Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Happiness Project May 6, 2014

It happens all the time. Mom buys a book with all the best intentions of reading every last page and it sits. Sometimes in a pile on the nightstand where there is a (slightly better) chance it will get read. Other times in the living room by the couch or (worse yet) in the book case. I shouldn’t be too hard on her since she hasn’t had much free time since she brought home my little person.Happiness.

But I got to thinking today about the books on the nightstand. The coveted could-soon-be-read-or-at-least-paged-through spot. The same four books have been in this spot for quite some time now, including “Your Baby’s First Year” and “What to Expect The First Year.” As baby Carter is now four months old, these two have been paged through from time to time in what I can only describe as a studious manner. That leaves the dynamic duo otherwise known as “The Happiness Project” and “Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words.”

I find it slightly ironic these two should find themselves in the pleasure reading place in life, as mom finds happiness in words. This is something we have in common, I realized today when it only took two words to lighten my heart. Car ride. From the ground up, it’s no secret this is one of my very most favorite people phrases. And today it happened out of the blue. I am no dummy. I know when my people are getting ready to go somewhere together. Especially now when it takes them 15 extra minutes to pack up Carter and the diaper bag and whatever other baby-related things they deem necessary to bring along. When it happened tonight, I excused myself to the bedroom to resume my first evening nap.

That’s when it happened. Car ride? Silly dad. Of course the answer to that question is always yes. It wasn’t to anywhere special, but that didn’t matter. It never does.

What does matter, I realized today as I gleefully hopped in the car, is having those words in your life that free your soul and bring joy to your heart. Whether they come from books, from loved ones or from a complete stranger, they are as important as the air we breathe. I may not be able to speak such things, but I know it to be true and find other ways to show it. That is my own personal happiness project.

 

The Great Greek Yogurt Caper October 14, 2013

I’ve heard this song about how girls just want to have fun? Well let me tell you, I think this is true of dogs regardless of our sex. My tale of fun today began with mom’s container of Blueberry Acai Greek Yogurt.

I was really only after the yogurt. Needless to say, I got a lot more than I bargained for with that one. I did not get any yogurt (apparently it’s not for doggies); instead I got a bout of hysterical laughter right in my face. And I didn’t mind it one little bit.

You see, us canines have a way of getting what we want. I know I have mentioned it before. The look. And today my employment of the look involved the use of unexpected props. I put my adorably cute little face right in the crook of the book mom was reading while she snacked on her yogurt. The Happiness Project I think it’s called. Well I got right up in that happiness and donned my most sincerely loving face. It looked something like this:Please can I have some yogurt?

The laughter that followed (almost) made up for not getting any yogurt. And if that didn’t, what happened next most definitely did. “Do you want to go to the dog park Wiley?” she asked. Silly mom. Of course I do. The answer to that question is always yes.

A few minutes later we were in the car ride and I could barely contain my excitement. We haven’t been to the park in a while, ever since I overheard some of the people telling mom about a three-legged dog starting all kinds of fights there recently. I’d already had my run-in with death at that park (the time the scary dog swung me around by my neck atop a picnic table), and I’m not fixing for a rerun episode of that any time soon.

But after a quick survey of the people and dogs in attendance today, it was deemed safe to enter. In I went and instantly I came across a new friend named Belle. Also a rescue, she is about the same age as myself and we got along immediately. We wagged and wrestled and chased and wagged some more. Simply put, we had fun.

Girls just want to have fun? Certainly this was true of my new friend Belle. But it’s not just a girl thing. I may not have scored any yogurt today, but the look certainly got its money’s worth of fun. And perhaps more importantly, I got a reminder of how important it is to get silly and let loose from time to time.

“We are driven by five genetic needs,” suggested American psychiatrist William Glaser, “survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun.” Sometimes I think it’s too easy for us to get caught up in the more obvious of the needs (like survival) that we forget to have a little fun every now and then. That certainly was not the case today. Fun. From the ground up, it was had today.

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