Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Oops I Did It Again April 26, 2014

It smelled like garbage. Again. And I loved it. Again. I think that is (at least one of the reasons) why I love garbage so much to this day (much to the chagrin of my forever people). I like it because it is an homage to where I came from. I love it because it reminds me of home.

I’ve carried each of these constants with me long after getting separated from my mom and brothers all of those years ago. It came to mind today when I (accidentally?) knocked over the overflowing garbage can in the kitchen. It was the second time I’ve done this recently, but it’s not my fault there were remnants of sausage and pepperoni pizza inside. My nose made me do it. Did I Do That?

Reasons aside, my mom was certainly displeased as she hustled around to clean up the resulting mess on the kitchen floor. I’ve found there is a great misunderstanding between canines and people about what is considered garbage. It’s a lesson I’ve learned many times over and yet can’t seem to remember in moments when my nose takes over.

So it’s a good thing I know evasive maneuvers to correct these situations. I kept my distance from mom until making my move a couple hours later. I needed to show her I was sorry for making her upset (not so much for the garbage scavenger hunt). Unbeknownst to him, I enlisted baby Carter in my mission. He and I have been doing this thing lately where he lets me lick his head. I can’t explain it. For some reason its something my people and I share – this almost instinctual desire to smell his head. For mom it stops there. Not for me. He needs to know I love him, I tell myself. And so begins the love fest.

It’s been happening more frequently lately, but something new happened today. He pet me while I licked him and said hi to me. Well all right, it was more of a gurgle. And I’m pretty sure he pet me on accident. But it made my heart smile. And (better yet) it made mom happy. I think she was so happy in that moment she forgot about how upset she was about the mess. That is what true joy should do.

In that moment I realized I can get away with knocking over the garbage every now and then. Because we’re going to make a good team, Carter and I. Just call us the joy brigade.

To see the joy brigade in action: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=574785833677&l=7325566880963251810

 

No Backspace Button October 20, 2013

I stick my foot in my mouth all the time. Literally. It’s part of my daily grooming routine. A nibble here and there is as second nature to me as scratching an itchy ear with my foot or licking a sore paw. But I’m no dummy.

Keyboard of LifeI know the same can not be said of people, who have the luxury of hands to do a lot of these types of things. Also, I think it would be pretty challenging (albeit funny) to see them try. Literally. I think it would be a struggle.

And yet it apparently happens all the time. Figuratively. As a professional people watcher, I have picked a few things up over the years and this is one of the most interesting to me. People say really stupid things. Whether its something they don’t really mean said in an argument or a random comment out of the blue, it happens all the time. And for as often that I wish I could speak, I glory in my silence when I happen to overhear these moments of ignorance.

That’s just it. Ignorance. And let me tell you, from what I’ve seen of it, ignorance is not bliss. Nor does it excuse the behavior of saying things you don’t mean. I think that’s the challenging part. More often than not, regret follows this note of ignorance. But the moment has passed and the words were said and they cannot be taken back. Words are powerful tools, and when they get used as weapons context gives way to emotion. It makes for a very messy situation.

It brings to mind the wise words of Audrey Hepburn who suggested that “for beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness. And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.”

I’ve thought about it and now it’s time to speak up. I might look silly nibbling on my back paw from time to time, but it turns out people do it all the time too. And it hurts. But it isn’t the end of the world either. It happens. A lot. And while that doesn’t excuse anything, it does make us very familiar with the practice of moving on. I’ve always said everything is worthwhile if a lesson is learned. Well, in this case I think the lesson is crystal clear. Think before you speak. Because you can’t take it back. There is no backspace button on the keyboard of life.

 

You Are My Sunshine October 19, 2013

I learned some things today. Until today a shower has always been that thing in the bathroom where my people clean themselves. And the sun has always been that bright thing that rises and sets upon each day. It turns out there is more to these words than meets the eye.

The day began like most Saturdays, with my forever people doing chores and various tasks around the house following slightly more family cuddle time than usual. Except today they both kept talking about the shower. I didn’t understand it. It felt like every other word was shower and by noon I was incredibly confused. I remained in a quandary when they left me to go to the shower. It’s right here, I screamed in silence, in the bathroom.Sunshine

So you can imagine my stupor when they returned home a few hours later with presents. Lots of them. And (as is the case with most misunderstandings) it turns out I was missing a very important piece of the contextual puzzle. This shower wasn’t like the one in the bathroom. It was a baby shower, which I now understand to be a shower of gifts to help us all prepare for the arrival of my little person.

Mom and dad shared stories of the afternoon while they revisited each of the gifts. The story that stuck with me most was of two of my favorite little people (Sophie and Abigail) singing a song I hold dear to my heart with my mom’s friend Dorian.

“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are gray…you’ll never know dear how much I love you. Please don’t take my sunshine away.”

Once I got over the initial disappointment of missing the in-person show, these famous words (by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell) sunk a little deeper into my heart. As I sat by watching my people I was overcome with my own sense of gratitude for the situation.

They are my sunshine. My forever people will never know how much I love them, partially because I can’t say so out loud and partially because you can’t put love this big into words. And (at least from what I can tell) amongst the blankies and diapers the greatest gift of all was the love they received today.

I guess you could say they were showered with love. And I was overcome with joy. From the ground up, it was a pretty happy day around here. All of the clouds in the sky could not mask the sunshine in these moments. Joy and gratitude filled their hearts and I realized that is all the sunshine I really need.

I learned some things today. It turns out there is much more to showers and sunshine than meets the eye. Today these words did much more. They touched the heart.