Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart April 30, 2014

Going to get ice cream!I don’t know why it happens. Nor do I honestly understand what it means. Heartburn. From the ground up, this is one of these mysteries I can tell is destined to never be solved for me.

Here is what I know. It was bad for dad for a while until he made some changes to his diet and it seemed to improve. It was awful for mom throughout pregnancy and has stuck around for the aftermath, at least to some extent. It seems to happen when they eat spicy or acidy foods, and yet they don’t stop eating spicy foods. Lasagna. Enchiladas. Pizza. These are all things I can smell in all of their deliciousness, and I always know what is coming.

Heartburn. Discomfort that makes one (or both) of them irritable, uncomfortable and upset. Whenever it happens, I fight the urge to say I told you so. That, and I have no way of actually saying such a thing to them. Because my doggie mind definitely understands the concept behind cause and effect. Stimulus and response. Behavior and treat. Or, in the case of heartburn, the opposite of a treat.

Except for times like tonight when heartburn leads to happy things. Tonight dad’s heartburn prompted a family car ride to get ice cream. Which is funny because I’ve heard there is no scientific proof that dairy does any good to help heartburn. But tonight I was reminded it doesn’t have to.

Because I think the car ride did the trick itself. My people would tell you I’m mad (which, let’s face it, I was when I didn’t get even a sample of the deliciousness). I would argue I’m logical. It’s happened before and it happened again today. Cause and effect. Which is ironic since I don’t really understand the concept of heartburn other than what comes after the cause and effect.

It’s not the worst thing when they both get heartburn bad enough to merit such a trip. I wish no pain for them (ever), and yet I always get excited when they have an especially acidy or spicy meal. I know what’s coming. Sure, it isn’t always a car ride to get ice cream, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s the idea, the memory, the tradition, that brings me joy. From the ground up, that is heart burn to me. I know I’ve got it all wrong, but I don’t care. Don’t go breaking my heart. Because this heart loves to burn.

 

 

Joy: A Daily Dose December 5, 2013

Peanut butter, salami, bacon, ice cream and yogurt. I’m pretty sure these things would all be in the bag I would pack if I every was to head off to a deserted island (along with my forever people and Mrs. Prickles obviously). So it makes sense to me why people have employed these guilty pleasures to entice dogs into taking medicine. A spoonful of peanut butter definitely makes the medicine go down.Ready for my vitamin

I love these foods as much as the next canine, but I’ve never needed any such bait attached to my pills. If it hits the floor I’ll eat it. I’ve learned in life not to be choosy with such things. Instead, I eagerly look forward to my doggie vitamin each day. Every night before bedtime is when mom usually gives me my vitamin treat, which is apparently supposed to help me have stronger bones. I don’t know if it does any good (I certainly don’t feel any different), but smells fabulously stinky and tastes like chalky meat. I certainly don’t need it to be smothered with peanut butter to know what’s good for me.

Neither does joy, I realized tonight. It doesn’t need to be salami coated. It doesn’t have to come in pretty packages with bows. It doesn’t have to cost a dime. It’s completely and 100% free. It’s just up to you to take it, to find it in each day, just as you would with a multivitamin. And (just like with the vitamin) you might not even know if it’s working at first. But it is.

If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will believe the words of Helen Keller, whose blindness never kept her from finding her daily dose of joy. “We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world,” she said. “Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

Not every day will be filled with joy. We will struggle. We will meet challenges. We will experience loss that affects us to our core. But on these days even the smallest dose of joy can make all the difference. Even if it’s not obvious (or better yet, covered in bacon), it feeds our soul in a way no multivitamin can.

 

The Company We Keep July 5, 2013

Advertising works. I’ve seen it happen in forever home enough to know it to be true. That latest miracle face cream appearing in the bathroom a few days after the commercial. The occasional trip for ice cream after a tempting tease between classic “Friends” episodes. Even that new kind of dog food that (definitely doesn’t taste as good but) is supposed to be better for me.

This came to my mind as I made the best of my people deciding to watch entirely too much television when they got home from that place called work today. Here it is, a gorgeous afternoon and evening, squandered away with mindless chatter. We could have gone for a walk, or to the dog park, or on a car ride! But as I’m in the habit of finding the silver lining in things, I pawed my way into the perfect cuddle spot between my two favorite people and joined in the (albeit incredibly boring) family activity.

