Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Truth About NYE December 31, 2014

Fancy dinners and parties and dresses and champagne. All of it is so beyond me if I’m being honest. Yet that’s what so many people will be embracing from all over the world today and tonight as we ring in the new year. There is all kinds of anticipation for this big night of refreshment and renewal and you’d probably think it’s something your resident doggie optimist would stand behind. You’d be wrong.

I actually would venture to say that this New Year’s Eve holiday is probably one of my very least favorite of those my beloved forever family chooses to celebrate. I never mind the leftover goodies from dinner (which they usually opt to make themselves at home). I definitely appreciate the extra hour or two of snuggles that happens as we all countdown to midnight. But ultimately I feel a bit like the day itself is entirely overrated.

That all changed a year ago. Dear baby Carter was born exactly a year ago today, on New Year’s Eve. I still don’t understand why I couldn’t have been there at the hospital to meet him right away, but that’s okay. I honestly had no idea the joy he would bring into our home. Into our lives.When You Wish

Beyond that, I realized as I reflected back on this year that is 2014, that he’s taught me some things about life. Perhaps most important on this eve of the new year is what he helped me figure out about this holiday. It happened every morning he woke up since the very first day he was here in our home. Rebirth. Renewal. Not every day was a good one, but that is exactly what tomorrow is for. A fresh start. A new beginning.

I think that’s what bothers me so much about this holiday. It’s not one day a year we should be celebrating life. It’s every day. Every day we wake is a blessing that should never go unnoticed. Even the challenging ones and the ones that make us wish we could go to sleep just so it can be tomorrow. Because tomorrow is indeed another day. New Year’s Day in our case. Here’s to a year filled with new beginnings.

 

Not A Given August 5, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 10:12 pm
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It doesn’t happen often, but when it does?  Well, my little doggie heart stops. Mom was talking to aunt Morgan about something that happened to her beloved Joey this morning and I’m not kidding you. I literally almost peed standing up. Which I don’t suppose is that big a deal since I (almost always) pee standing up but I digress. Be You

Apparently dear Joey fainted in a way only dogs can faint. He was foaming at the mouth a little right before it happened and Morgan sprung into action to make sure he was all right. On mom’s insistence, he came to visit a bit today and by all intent and purpose, he seemed fine to me.

But wow. I have on more than one occasion gone as far as to be jealous of the little guy. Sure, I’m only six doggie years old, but Joey’s young, he’s vibrant, and he’s got the spunk I now lack in my increasingly older doggie age.

I saw it today as he played with dear baby Carter. It dwas interesting to me to observe since I believe Carter has figured out I am edefinitely his favorite four-legged pal. He’s gotten expressive enough for me to know this for sure. Yet today, Joey was his favorite. He evlen laughed at (or with) him. He favored him amidst the two of us. He even pulled Joey’s tail (an act I thought was reserved only for me).

All in all, it didn’t take much for me to notice two things. First of all, as scary as things had been with dear Joey earlier today he seemed to make a full (albeit fast and inexplicable) recovery. And second (and most importantly) it was a reminder that sometimes it’s not that easy. My little doggie heart stops to think about what could have happened today. The loss itself would be too much to bear. Yet the possibility of such things is not outside the realm of possibility.

It’s a reminder we all need from time to time, to remember that life is a gift, not a given.

 

My Two (Fashion) Cents July 18, 2013

It startled me at first. There I was, minding my own business, when someone else’s business looked me directly in the eye. There she was, the most beautiful West Highland Terrier I’d ever seen, all dressed up. Literally. She was walking down the street in a dress that matched her collar that matched her scarf that matched her visor. Yes, you read that right. She was wearing a visor obviously made special for a small dog, as it had teeny tiny holes for her ears to peak through. Our eyes met and she radiated this powerful positive energy that led me to believe she was incredibly happy to be waltzing down Antoine Avenue covered in matching pink fabrics.

It didn’t make any sense to me at all. I guess it would be plausible for a dog to wear clothes to keep warm, but it was a beautiful 70 degree day. There is no need for extra layers upon an already warm fur coat. But I don’t think it was a coincidence that I happened to be living with Tiger (the black lab) and his litter of puppies. They took me in as part of the family after I misjudged Tiger as the big, bad dog in the neighborhood. (When in reality, he was gruff and pushy because he was a single dad trying to provide for his family).

I learned a thing or two about the judgment trap from my experience with Tiger. First impressions aren’t all they are cracked up to be. Its never fair to judge a book by its cover. So why would it be fair to judge a dog by its clothes? Fashion is an art form, and no form of self expression should be off-limits for us canines. (Or our people for that matter). Donning the Green

I say this now, as the proud owner of a small assortment of doggie sweaters, T-shirts, and turtlenecks. I occasionally sport a timepiece people call a watch. I even have a classy blue Body Glove swimsuit top should I ever feel the need to don it. I say this as a dog who now feels naked without my collar, lost without my identity. I say this as a believer in all things artistic. All things joyful. All things alive.

Next to my collar, my favorite animal accessory is my green scarf. It was a gift from my dog groomer Mary, who gave it to me at about the same time I started this blog. It’s threadbare, dirty, and falling apart so mom doesn’t let me wear it anymore. But it wears itself on my heart. Symbolically speaking, green is a color of renewal. Rebirth. Life.

I get it now. It’s not about matching pink outfits or visors with holes for doggie ears to poke through. It’s not about how many collars you have or whether you have that sweater in enough color variations. Sweaters, T-shirts, and timepieces aside, a the art of self-expression never goes out of style. “Fashion fades,” as fashion icon Coco Chanel put it, “only style remains the same.”

To read the story of how I met and befriended Tiger: http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/03/14/forget-first-impressions/