Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

As The World Turns November 13, 2013

That didn’t take long. Maybe my people heard me somehow. Or maybe I heard myself. Either way, I have good news to report. I was in the wrong to have any doubt in my forever people not having room enough in their hearts for me and the new little person. I am again secure with my place in my forever home.

Less than a week ago, I acknowledged I was starting to get nervous about being replaced in the hearts of my forever people by my little person. I feared there wouldn’t be enough love to go around anymore. I let negativity into my heart. All because of a failed game of fetch.

Now I know how silly that was of me to feel that way. And it only took a car ride. It was dad’s idea to bring me along, and (as usual) I didn’t care where we were going. So you can imagine my increased level of enthusiasm when I heard we were going baby shopping. I was going baby shopping! I was being included in a trip to Babies ‘R Us, which mom now swears by as the destination for all things baby. I was definitely disappointed to find I could not actually go in when we got to the store (no doggies allowed), but I got over it right quick.Think with the Heart

It was only a car ride. But to me it was more. Because I was included. That’s what mattered. It wasn’t the car ride itself, but the feelings it evoked that turned my world around.

“People mistakenly assume that their thinking is done by their head,” proposed international spiritual leader Anthony de Mello, “it is actually done by the heart which first dictates the conclusion, then commands the head to provide the reasoning that will defend it.”

I don’t think my people miraculously heard my thoughts on being replaced. I think I heard myself. It doesn’t take much to slip into a negative way of thinking, but I found the silver lining. It doesn’t take much to bring us back to the sunny side of the street either. Because oftentimes it’s not what’s in our mind that matters. It’s what’s in our heart.



Mind Over Matter July 7, 2013

I won an argument with a fly today. It was buzzing around the house all day driving me crazy with its zigs and zags. The more it buzzed, the more I felt like it was taunting me. You can’t catch me! You can’t catch me! Oh yes I can, Mr. Fly. And (after yet another epic battle of the minds) I did. I caught you and all of your incessant buzzing, Mr. Fly!

It was a very different ending than a similar battle I had about two weeks ago. I lost the argument that day, after what seemed like an eternity of jumping, twisting, chasing and growling. Victory evaded me that day. But not today. Today I trade feelings of defeat for feelings of regret as I now feel like the buzzing continues in my tummy.

Not Feeling My Best

If there is something us canines don’t all fully understand it’s the people practice known as moderation. Our misunderstanding is probably at its worst when we’re puppies and have yet to learn the dos and don’ts of living with people. Do eat your food when it is provided to you. Don’t get so excited about your food that you spill it all over the floor. Do accept treats in reward for tricks. Do not beg for people food at the table. (Or, better yet, do not attempt to jump onto the table to retrieve the people food yourself). You get the idea.

Generally speaking, I don’t struggle with the concept. All good things in moderation. Understood. But I blame my nomadic lifestyle as a puppy for one area I lack control. I ate what I could when I could. There was no picking and choosing, and (when I was living with other street dogs) if you didn’t eat fast you didn’t eat. I know this is different in my forever home, where there is never short supply of dog food, treats, rawhides and various other chew toys. I would prefer this life to my previous time as a puppy nomad any day. Yet my mind always seems to beat my stomach in the ultimate battle royale in self control.

In the meantime, I seriously need to learn my lesson when it comes to eating live things. No matter how small, the pursuit is always more exciting than the finale. It makes me wonder about this mind over matter thing. It’s another one of those people practices that occasionally leaves us canines stupefied. But experience has taught me things that confuse us are often those most important for us to seek to understand. As American evangelist Charles Swindoll suggests, “the secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free.” I suppose he’s right. I’d much rather have freedom in excellence than win a battle that leaves my tummy feeling funny.