, I decided to live it up at Grandma’s house. Why not?

It wasn’t long before my heart reminded me why not. Time. It’s a dog’s best and worst friend. I love it when it’s on my side, and despise it when it’s not. (I suppose this can’t be that different than the human perspective on the matter). Why is it that time seems to slow to a complete halt when we’re anxious or looking forward to something? And then when it happens it happens in the blink of an eye?

That was today for me. This morning Grandma kept teasing me about how my people were coming home today. One might think this made the day fly by as I waited for their return. Not so much. I paced. I whined. I sat and stared at Grandma. Where are they? Didn’t you say they’d be back soon? I asked her these things silently, hoping she could somehow read my mind and tell me not to worry. Time. My worst friend. I waited and waited and finally, it was time. Grandma had me outside when they arrived and I couldn’t contain my excitement. I showered them with doggie hugs and kisses. Time. My best friend.

“Time is the coin of your life,” suggested American poet Carl Sandburg. “It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”

There’s this thing about dogs. We’re playful. We like to smell anything and everything. We don’t always know what’s good for us. But above all we love people. Much of our coins are spent loving people. Case and point: I love Grandma. Even though she told on me to my people about my whining by the door after they left the other day. And therein lies the one thing that (above all) ties all canines together regardless of our differences in appearance and personality. Sure, we all have a similar perception of time. But beyond that we love people. People are our universe. And our people — my forever people — they are the world.

 

Love Many: My Personal VIP List March 9, 2013

There is this quote I’ve seen in my forever home that I’ve always wondered about. It reads “love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe.” It is sewed onto a little pillow in one of the bedrooms and written onto a teeny homemade canoe on the bookcase in the living room. I can’t say I was a believer in its theory until I learned its history.

It was something my adoptive mom’s grandpa (my great-grandpa) used to say. He went to heaven a long time before I would have had the opportunity to meet him, but I have to say he sounds like a pretty stand-up guy. My adoptive dad never met him either, so we have in common that we wish we could have met him before it was too late. Instead we have his stories and theories to hold onto, including (but not limited to) his quote about the canoe.Paddling Life's Canoe

I will admit: I do love my fair share of people. Good, bad, or ugly people are pretty important in a dog’s life regardless of the role they play. People have the power to pretty much control a dog’s environment at all times to reflect whatever they desire. Unfortunately, what they desire isn’t always a happy place in a dog’s life. I myself have had my fair share of negative experiences with people choices that impact a dog’s life. But as I am making it my goal to find good and happiness in all people and things, I will focus my attention on the very important people in my life:

1) Momma Schmidt – I love you more than words can say. You know that. If home is where the heart is, you are home to me.

2) Dad Schmidt – I’ve heard you say more than once that you will never admit to loving “a dog,” but your actions speak otherwise. I know you love me without you ever having to say so, which (in my opinion) is perhaps even more affective and meaningful than if you said it all the time.

3) Grandma and Auntie Finke – My momma’s momma and sister. How I love you both simply for who you are.

4) Grandma and Grandpa Schmidt – You buy special treats and toys for me when you know I’m coming over. What more could I ask for?

5) Little Schmidts – You are the little people in my lives, from whom I gain more wisdom than anyone else. Thank you.

6) Schmidt family friends – You know who you are. If you have ever left the Schmidt house with my fur all over you, consider yourself loved.

7) My blogosphere – Especially, Amba, Seeker, Hope, Leisa, Rachel, Misifusa, Putney, Cheyne and Popper’s momTrompie’s mom , Trev’s mom and all else. You are some of my most favorite people who continue to inspire me on a daily basis. I am grateful for you all.

Love ManyAs a former stray who was adopted into the wrong families before I found my forever home, I understand the “trust few” portion of the quote more than I would like to admit. Yesterday my own adoptive dad (who I love and trust) took his belt off and I cowered like I always do. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust him, but my instinct for leather belts is negative and that stays with me forever. Especially after being beaten and abandoned, experience has reinforced the importance of earning trust. My doggie circle of trust is known only to me.

That said, I can say with honesty that I would prefer to never paddle my own canoe. Like my perspective on joy, my time on boats has taught me these are moments best enjoyed when shared with loved ones in spite of how plentiful that list may be.

People are pretty important in a dog’s life. Good, bad and ugly, it doesn’t matter. And so it is. I love many, trust few, and choose to paddle my joy canoe with the help of whomever wants to join me. Fortunately for me those negative days are in my past now, and I have nothing but very important positive people to celebrate.