Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

To Be Young Again December 22, 2014

American businessman, humanitarian and poet Samuel Ullman once wrote “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is a matter of the will, quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.”

I’ve come to believe this as truth in the six and a half people years I’ve been around. That youth is indeed a state of mind, something a person (or dog, in my case) is capable of choosing to embrace, regardless of the number of years they’ve walked the Earth. Still, there are times I admit to feeling old. Wiley and Joey

It happens sometimes when I spend time with dear aunt Morgan’s dog, Joey. He’s five years my junior, and you don’t have to be a dog person to see the difference in our personalities. I’ve mellowed over time, coming to enjoy my time to rest, reflect and enjoy a general sense of peace. Joey on the other hand is full of spirit all the time. He never stops. Moving, jumping, playing, spinning. He’s a bundle of energy.

I haven’t met him yet, but I’m sure the newest doggie member of my extended forever family is the exact same way. I’m happy to report that the family that recently lost 15-year-old Mocha to the Rainbow Bridge has adopted a new German Shorthair Pointer named Jackson.


The parents were here at dear baby Carter’s Winter One-derland birthday party on Saturday, and when they got home arranged to have the new family dog wrapped up in its fancy new crate in what has become his forever home. He is only a few weeks old, and I am so incredibly happy for him to have found such a loving family so early in his life. Moreover, I’m overjoyed for the family to have found a special new doggie soul to fill the emptiness they felt after losing Mocha. And, after 15 very special years with the family, I know Mocha would feel the same way.

Because that’s the thing about getting older. Sure, there are days when I feel old. But I believe you can decide to be young at heart in spite of the inevitable creaks and cracks that accompany the aging process. You can dream about tomorrow in connection to yesterday. You can feel renewed in each day. Best of all, you can live the wisdom you’ve acquired.


The Rainbow Bridge December 8, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:00 pm
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When it rains, it pours. It’s a commonly overused phrase I can’t say I usually get behind. But today is not the norm. Today, I concede. Today, I agree that sometimes life has a way of pouring down on people. Because it has.

My dear forever dad’s brother and sister-in-law and their family haven’t just gotten rain in recent weeks. They’ve gotten walloped with hurricane-strength winds and blinding rain. First his sister-in-law, Melissa, suffered an injury that has kept her from doing what she loves most – working out. It’s more than a part of her day – it’s her passion. And it’s one she couldn’t live for the past several weeks.

Not even when she could have used the stress relief when her dad left her for heaven. Or when her dad’s sister, her aunt, went with him a few days later. Not even today, when she lost her beloved dog, Mocha.

Since she was seven weeks old, Mocha has brought nothing by joy from the ground up to this family. She was the family’s first child. She stood by as they brought their adopted son, Sam, home from Kazakhstan. She kept watch when they brought their daughter, Sophie, home from the hospital after she was born.

And lately she’s struggled. She stood on shaky legs. She wandered away from home. She got into the habit of eating lots of things that weren’t meant to be eaten by dogs.

But today, she went to the Rainbow Bridge, where she is as happy and healthy as she was back in the days when she used to outrun her owners as they sped around their community on roller blades. She doesn’t get tired or wander aimlessly anymore.

There, she will wait patiently until she reunites with the family again one day and the family crosses the bridge together.

Until then, she will be remembered.

I know this because there is one thing about rain I can stand behind. When it rains, it pours. It is true sometimes. In this case, it’s pouring tears for this family. But there is something to be said for all that rain and all those tears. Tomorrow is a new day. The rainbow that follows carries with it a promise of new beginnings. Brighter days. Second chances. Fresh starts.

The loss of Mocha today proves it. She will be watching. She will be waiting. Her soul will help keep the rainbow aglow.

Rest in peace, dear Mocha. You are loved and you will be remembered.

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