Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Meet the Parents June 14, 2014

I can’t say I’m surprised. I know from my own experiences what kind of parents my people can be. The process of adopting me wasn’t an easy one, practically or emotionally. But they did it anyway. Welcoming me into their home was certainly a challenge (especially for dad, who had no prior experience with dogs). But they brought me in with open arms. I’m not always the easiest dog to train. But I have a big heart.

All of this came to mind today as both of them, both of my dear forever parents, paused to play with me like they used to. Don’t get me wrong – this is not the first time this has happened since dear baby Carter was born. But it is one night that will always stick out in my mind as pretty darned special anyway. Sometimes it’s the littlest things that can do this to you.

For me, it was hearing dad say how hard I would be to replace someday. Sure, it sounds awfully morbid. And I’m not going to pretend it didn’t break my heart a little. But mostly I felt honored. Happy. Proud Familyto call these people my family. For as long (or as short) as I may be with them – it doesn’t matter to me because I know in my heart that I love them with all of my little doggie heart and soul every day I live.

“Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us,” said one of mom’s favorite American authors John Grogan. “It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.”

I’m not shy about my hope that my people choose to adopt their “replacement” for me before I’m gone. That way I can teach him or her the ropes before going away to doggie heaven to watch over everyone. Though it does get a little sad to think about such things, today I felt joy. Today I felt pride.

Because I can’t say I’m surprised at what amazing parents my people are. They’ve been all I ever could have dreamed of for me, and the same is true watching them care for Carter. So it might sound crazy because I do get a lot less love fests than I used to. But today I felt the deepest and sincerest pride for my beloved parents. They are the best parents a dog could ever ask for, and it is an honor to be the dog striving to bring love and joy to their already blessed lives.

 

Seeking Selflessness February 15, 2014

Her name was Olivia. And she was the most beautiful spaniel mix I’d ever seen. Granted, I only saw her on a computer screen and didn’t actually meet her in person. But mom did and she tells me she was pretty swell. At the tender age of two months old, she was a black and brown bundle of puppyhood joy. And she almost became part of my forever family today.

My dear aunt Morgan has been searching for her first fur baby of her own for more than a year. She has been through a lot on her search, from moments of heartbreak to moments of hope. She has fallen in love with dachshunds and terriers and bearded collies of all ages and sizes. She has considered buying a purebred of some kind, but would really prefer to rescue.

And today she thought for sure she had finally found her match. Olivia looked into her eyes and she just knew. That is, until she didn’t. Mom was there with her to help make this big decision and she tells me they were fetching the adoption paperwork when my dear aunt Morgan did a completely selfless thing. She changed her mind.

Ultimately she couldn’t live with knowing her challenging work schedule that (every now and then) keeps her away from home for 12 hours at a time would simply be too long to leave poor little Olivia alone. I know it was tough for her to leave Olivia’s big brown eyes behind. But that’s not where the story ends for her. She was indeed adopted today by a family who was waiting anxiously for Morgan to make a decision. And I bet she will be happy there.

Because rescue, from the ground up, is the real deal. I am a living breathing example of a rescue success story, and even mine wasn’t perfect. That’s the thing about situations like this. Life in itself is a big deal. It brings us twists and turns and ups and downs. It challenges us. It keeps us on our paws. And when it comes to making big decisions, it frankly sucks sometimes.

Her name was Olivia and she was a game changer. She didn’t join our forever family today but she taught us all a lesson in selflessness and patience. I’ll be the first to admit patience is not something I’m great at. That’s why I know Morgan will find her perfect match soon. Because today she made another tough decision. Today she confirmed she will not settle. And I’m proud of her.

 

Mind Over Matter January 14, 2014

We thought we were so smart. Reading all those books, blogs and message boards. Doing all that research. Getting the nursery ready. Well, mom did at least. I knew better. I knew that baby Carter would write his own book. And he has not disappointed.

Me and My BuddyHis nights and days are flip flopped. Sometimes he cries when there is nothing to cry about. And then he smiles in his sleep about who knows what. I’ll be honest. I know nothing about babies. Absolutely nothing, other than what I’ve heard my forever mom and dad discuss between themselves, and the odds and ends advice they’ve gotten from the visitors in the last couple of weeks.

But I do know this. From what I can tell, my dear little person is every bit of the blessing I knew he would be. He is strong. He is healthy. He sleeps enough. Mom and dad love him. He’s pretty darned great. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud to call him my puppy brother.

I was thinking about this today as we had more visitors who had all kinds of advice for mom. I watched as she soaked it in. I saw the determination in her eyes as she even put a couple of the tips into action at bedtime tonight. She wants so badly to do everything right.

And I want so badly to tell her she can’t. She will mess up. I know because she made her fair share of mistakes with me (don’t tell her I told you). But look at me. I turned out all right. And Carter will too.

As British politician Sir Winston Churchill suggested “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” It doesn’t matter what all those books, blogs and message boards say. Mom won’t do everything right. But she has courage. That’s what matters to me.