Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Tail of Two Faces July 1, 2013

I’m not that big a fan of things that are two-faced in life.

Take my favorite red leash for example. When mom grabs it out I go absolutely crazy with excitement because I know it means I’m accompanying her somewhere. It doesn’t even matter where we’re going since I love our adventures so much. But there is a dark side to my precious red leash. Just as it signals the beginning of a journey, as it does also mark the journey’s end. It’s the worst when we’re leaving a family gathering or (worse yet) the dog park.

I think my mom is on to my evade-the-leash game, to the point where I don’t think she finds much humor in it anymore. Last week, she essentially chased me around the entirety of the park’s limits before I finally let her win. The same thing happened today, after I encountered another two-faced friend of mine.

Water. It’s refreshing, nourishing, and necessary to living. So you can’t blame me for finding my way back to the fabulous mud puddles I discovered recently and staging a wrestling match with Sage the lab mix. (Can you?) We chased and wrestled ourselves until we were both adequately exhausted. I don’t understand why Sage chose to leave the mud puddle, as I found it to be an incredibly cool and relaxing place to laze and appreciate the splendor of the park. I also don’t understand why my mom got so upset with me and scolded me until I left my own personal spa pool.

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The water I love stabbed me in the back (literally) about an hour later when I got not one, but two separate baths. One without soap (which apparently proved insufficient) and one with soap. I hate baths. There’s nothing worse than the humiliation of the chilly water shrinking me to a third of my usual size, being rubbed down with perfumed shampoo and emerging covered in a scent that is nothing like my own natural smell when it’s all over. And I have to stay off the comfy furniture for what seems like forever afterward!

While my favorable opinion of both my favorite red leash and water remain unchanged by the events of the day, I definitely learned something from my experience with two-faced things in life. I don’t care for them. Fake is not a favorite people word of mine. Representing something is not the same as living it. Breathing it. Being it. It’s not worth it to mask who you really are because (spoiler alert) the world sees the truth. Hiding it from yourself doesn’t hide it from the world. Be honest with the world. Be honest with yourself. Be you.

 

Open My Eyes? I See Happiness March 2, 2013

Every now and then, my parents take off my collar. And I hate it. I am listless and anxious and I want it back. While it definitely eases in the scratching of my ears, that is the only positive thing I have to say about any amount of time without my collar.

So it might come as a surprise that my favorite character in the Disney classic Lady and the Tramp is none other than Tramp himself. He is such a strong, confident independent personality. He welcomes adventure at every turn and challenges those who don’t. He is an inspiration.

But let’s face it. He’s got it all wrong. He spends the majority of the movie trying to convince the domesticized dogs that life on the streets is better than life on a leash. Where Lady sees nice homes and fences, Tramp sees limitations. “Open your eyes! Look, there’s a whole hunk of world down there, with no fence around it. Where two dogs can find adventure and excitement. And beyond those distant hills, who knows what wonderful experiences? And it’s all ours for the taking, Pige. It’s all ours.”

Camping 2012

That’s the thing about adventure. It is all ours, but (in my humble opinion) it is better shared with people. I would take life on a leash with the right people over life without it any day of the week. I’ve been boating, camping, and overall adventuring and I enjoyed it that much more because I was with my people. I am happy, they are happy, and all is well in the world. My happy place is with my people, regardless of what we’re doing together.

Like Oprah Winfrey says, “the biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” That is what I do each day, leash or no leash. Life with no collar makes me anxious. I would much rather be wearing my it because my collar has my tags. My collar says who I am and where my home is. Without it, I am a stray again. Wise as he may have been, Tramp questioned what the leash-and-collar set does for excitement. It’s no question to me. I say it brings it to life.