Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Somewhere In The Clouds January 13, 2015

I guess some people might think it’s pretty disgusting. Repulsive even. But us canines have a guilty pleasure that I would argue life would not be the same without.

I’ll take a garbage can filled with all things grotesque as long as it smells good (and it usually does). I always choose the toys I have had the longest over a new one because of the familiar scent that even my forever family thinks is too stinky to handle. And when it comes to laundry, I just don’t understand why my people would want to wash away their fabulous natural scent. I think it’s a beautiful thing. A boy and his dog

So when it’s time for my forever mom to wash the bed sheets, I get downright disappointed. Except for today. Today what happened as those sheets and blankets became a pile of laundry on the floor of the bedroom was all right by me.

I stood back and watched as dear baby Carter jumped into the pile with more gusto than he does a lot of things. He almost flew into the gigantic pile like it was a fluffy cloud. He rolled around in it and hid from mom in it and giggled. So much giggling. Again and again he repeated the flying leap into the pile. Mom laughed. I wagged. And the next thing you know, we were right there too, playing around in a bundle of sheets and blankets on the floor.

Time pauses in these moments, I know this for sure. Because in that five minutes, we were not rolling around on the bedroom floor. We were somewhere in the clouds. There was not a care in the world and nothing else mattered.

I know sometimes adulthood has a way of eating away at this kind of behavior. It breaks my heart to think about the possibility that one day Carter will stop playing around in blankets and start keeping his feet on the ground. That he’ll outgrow these kinds of foolish games eventually. That the simple things will get overshadowed.

That simply cannot happen. And it will not as long as I’m around to do anything about it. Because I don’t care how old we get. From time to time we all need to spend a little time with our hearts in the clouds.



The Small Stuff October 24, 2014

Laundry. Cleaning the bathrooms. Doing the dishes. Emptying the Diaper Genie. These are certainly far from exciting ways to spend one’s early Friday evening. Yet that is what I observed today as mom scurried around the house dusting and tidying and picking up. I figured someone special must be coming over for her to randomly be taking such care with the house so suddenly.

As it turns out, I was right. But it wasn’t who you’d think. The small stuff

Apparently, the point of her efforts was simply to have dad come home for the weekend to a clean house. He was working a bit later than usual and she thought it might be nice to have a few less chores to worry about over the weekend.

It’s little things like this my people do for each other that make my heart smile.

But there is another side to the coin, and it is just as important to recognize. Just as the small stuff can be, and often is, something to cherished, it can also become its own kind of roadblock if we let it. In the early days when dear baby Carter first came home, for example, mom and dad set aside most of the same “small” things. Laundry piled up. Bathrooms weren’t the cleanest place in the house. Dishes accumulated in the sink. That was a time not to do it. That was a time to not sweat the small stuff. Because there was something (rather, someone) who was more important in those moments.

It’s a strange dichotomy to be sure, but certainly one the heart can navigate its way around if we let it. The little things that mean so much should own that special place in our heart, while not consuming us when something else takes precedence.

“Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans,” suggested American author Richard Carlson. Don’t get me wrong, I like making plans. I like structure just as much as the next doggie. But sometimes going with the flow means seeing the small stuff in a different light. For better or worse, the small stuff has a life of its own. Don’t let it rule yours.


Penny For Your Thoughts April 13, 2013

I can’t explain it. It’s just one of those things I can’t help. I do it without thinking. I could probably even do it in my sleep. It doesn’t matter if it’s a towel, a messy pile of laundry being sorted or a tidy pile of clean laundry being put away. I instinctively (downright compulsively) rub myself all over anything and everything fabric that ends up on the floor. My adoptive parents are at a crossroads about this behavior: mom giggles and dad scowls. I don’t necessarily find joy in their disagreement, but (like I said) it isn’t something I can control.

Penny For Your ThoughtsExcept for today. Today, I overheard one of the most painfully sad conversations that made me pause. If I could speak human I would have audibly gasped. Dad asked mom what she was thinking about and that’s when she said it. “Do you ever regret marrying me?” My heart overpowered my head in that moment. I forgot all about all the clean clothes laying in their neat little piles all over the bed. I couldn’t believe my ears.

“What kind of a question is that?” Dad said.

“Well, do you or don’t you?” Mom said.

“I love you now as much as I did the day we were married,” dad said. “You are beautiful, inside and out.”

“Well said, dad!” I screamed at the top of my little doggie heart. They resumed folding laundry and I resumed my compulsive marking behavior with what I mistook for peace in my heart.

But after all the clothes were put away, I realized it wasn’t peace I felt at all. I can’t help but wonder what prompted mom to ask such a question in the first place. Certainly she doesn’t regret marrying my dad. I know they have experienced some extreme emotional ups and downs in their short five years of marriage, but I can see the purest of love in both of their eyes. And I generally don’t believe in having regrets. Everything happens for a reason, and no experience is without value if something is learned from it.

I’ll never know why mom’s head was in such a dark place today. Instead I will take a page from one of my favorite transcendentalist thinkers Henry David Thoreau and share with the world my opinion of the only way to view regret. “Make the most of your regrets,” Thoreau challenged, “never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

I can’t explain it. It’s just one of those things I can’t help. I do it without thinking, just like my behavior with the clothes. Penny for my thoughts? I can’t stop myself from finding the silver lining. I suppose that’s a less embarrassing habit to have then my behavior with the clothes, but I digress.