Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Neighborhood Watch January 6, 2014

It’s been said more than once. Some have said it jokingly. Others have been more serious about it. Regardless of the reasons, the message is clear. I would make a terrible guard dog.

Watching the Angel SleepIn our neighborhood we are surrounded on either side by neighbor ladies who have been widowed, one of whom was especially enthusiastic about my impending ferocity when my people first brought me home from the humane society. It will be nice to have a dog guarding this neck of the neighborhood, she said.

Here I am, three and a half years later, and that could not be farther from the truth. My bark is rare, and every visitor to my forever home is greeted with fanfare and love. I do, after all, have a personal goal to share joy with whomever will take it, so why would I startle folks as they enter my home? It’s simply not in my bones.

Or so I thought. Then came baby Carter and suddenly everything has changed. Every little creak in the floor makes me jump, I find myself reacting to noises outside differently, and I have even uttered a protective bark or two at something other than the pig on the Geico commercials or the dogs with pretty teeth in the Pedigree commercials. I can’t describe the change other than that it feels instinctual, as natural as scratching an itch behind my ear.

“Follow your instincts,” American media mogul Oprah Winfrey suggested. “That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.” Sometimes I think its all too easy to start believing what people say about us. Especially when it’s not necessarily complimentary. I’m not really sure which side of the fence a guard dog falls on, since it usually isn’t a good thing to assume the bad in everyone instead of the good. But I have developed some pretty keen instincts in my time on four paws, and I think its time I start employing them. It’s been said more than once that I could never be a guard dog. I’ve got new reasons to believe that doesn’t make it true.

 

 

 

A Little Kick October 4, 2013

Habits. Good, bad and ugly, we all have them. Some are so ingrained into our daily routines we probably don’t even realize it’s happening.

Lately I’ve been going about my nights mindlessly following mom. This is not that out of the ordinary, as I love her and would literally follow her anywhere. Consequently, it’s no surprise I get nervous when she gets into that shower contraption. Perhaps its because I know how accident prone my mom is (bless her heart). Perhaps it’s a projection of my own dislike for baths, showers, and all things that take away one’s natural smell. Regardless of my reasons, I think mom senses my discomfort as she always puts a towel down in front of the shower for me to lay on while she’s inside.Happy Happy

Tonight’s shower followed an event I’m not sure I’ll ever forget. It’s almost as if it snapped me from habit mode back to reality. It sent me into a tailspin so intense I wasn’t even sure it was real at first. I thought I certainly must be delusional. There I was, minding my own business, sprawled out on mom and bam! Something was moving! I’ve gotten so used to the calming lull of the baby’s heartbeat, but this was it’s own special kind of magic.

And I will admit – it startled me a bit. I can’t explain why I reacted like I did, rearing up like I would to evoke play with another dog at the park. My tail wagged. My heart raced. The baby is kicking! My little person is saying hi to me! I could hardly believe it.

So when it came to shower time tonight, I was not in doggie robot mode. Far from it. I was on a mission. I have a real live little person to protect after all. Instead of laying down like usual on my special towel, I stood/sat guard while mom showered. And as I did, I’m not sure which worked more furiously – my heart or my mind.

It was a refreshing vacation from my habitual approach to the nighttime routine. Not that habits are such a bad thing. I am a canine after all, and us canines are known for our appreciation of structure and routines. But the magic that happened tonight was a spark all its own. A moment I will remember always. A reminder that sometimes we need a little kick to remind us to pause and appreciate the world around us.