Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Partners in Crime March 16, 2015

It’s starting to feel a little more real every day. At first the whole idea of going back to baby square one with baby number two seemed so unreal to me. It was not that unlike how I felt about dear baby Carter. But I realized today how strange it is that somehow that feels like so long ago and like it was yesterday at the same time. I’m sure someday it will feel that way with the new baby too.

That day is not today. Today I was outside enjoying another warmish spring morning when it occurred to me. Summer is going to be a lot different this year. There’s only somewhere around 13 weeks left until the baby is going to come home. And I don’t think I’m ready. A Boy and His Dog

Carter and I have come to such a comfortable place. I protect him and love him and gladly accept his snack cup scraps throughout the day. We’ve come so far from the days of his regular and piercing newborn cries and the fur pulling and tail yanking. I sometimes can’t believe we’re going to have to start all of that business all over again.

I don’t know if it was the warmth of the sunshine or just that I slept well last night, but I realized that is exactly what makes it different this time around. This time, I have a partner in crime who sees things at my level. This time I have Carter. I don’t think he has any idea what’s in store, but that’s okay. Because I do. And between the two of us, we will figure it out.

I don’t deny that I was lonely and a little aloof for those first few months Carter was home. I think I honestly was a little bit depressed about no longer being the center of attention for my dear forever parents. They had their hands full – I get that. And they never stopped loving me – I know that, too.

The countdown is getting real these days. If I didn’t know better, that would scare me. But it doesn’t. Because this time I’m ready. Not just because I kind of have an idea of what to expect, but because I know I have a partner in crime who will keep me company.

“The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend,” suggested transcendentalist thinker Henry David Thoreau.

This time he’s the one that doesn’t know what to expect. So I will do what doggies do best. I will simply be his friend.



Sisterhood of the Traveling Dog September 10, 2014

I’ve never really known what it meant. Or what it takes. To be a sibling takes emotional effort that I am not unwilling to offer, but it is a role I just have never really been presented with an opportunity to properly honor.

Sure, I had my brothers before I lost them that day when I also lost my birth mom all of those years ago. But we didn’t really know brotherhood at that age. We were young, puppies, and we had no idea what such a thing really meant. I thought maybe I understood it when I lived at my first adoptive home with all of those other dogs and cats. But that wasn’t quite right either. Then something happened when dear baby Carter was born.Snuggles With Auntie Morgan

Not only did I inherit a puppy brother I’m still figuring out, but I learned a few things about what it means to be a sibling. It started the very first night dear Carter came home when mom and dad were completely and utterly overwhelmed. I think it probably happens to any and every parent that first night or two when they bring their new little person home. Shock. The reality of what it really means to be overtired. Confusion. And, at the heart of it all, love. For this little life and all the change it means for the family, as well as for life itself.

My people felt none of that love that first night. All they felt was complete and utter exhaustion. So when they called mom’s sister Morgan to the rescue, I was not surprised. I knew my abilities to help were limited and  I was frankly more than relieved upon her arrival. She stayed with Carter and I while mom and dad caught a half hour or two of sleep. She cuddled Carter and I cuddled her.

I was reminded of those moments tonight when mom was rocking Carter to sleep. She was stroking his hand in a way that seemed to make him relax, which I later learned is somewhat a trade secret of hers. It’s something she used to do for her baby sister way (way) back when to help her sleep. She would rub her silky smooth little hand way longer than necessary just to make sure she was really and truly asleep. She thought of this tonight as she did the same on Carter’s soft little hand.

It all made me think that maybe I know more than I thought I did about what it means to be a sibling. The emotional effort I thought I’d never really understood? Maybe I know it better than I thought I did. Because I know true and unconditional love. I know what that looks like. And I’m not going to lie. From the ground up, when that kind of love is applied to the sibling life, it all sounds pretty special to me.