Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

With My Love March 5, 2015

It’s supposed to be easier the second time around. I’m supposed to worry less and be less concerned with each and every little thing that happens. And to some extent, I do.

But throughout my dear forever mom’s pregnancy with baby number two, I can’t help it. I care, so I worry. It’s as simple as that. Those who know me say I’ve been especially needy lately, but I’m not sure that’s an accurate portrayal of what is happening in my heart right now. My heart hurts with excitement and anxiety and joy and fear for my forever people, who will bring home a new little person in a few short months.

So I snuggle. Hi Baby

It’s not that unusual for me to assume position on mom’s lap the second dear baby Carter isn’t occupying the space. I still cram myself into the smallest crevice of space next to her on couches and chairs. And today, something happened that made my heart skip a beat.

I felt the baby. I had my head on mom’s tummy as we sat together in the afternoon sun while Carter napped. I was dreaming about something or another when it happened. I felt a kick. And another. And another. It startled me out of my sleep, that’s for sure.

I couldn’t help but feel a bit sentimental about when that happened with Carter all those months ago. It’s crazy to think about now that he’s a frolicking 14-month-old. And even crazier to think about what that tiny kicking little person will look like 14 months from now.

That’s when I realized I am doing it again. I care, so I worry. That’s why it’s not any easier the second time around. I worry now just as much as I did with dear baby Carter. Because she’s my person. My forever mom is just that – and she will always be my world.

I’m cherishing my time with her, and protecting her in the only way I know how. With my love. So what if they call me needy? These are special times around here, and I’m not going to miss a single minute of it.


A Wonderful World February 2, 2015

It’s going to sound pretty unbelievable given the circumstances. A lot has been going not quite right around my forever home recently, most recently involving my dear forever mom and dear baby Carter and their bout with some sort of flu bug.

My forever dad somehow is seeming to make it out unscathed, but my 21-week-pregnant mom and 13-month-old Carter are suffering. Coughing and sneezing, mixed with headaches that hurt in their heads and their tummies don’t make for a pretty picture around here. Mom’s attempt to soldier through has been relatively unsuccessful, resulting in health-related misery for all of us. It’s not fun for dad and I to watch. And I know it’s not fun for mom and Carter to experience. Family Time Please

So when it happened late this afternoon, it was a breath of fresh (and unexpected) air. Carter was crying and coughing and mom was holding him with her eyes closed in pain from the headache that wouldn’t quit. This song came on that sounds the slightest bit like their song (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) and the crying stopped. The eyes opened. And they both saw the sunshine coming in through the window (which I coincidentally sunbathed in the majority of the day).

For those four minutes and twenty eight seconds, there was no pain or illness. There was only joy, as mom and Carter rocked together, Carter with his little head on mom’s shoulder, mom with her head on his.

It wasn’t a miracle cure by any means. The coughing and sneezing and headaches continued well after the song ended, and will likely continue beyond tonight. But it was a reminder of all that is good in the world. I could feel the love in the room as the song filled the space. There’s something about being sick that seems to make dear Carter cling to my mom like the monkey he is. And she doesn’t mind one bit.

I know it sounds pretty unbelievable given the circumstances. A lot has been going not quite right around here recently, and this flu bug is no exception. This too shall pass. And in the meantime, we remember the wonderful world that exists around us.


Tiny Little Lines September 16, 2014

I will never forget the day mom and dad found out they were going to have a little person. My forever mom had a suspicion days before it was confirmed, which I could somehow sense. I know there are naysayers when it comes to a dog’s sense of smell, but I completely disagree with every single one of them. I knew before mom did that she was pregnant.Sleep Snuggles

That doesn’t change the magic of that moment for me though. The moment when she woke dad up one chilly spring morning and flung the stick with the tiny little lines on it in his face. “We’re pregnant!” she said. Though somewhat surprised by everything the moment had to offer, dad shared in her enthusiasm after he had appropriate time to digest the information. They were pregnant. They were having a little person. They were going to be parents.

It’s hard to believe that day is almost a year and a half ago already. Dear baby Carter will soon be nine months old (going on three-years-old depending on who you ask). Time flies, but I’ve found there is something that doesn’t. Tiny little lines. From the ground up, they have their way of sticking around well after that pregnancy test if you ask me.

