Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Paws for Prevention October 3, 2013

I need a haircut. I am scruffy and unkempt looking and I don’t like it. It doesn’t seem like it’s been long since I last visited Mary at Paws ‘R Us, but perhaps its because I actually like it there.

Don’t get me wrong, the bath part is pretty awful. Dogs are not meant to be sprayed, hosed and cleaned with a smelly soap that smells nothing like our natural doggie scent. But everything else about my time there is pretty special. I get to see all my pals, including the groomer Mary who always calls me handsome. And I get to ride in the car, which is always a plus.

Light Amidst DarknessI think it goes back to my time at the Oshkosh Humane Society where I associated grooming with attention, and associated attention with much-needed love. Tender loving care, I think it’s called. And whether it comes through a haircut, a golf game, or some time at a spa, we all need it every once in a while. It’s part of maintaining balance. Part of being alive.

I decided somewhere along the line to embrace my scruff in honor of a cause. Apparently people do this sometimes for things like Movember (mustaches for prostate cancer awareness). Well I declare my time of scruff-itude Scruffy September. And I know my cause. A people friend of dad’s shared a flier with me take struck a chord with my heart. “Walk your pooch to prevent suicide – Milwaukee Out of the Darkness Community Walk.” Sign me up!

I often talk a big game about being a light in the darkness. Here is my chance. Proceeds of the Out of the Darkness Community Walks benefit  the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the leading national not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing suicide. Suicide. Its a foreign concept to most canines, but I know people who have been impacted by its aftermath. There is never a “right time” to lose someone, but being a loved one left behind as the result of suicide is a struggle I wouldn’t wish on anyone. You wonder what you could have done or should have done differently. You transfer blame. You grieve. Deeply.

It all makes me feel very silly obsessing about how badly I need a haircut. Maybe that’s the point. I’m lucky to be alive, regardless of how scruffy I might be. So I think I’m going to convince mom to take me to this walk. Because as Aristotle Onassis said “it is in our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”

For more information on AFSP: http://www.afsp.org/