Watching TVCommercials always have a way of catching my attention (usually because of the animal activity) and tonight I got to thinking about one particular type of commercial that used to be a head-scratcher to me. The dating sites. We all know them. E-Harmony, Match.com, OurTime.com, and ChristianMingle.com are among the first to come to mind (see what I mean about advertising working?). I used to see those commercials and (somewhat mockingly) dream up my own personal ads.

SCM (single canine male), 5 people years, 24 inches, 22 pounds, with floofy tail and point ears seeks a friend for the end of the world. (Nope, sounds too desperate). SCM, 35 doggie years, 24 inches, 22 pounds, with a heart of gold and lots of joy to share seeks a female canine to spoil with love. (Too cheesy?) SCM, mysterious, seeks someone to enjoy the journey with as much as the destination. (I kind of like this one).I'm a Half Full Doggie

All joking aside, I didn’t believe in this cyber-dating concept until recently when I found a new home in the blogosphere. We are family here, friends joining together from all over the world to comment on life’s refreshing moments of silliness and embrace each other in moments of struggle. It reminds me of one of the first moments I found myself just outside my mother’s protective cuddle zone when I was a puppy.

At first I was all alone in the tremendously bright sun feeling miles away from my mom and brothers who had all been cuddled so closely together for what felt like forever. (It was really only the first few days of my life, but time has a way of dragging when all you can do is sleep, eat, and sleep some more). In reality, I only felt far away from my family because of the closeness we had previously shared. Then I remembered I was there, out in the open, with my brothers and mom by my side. Suddenly it wasn’t so scary anymore. I didn’t know it then, but the company I kept in those terrifying moments made them worth living.

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary simply by doing them with the right people,” suggested American actress Elizabeth Green. Advertising has a way of making even the least desirable things seem necessary. But when the rubber meets the road, we don’t need the miracle moisturizer, ice cream cone or even the fancy designer dog food (that tastes like cardboard). We need people in our life to share moments with, even if it means cuddling together in front of the TV instead of enjoying the great outdoors. From our everyday people to the family we create on the world wide web, the company we keep make moments worth living.

 

Sweet Sixteen: A Day to Remember January 21, 2013

I find inspiration in the oddest things.

Today is frigidly cold in Wisconsin, and I found myself seeking thoughtfulness in my (albeit brief) time outside. Nothing came to me.

Today was Inauguration Day, so I was sure I’d find something to say about politics. Yet I’ve got nothing political to say.

But like the man for whom today was named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said “faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

So I find today’s source of inspiration interesting based on my journey with Simple Abundance, which challenges that today, I should “be willing to believe that a companion Sprit is leading (me) every step of the way, and knows the next step.”

Today I challenge myself to be a dreamer, a version of me traveling through time with a companion sixteen-year-old self who ironically knows what is coming.

When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

Since one people year is seven dog years, it is not that difficult for me to think back to my “sixteenth” birthday. I’m not a wise 20-something in people years, but I believe I have the right to reflect reasonably upon the beliefs I had on by sweet sixteen.

My adoptive parents have this birthday tradition I enjoy involving a single-scoop vanilla ice cream cone for my special day. Oddly enough, I was lucky enough to get another un-birthday cone about two months following what would have been my fourteenth birthday…my sweet sixteen. I was fortunate to spend the special day with my forever people about a year after being in my forever home. It was a pretty special day for me because I spent it with my favorite people on a boat in what I would presume to be one of their most happy of places.My Sweet Sixteen

Reflecting on that day and every day since then is the best gift I could have ever been afforded. I realize now that life was (and continues to be) everything I could ask for, even if I’m not allowed on the boat anymore. (I’ll take responsibility for that).

Today is the one month anniversary of the beginning of this blog, so I find some value in reflecting on my first steps I took in belief that I could make a difference in the lives of others.

Today I hit a landmark 100 likes on my blog. This would mean enough to me if all I wanted to do was write, but (to me) this is a pretty big deal. It means I am meeting one of my most special goals in life to spread my joy to others, which most definitely brings me more joy than keeping it all to myself.

Today a companion spirit nominated my blog for the Leibster award, which absolutely made my day. I have more research to do on what this means for me, but I honestly can’t believe what an honor it is after a mere 30 days in the blogging world.

Today I became socially network thanks to Facebook and Twitter, which means I (hopefully) have a bigger scope of influence on my readers.

Today I connected. I made a difference in the world in my very own unique kind of way.

Today is a day to remember.