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.

 

Watching the Clouds June 8, 2014

It’s ugly. And scary looking. And (perhaps worst of all) it doesn’t look like it’s getting much better. But today (in a moment of selfish weakness) I realized I am thankful for it. My dear forever dad injured his leg very badly playing softball the other night. When I say bad, I mean bad.

Off We Go

Off We Go

His entire shin is torn brutally torn apart from sliding into third base. The worst part about it? He was out anyway. Nonetheless, it’s there. And I can tell he’s trying to be strong about it, but it hurts.  A lot.

So today my people did something they haven’t done in a very long time. They stayed home for no other reason than to rest. Not because they were sick. And dad will tell you he could have handled doing any number of things regardless of the big red gash that is currently in the process of healing on his leg. But they didn’t. Instead they all stayed home, with me, all day long. Don’t tell them I told you, but they even napped a bit while Carter did at one point.

And I loved it. Not only because (mostly by default) they spent the day with me. Or because they put aside the list of things they could have done. But because sometimes you really do need to pause like they did today to reboot and recharge your batteries.

It’s been tough for me to see them both run themselves ragged keeping up with everything since dear baby Carter came home. There are some days they both pass out the second their heads hit the pillow. Then there are days like today.

“Rest is not idleness,” suggested British statesman John Lubbock, “and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”

It wasn’t so ugly. And I’m not ashamed to say I am grateful for dad’s injury. Because today it forced my people to slow down and watch the clouds. No such thing is a waste of time to me.

 

Making a Splash January 19, 2014

I know it’s necessary. I sure wish it wasn’t. The dreaded bath. I have a love/hate relationship with this most simple and basic necessity. Namely, I hate getting wet. Please remember this is coming from your resident doggie optimist who makes it a point to find the silver lining in all things. It’s not like me to complain. But misery loves company and I found some today in Baby Carter.

Making the Best of ItIt wasn’t his first bath since being home, but it was by far the most tumultuous. I have heard my fair share of screeching cries (most of which pierce right through my little doggie heart) in his almost three weeks with us, but today he hit a whole new range of emotional distress. From which I have gathered that he too hates baths. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this, since he has not been quiet about his hatred of being naked. Yet I couldn’t help but wonder why we are this way.

That’s when it occurred to me. I like the attention that accompanies the ritual of it all. It happens during the bath. It happens after the bath. Sometimes it continues for a few days as I apparently smell so nice in all that perfumed shampoo they use on me. I’ve never been one to turn down attention.

I wish I could somehow communicate my thoughts on the matter to Carter to ease his pain a little. Instead I found myself thinking about the water that makes all of the turmoil possible. The cleansing, cleaning, refreshing (even I can admit there is something nice about being clean) water.

Therein I found it. The silver lining. Because I know it’s necessary. And even though I hate it, now I have a reason to love it. Because attention is only as good as what we do with it. I would much rather have my splashes mean something than have them simply get others wet. Even the smallest little pebble can make ripples in the water. And no ripple is too small to evoke positive change.

 

The Assault of Laughter August 13, 2013

Forget Ludwig van Beethoven. Music doesn’t get any better than what I heard coming from mom today. Giggles

Laughter. Belly busting, tears-in-your-eyes laughter. It was beautiful. Remember those tears of joy I was talking about a few days ago? This was different. It had nothing to do with the baby and everything to do with this mysterious thing my mom was looking at on the computer. Being the interactive investigator I am, I had to find out what all this joy was about so I took a peak when she wandered off to refill her glass of water. And let me tell you, if dogs could laugh, I too would be giggling like a ninny right now.

Looking back at me were images of 22 dogs who are just really excited to be dogs. They are all doing fairly common canine comedy, caught on camera no doubt by their loving people. And yet, they are illustrated in a way that brings the one of the most sincere (and random) forms of joy to the heart.

This is too good not to be shared, as philosopher Khalil Gibran would suggest that “in the sweetness of friendship (there should be) laughter and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” We all need a good refreshing teary-eyed laugh every now and then. So today I share mine.

It’s hard to pick a favorite, so I picked three.

This dog who physically cannot contain how excited he is about being able to shit outside.               

22 Dogs Who Are Just Really Excited To Be Dogs

This dog who can’t even sit still because he’s a dog and his life is amazing and he spends 24 hours a day doing beautiful dog things.

             

22 Dogs Who Are Just Really Excited To Be Dogs

This dog who is even too excited for the other dog.
                  

22 Dogs Who Are Just Really Excited To Be Dogs

Are you laughing yet? If not, please check out the entire list as there is much more happiness to be had from the stories of the other dogs as well. (You won’t be disappointed).

All of this reminds me that music comes to us in many forms. And I don’t really have anything against the legend that is Mr. Beethoven. But the sound of laughter is one of the most contagious forms of joy I’ve come across in my doggie life. While I know there are some things that are off limits in the category of comedy, today I revel in its wondrous affect on our lives. It’s ironically soothing. Refreshing, like the morning dew. And as great American author Mark Twain put it “against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.”