Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Meet the Parents June 14, 2014

I can’t say I’m surprised. I know from my own experiences what kind of parents my people can be. The process of adopting me wasn’t an easy one, practically or emotionally. But they did it anyway. Welcoming me into their home was certainly a challenge (especially for dad, who had no prior experience with dogs). But they brought me in with open arms. I’m not always the easiest dog to train. But I have a big heart.

All of this came to mind today as both of them, both of my dear forever parents, paused to play with me like they used to. Don’t get me wrong – this is not the first time this has happened since dear baby Carter was born. But it is one night that will always stick out in my mind as pretty darned special anyway. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that can do this to you.

For me, it was hearing dad say how hard I would be to replace someday. Sure, it sounds awfully morbid. And I’m not going to pretend it didn’t break my heart a little. But mostly I felt honored. Happy. Proud Familyto call these people my family. For as long (or as short) as I may be with them – it doesn’t matter to me because I know in my heart that I love them with all of my little doggie heart and soul every day I live.

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us,” said one of mom’s favorite American authors John Grogan. “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”

I’m not shy about my hope that my people choose to adopt their “replacement” for me before I’m gone. That way I can teach him or her the ropes before going away to doggie heaven to watch over everyone. Though it does get a little sad to think about such things, today I felt joy. Today I felt pride.

Because I can’t say I’m surprised at what amazing parents my people are. They’ve been all I ever could have dreamed of for me, and the same is true watching them care for Carter. So it might sound crazy because I do get a lot less love fests than I used to. But today I felt the deepest and sincerest pride for my beloved parents. They are the best parents a dog could ever ask for, and it is an honor to be the dog striving to bring love and joy to their already blessed lives.


In Their Shoes April 18, 2013

The loveable white terrier mix in the Traveler’s Insurance commercials. Marley of “Marley and Me” fame. American comedian Will Farrell. Canine and human alike, I would be lying if I said I never fantasized about living a day in any of their shoes.

Today I realized the thing they all have in common. They all bring smiles and laughter to people with a variety of interests and passions. As this is my personal goal in my life, they are all amongst the motivational people in my life, no matter how silly they might be.

Indeed, there are a few things I love most about comedy…it’s honest, open, ridiculous and sometimes it hits you in the face unexpectedly when you need it most. In a world where people ask who am I more than say (with confidence) who they are, I feel like comedy is a necessary break from the daily grind.

I’ve said before I dream big and I dream silly, so in the spirit of comedy I will bring to question the possibility of something I often wonder about. I think sometimes about what would happen if my forever mom and dad switched places for a day. How would their days differ from “the norm” starting with the moment they wake until the moment their heads hit the pillows?In His Shoes

Routines in the morning would be out of whack, for sure. Beyond that, I know they would both be at a loss doing each others “jobs” all day at that place they call “work.” But (as usual) my curiosity runs deeper than that. I wonder what they would think about each other if the roles were reversed. Moreover, I wonder if the shift in perspective would change anything about how they communicate.

It’s funny being in my paws. I would argue I probably understand both of them better than they understand themselves. I see joy, from the ground up in any situation, so I would by fibbing if I said I don’t find some comedy in the idea of my forever parents switching places for a day. I also love them both more than anyone could possibly know, which is a perspective all its own.In Her Shoes

But I do still wonder what (if any) kind of paradigm shift would occur as the result of a day in the other person’s shoes. I do say this as a believer in the idea that (as impossible as it might be) I think they both would benefit from a day like this. And I say this as a lover of possibilities and a believer in dreaming big. I say this with love.

As impossible as it may seem, I say we could all benefit from some of this kind of perspective in life. Husbands and wives. Bosses and employees. Dogs and owners. Something really can be gained from picturing yourself in the “other person’s” shoes.

The loveable white terrier mix in the Traveler’s Insurance commercials. Marley of Marley and Me fame. American comedian Will Farrell. For me, I gain a sense of humor from these influences in my life. Silly as they (and my theories about switching places) might sound, it doesn’t matter to me as long as I find a way to make people smile regardless of the roles they play in life.


Momma and Me March 13, 2013

From what I’ve heard, it was a bit of a fiasco for my adoptive parents to adopt me. Rather than delve into that whole emotional story right now, I will offer a Reader’s Digest version. To make a very long story (I’m sure I will share at a later date) short, my momma didn’t care what it took to adopt me. It was love at first sight if you believe in such things (which I do).

Apparently, the adoption profiler gave her a bit of grief about the fact that my dad didn’t have prior experience with animals, referenced my alleged behavioral issues, and challenged whether my soon-to-be adoptive parents were prepared to handle such a “handful with a cute face.” Well, my momma told that profiler she didn’t care that I had been previously returned by another adoptive family. She was fine taking me to a behaviorist for my apparent behavioral issues prior to adoption. Heck, she was prepared to adopt a puppy like they did in the movie adaptation of “Marley and Me.”Momma and Me

But she wanted little ole 2-year-old me. Fortunately for me we both won that battle, and our mutual appreciation for “Marley and Me” remains intact. And (in my humble opinion) this is the case because I care so much about author John Grogan’s perspective on dogs.

“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water log stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if your rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his,” Grogan writes. “How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?”

Like many dog-loving fans, we agree that the book was the slightest bit better than the movie, but both versions are pretty special to momma and me. I was around for the majority of  momma’s first reading of the book, and I can testify that she laughed, cried, smiled and everything in between. If anyone were to write my biography, I would want it to be Mr. John Grogan himself.

This is not just because of the brilliance of both adaptations of “Marley and Me,” but because of what he says in his emotional good bye to Marley at the end of the story.

That is the ultimate reflection of a dog’s joy: from the ground up, if you ask little ole me.