Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

What You Wish For February 12, 2015

It happens with the laundry and the cooking and the cleaning and (as crazy as it sounds) sometimes even the diaper changing.

Sometimes I wish I could help out more around my forever home. It would definitely qualify as something I feel the slightest bit guilty about. And it happens pretty regularly around here, especially since dear baby Carter was born.

I know I help with things like my remarkable charm and the unique ways I find to bring my kind of joy into every day. But I often wish I could do more. Sunshine

Most recently it happened last night. After all that talk about the silver lining of exhaustion yesterday, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when the inevitable happened. For no good reason at all, no one slept well around here last night.

The usually sound-sleeping Carter woke four times throughout the night. My theory is twice he just wanted reassurance that mom and dad were there. The other two times he was hungry.

My dear forever mom didn’t sleep well either. I suppose being 22 weeks pregnant might have something to do with that.

And then there’s dad. He doesn’t sleep well when mom doesn’t sleep well. And the crying woke them both up every time. But when it happened at 2:03 a.m., precisely 8 minutes after mom finally fell asleep, it wasn’t even a question.

Dad took care of it. He went and got a bottle ready and grabbed a very upset Carter out of his crib to feed him before mom could get out of bed. I think I may have been as thankful as mom to see it happen, because it was one of those times I wished more than anything I could help.

 

Teamwork. From the ground up, it’s not always easy. I know dad was as tired as the rest of the family in that moment. But that’s how it goes sometimes. And as much as it might bother me that I can’t help around here in more practical ways, I know in my heart I do my part in the ways I can.

I’ll never be able to do the laundry or dishes or help calm a crying baby in the night. But I love my forever family unconditionally and for me at least that will always be enough.

 

A Day Like Today January 16, 2015

It’s all kind of a haze. The last thing I remember clearly is mom handing my leash off to the nurse and her and I walking down the hallway into a dimly lit room. Not long after that, it all went blurry. And then darkness. I don’t know how much time went by before I woke up. The world looked smaller, which I later realized was likely related to the fact that I was viewing it through slits. My eyes just didn’t want to stay open. So I gave into the darkness again. A day at the dentist

Who knows how long later, mom’s voice jostled me out of whatever deep sleep I was in. She sounded close enough to hear, but I couldn’t see her. It was scary and I’m a manly enough dog to admit that’s when the crying started. Fortunately it wasn’t much longer before I saw her, albeit still through those darn eyelids that didn’t want to stay open. We took a car ride home. And I stumbled through the rest of the day.

In passing, I heard as my forever mom filled my forever dad in on the events of my day, which apparently included something called a dental cleaning. I guess that would explain why my mouth hurts and I didn’t feel like eating or drinking anything all day. Everything went well, and I should be good for at least a few years now.

I couldn’t feel much, but I did feel relief wash over me as I heard this. It explained how I somehow felt like it was the shortest longest day of my life, but also that I (hopefully) wouldn’t need to go through this again any time soon. It’s weird not feeling like yourself. My normally fairly active self felt like it was tied to the ground. My eyes wouldn’t let me see anything, let alone find joy from the ground up. It was an all-around challenge of a day.

Fortunately, most of today is a haze. But there was a silver lining I didn’t need to see to believe. Both mom and dad, and even dear baby Carter, took extra care to show me love and affection. (Which is saying a lot, since there is no lack of love in my forever home). Because sometimes after a day like today all you really need is a hug.

 

We Are Young January 12, 2015

The first time happens at about the same time every day a few seconds after I hear the familiar phrase. “Good morning sunshine,” my dear forever mom says to dear baby Carter before she picks him up out of his crib. And so begins another day.

Today was no different. “Good morning, sunshine,” I heard mom say as she picked a very smiley Carter out of his crib. A few minutes later it happened again as she picked him up after changing his clothes and when she put him in his high chair for breakfast and when breakfast was over and she took him out of his high chair. Thirty-three. That is how many times I counted my dear forever mom pick up a all 25 pounds of Carter today before I lost count.Big as the sky, old sport

She never complains about it, and I would estimate that well over half of the time it was for no other reason than to sneak in a quick kiss on the cheek or to give a hug.

But as the day wore on, I noticed it was getting harder on her to pick him up. So I wasn’t surprised when she told dad tonight that she feels tired. When she used the word “old,” however? My heart skipped a beat. And not in a good way.

She wasn’t connecting the way she is feeling to the amount of unconscious physical activity she engaged in throughout the day. By anyone’s standards, it wouldn’t be easy picking up and putting down and carrying around a one-year-old as much as she does in an average day. I am a very strong believer in the power of the mind over things like age, in that we are as young as we feel.

So when it happened a few minutes later, my heart was overwhelmed with relief. Carter started giggling for no apparent reason other than that maybe he was really (really) enjoying his peas. The giggle was something unlike anything any of us had ever heard from him. And the best part was how contagious it became. Mom and dad were giggling. My tail was wagging. It was a very happy and dare I say child-like moment for my forever family. In moments like these, we are young.

And so ends another day. Sure, it was exhausting in its own way for everyone involved. But it was also invigorating and refreshing and I can’t wait to start it all over again tomorrow.

 

Don’t Want To Miss A Thing August 25, 2013

Must. Keep. Eyes. Open. This was my mantra on August 25, 2010. All day long, it’s all I could think. I don’t know if it was pent up nervous energy, lack of sleep, or the overwhelming amount of activity all day long, but the day I was adopted was one to remember.

It started like most days at the humane society, except I could sense a bittersweet excitement in Katie (my favorite angel helper) when she let me out of my cage that day. Something was up, that much I knew, but I had no idea the adventure that day would hold. I got a bath, and a snazzy haircut, and my nails trimmed, and I felt like a million bucks. I got walked a whole bunch, and I swear Katie even snuck me an abundance of extra treats while we played outside. I didn’t realize it would be our last time playing together, but I’m kind of glad I didn’t. Sometimes it’s better that way.

As the day went on, Katie and the other angel helpers kept talking about me being adopted with mixed emotions. They were nervous for me going into a second home, hopeful this would be my forever home, and a bit sad to see me go. It was exhausting.

So when my people came to pick me up for my car ride to my forever home that afternoon, I was pooped. I was ready for an epic nap. Little did I know they lived an hour and a half away from the humane society. There I was, in the back seat of the Ford Escape with my new mom, happy and nervous and dog tired. I remember sitting there next to her doing all the things I associated with being a “good boy.” I sat. I stayed. I kept quiet.

Must. Keep. Eyes. Open.

A Younger Looking Me

My mission failed. I kept drifting in and out of consciousness in spite of my best attempts to stay awake. And yet I remember it all like it was yesterday. I remember it was incredibly hot and humid (not that unlike it is today) and mom didn’t let me sit in the seat I started in. She pulled me close and pet me and I could feel the love coming through her hands. I remember how skeptical dad seemed the whole time. I could tell he wasn’t as keen on this whole new arrangement as mom and I mentally committed that day to change that (this didn’t take long). I remember everything.

I’ve often wondered how it is I remember so much about a day so long ago (three people years is equal to about 21 doggie years depending on who you ask), considering I was struggling to stay awake the majority of that afternoon and evening. I think I got my answer today. I didn’t want to miss a thing about that special day in my life. So I didn’t. I kept the eyes of my heart open, even though the eyes on my face weren’t. So today, on the three-year anniversary of my adoption, I celebrate life. Past. Present. Future.

Must. Keep. Eyes. Open.

This was my mantra on August 25, 2010. Three years later, I share the same idea with one small alteration:

Must. Keep. Heart. Open.

It’s the only way to live.