Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

I Don’t Buy That April 3, 2014

Money is kind of a foreign concept to me. I know my people go to that place called work for it. I know they spend it to buy me things. But the overall concept is one that doesn’t really apply to a dog’s life as I know it.

I frequently find some solace in this, as it seems to do nothing but add stress to the lives of my people. But today I heard something that brought it home. Baby Carter has taken to watching cartoons on what I used to call the big moving picture window in the living room. I now know it as a television, but occasionally I wonder what Carter thinks of that big ole thing.

On the Road AgainHe obviously can’t tell me what he’s thinking at the tender age of three months old, but today I got a sense for it. Mom had the Disney movie “Aladdin” playing and every time the genie was on, Carter smiled. I don’t know if it was the colors or the voice or what. He just smiled so big every single time.

My first thought was how I am right there with him. I frequently long for such a genie to come into my life and grant me wishes. The first of which would be for enough money so mom could stay home with me all the time. Especially now that Carter is in the picture and he brings her the most pure sense of joy I have ever witnessed.

Alas, I won’t be the one to break the news to Carter, but there is no genie. Just like there is no way mom can stay home with him and I all the time. But there was a lesson to take from the song about Aladdin being a street rat.

“Riffraff, street rate, I don’t buy that,” Aladdin sings, “If only they’d look closer. Would they see a poor boy? No siree, they’d find out there’s so much more to me.”

Money might be a fairly foreign concept to me. Especially since I too have lived life as a street rat. But I see a lesson in dear Aladdin’s words that I hope is in some way imparting into baby Carter’s little mind. It doesn’t matter how much money we have. Or what people call us. It doesn’t matter where we come from. It matters where we are going.

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Living in A Moment January 11, 2014

I’m not complaining. I want to be clear about that. But I’m not going to lie. While I am overwhelmed with joy for the major life change my people have embarked upon, it kind of frightens me a little. All right, I’ll be honest. It frightens me a lot.

ChallengeI knew it would happen eventually, but I didn’t expect it to happen this fast. Mom and dad have thrown caution to the wind. Forget the baby books. Put aside the message boards. Just as I knew would happen, Carter is writing a book of his own. And I can’t say my people seem to happy with the outcome.

When mom was pregnant, dad used to joke that he wished she could give birth to a toddler. Though it would be physically impossible, it seemed appealing then to be able to fast forward through the “tough” newborn stuff and get right to the talking, walking trouble that comes with little people who are about two people years old. That way at least they can tell us what they need, he said.

Meanwhile, any and every caring friend and family member concurs. Much of the advice and suggestions align with each other, but one has stood out to me. This too shall pass, but cherish these moments. He will only be little like this for a short time. They grow up so fast.

If dogs could talk I would echo these words. It hasn’t been easy, but as American hockey coach Herb Brooks suggested moments of challenge represent opportunities for success. “Great moments are born from great opportunities,” he said. Because let’s face it. Fast forward is no way to live.