Take today, for example. Carter has taken to cuddling with mom as he falls asleep at night, which (after months of him wanting nothing to do with snuggles) mom was (albeit selfishly) enjoying. But I know because I’ve been there to witness every single book and blog and article she has read on parenting that she doesn’t want to “spoil” him. So tonight, against her better judgment, I watched as she prayed her bedtime prayer with him, rocked him for a minute and put him down. He cried a bit, but fell asleep shortly thereafter, so I know it was harder on mom than it was on him.

But the truth is I also know this is one of many tiny little lines she and dad will have to cross, just as they did the news that they were having a little person all of those months ago. No matter how many books or blogs or articles they read, one thing remains. They are parents now. Ultimately, it’s up to them to define the line and stick to it.

“Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures,” as Christian author Ed Cole suggested. I don’t know much about them myself, but I from what I do know I definitely agree. Because I never will forget the day mom and dad found out they were pregnant. That was the day they found out the were having a little person.

But beyond that, they were going to be parents. And along with that, there are lots of other days I won’t forget any day soon. Like today, when mom decided that as much as she wanted to snuggle Carter to sleep, it would not be in his best interest to do so. Sometimes it’s not easy to do the right thing. That doesn’t make it any less right.


The Alien Visitor December 27, 2013

It’s about the right size. And it’s plush like my other toys. Except apparently it’s not for me. It’s for the baby. And I have to say, in my little doggie opinion it’s among the strangest things that has taken up residence in the nursery.

At first I wasn’t sure what to make of that crib contraption which will apparently keep me from cuddling with my new little person. Then I was thrown off by the big huge boxes labeled “diapers.” There are just so many! This baby couldn’t possibly require that many diapers. (Right?) Then came the little blue seahorse. At least that’s what my people call it. I call it the alien visitor, which I feel accurately reflects my denial to its presence.

It looks like something I’d love to sink my teeth into and give a good shake. Yet I can tell that is not going to earn me any brownie points any time soon. Because this is a toy for baby Schmidt, mom explained to me, not for doggies.Seahorse and I - We are not friends

There’s that darned phrase again. I know it all too well. Not for doggies. Well, at least in this case, it’s fine with me that this seahorse and I do not become friends. The toy is not of my concern.

I realized today (as I kept a safe distance from the wave-like sounds the seahorse was making) that can be said of any of the toys my little person will receive. I know there’s also a teddy bear that makes sounds and a little Scottie dog. But none of these things can come close to the relationship I plan to have with him or her.

We are going to laugh and run and play together. (All in due time, I know). We are going to take long walks together and I’m going to teach him or her games like pickle in the middle and chase. We are going to be best friends. I can feel it. And I can hardly wait.

“Friendship improves happiness and abates misery,” suggested Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, “by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.” As frightening as it can be with all it’s different lights and sounds, that seahorse is more than a visitor. I think he’s staying a while. But that’s okay because I know in my heart he doesn’t have anything on me.


To Keep Me Warm December 24, 2013

It was 2 a.m. when it occurred to me. This whole mom being nine months pregnant thing is disrupting my sleep schedule almost as much as it is for her and dad. I’m up every time she’s up (which is more and more frequent lately). Certainly she can’t go wherever she’s going alone. Someone has to watch over her to make sure she’s safe wandering the house in the dark.

Loving the Treats!So I follow her wherever she wanders off to, regardless of the time and frequency. Today during our 2 a.m. rendezvous I was overcome with two very impactful pieces of information. First, that it is Christmas Eve. Day one of two of mom’s most favorite days of year. And second, it is freezing outside. Literally. It was 2 degrees at 2 a.m. in our part of the world today. Even when you’re used to it as us Wisconsinites are, weather this brisk still has a way of taking your breath away.

Showing Some LoveBut then again, so does this emotion that seems to overwhelm all members of my forever family at this special time called Christmas. Love. From the ground up, it is all around this time of year. I know because I show it in my extra cuddles. And my doggie kisses. And my tail wags. I share it in every way I know how. And it inevitably comes back to me in droves. It seems to be another one of those emotions that comes alive in its contagiousness.

And it’s not really something we even think about. Real love does. It radiates from us in everything we do, and in doing so creates a distinctive warmth that is sure to spread to the next person ready to receive its glow. Real love is. It becomes us to the point where we aren’t sure which came first – the love of the giver or the receiver.

It was 2 p.m. when things came full circle in my heart. I welcomed mom’s side of the family into my forever home for an afternoon and evening of joy and love. Sure, there were presents. And pretty ribbons. And treats. But none of that mattered as much as the love I felt in the room. At 9 degrees, it was still incredibly brisk outside. But that was outside. Inside it was warm, not just from the heat we are blessed to have but through the love in the air. Tonight I rest easy because (as Frank Sinatra croons in the age-old Christmas carol) I’ve got my love to keep me warm.Love Is

Merry Christmas everyone!


Come Away With Me October 5, 2013

I’m no Mozart or Picasso, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a thing of beauty.

I see art when I step out the back door into one of my favorite places. Some would call it a backyard. I call it paradise. There are squirrels to chase, trees to lounge under, and (perhaps best of all) it’s all mine.

And it doesn’t matter where I am in the house – it is music to my ears when my treat jar gets opened. That, or a treat bag, or the bag with my rawhides in it. Or the door where my people keep my leash. Forget Canon in D. I’ll take the sound that signifies impending adventure over that piano music any day.Come Away With Me

Until today. Today music and art combined into it’s own fabulous kind of symphony I will forever hold dear to my little doggie heart.

It began as it usually does. “Wiley up,” mom said before she picked me up for a dance around the kitchen. It was the first time we’ve done this since she’s been pregnant and I didn’t realize I kind of missed it. Her and I dancing like ninnies to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me.” I know we looked absolutely ridiculous and I didn’t care.

So you can imagine my surprise at what happened next. Dad caught us. And he didn’t hesitate. Instead he came away with us. And I’m sure we looked even more silly-the three of us clumsily clamoring around in the small space. But none of it mattered because in that moment we were away together in a happy place. I didn’t think things could get any better (especially within only 3 minutes and 18 seconds of the song), but they did.

Beauty. It’s all around us in various forms. I see it in all kinds of places. I hear it in all sorts of ways. And today it took me away. Just as Norah sang the words “come away with me and I’ll never stop loving you,” mom interjected to point out the baby could hear the music. “And baby is dancing right now too,” she said.

So there we were – the four of us. My forever family. As art and music collided in its harmonious symphony, I mentally confirmed what I already knew to be truth. I would come away with them anywhere.


Not For Doggies September 12, 2013

I love you. You complete me. Eat pray love. When it comes to three-word phrases, less is more. And (uncharacteristically) I love that. Unless the sentence is “not for doggies,” in which case please keep your thoughts to yourself.

I hear it all the time in my house, and it breaks my little doggie heart every time. Grapes? Not for doggies. That delicious smelling melty stuff called chocolate? Not for doggies. Onions and garlic? Not for doggies.Yummy

Why (oh why?) must all of these things that (I think) would bring me happiness be off limits? Moreover, don’t people realize that they are even more attractive when I am told they aren’t for me? It’s not fair.

Perhaps that’s part of the problem. I am making up my mind about what is and is not fair without all the information. Sure, I think these things would bring me happiness, but would they really? My people generally provide me with all things joyful, so there must be another reason I can’t sneak a grape, lick up the chocolate frosting off the floor or swoop up one of those delicious-smelling garlic cloves when it occasionally flies off the cutting board.

Mmmm...Ice CreamThis occurred to me as I’ve noticed that for some time now there have been many things that are also not for mommies. That baked brie mom loves to serve at parties with apple wedges? Not for mommies. The glass of wine (or two) with dinner? Not for mommies. Those foul-smelling little seafood rollups (I think they’re called sushi)? Not for mommies.

At first I felt smug about it. Like she’s getting a taste of her own medicine. Not for pregnant ladies is her version of food-related torture. But that didn’t last long as it is not akin to my normally loving and optimistic way of thinking.

So I’ve come full circle to the only conclusion that makes sense. Not for mommies is a way of life right now because she’s putting the baby first. Who cares how much she loves brie, wine, and sushi if these things could harm the baby?

Finally I think I understand. Not for doggies is for my own good. There must be something about grapes, chocolate, garlic and onions that is bad for me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop trying to gobble it up any chance I get, but at least now I know the reason for the madness. Maybe “not for doggies” is more akin to “I love you” than I thought. Because we don’t always know what’s good for us, so it’s a good thing someone does.