Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Last Word August 25, 2014

Apparently it’s normal. It’s one of those things most dogs do that I don’t. The doggie last word. From the ground up, it’s a game I infrequently play but often observe. My time with my cousins Buddy and Joey provides me with a wealth of knowledge in the area of this and other normalized doggie behavior.

Most recently, I observed both of them in something a person may have perceived as an argument. We all saw it as play. They were growling and grappling with each other. They wrestled and barked and wrestled some more. And just when I thought it was all over with, Buddy ruffed. Then Joey. Then Buddy again. And the next thing I know, they were at it again with the wrestling.

Partners in crimeMom and dad had their own kind of wrestling match today when they stopped home from that place called work over their lunch breaks. Carter was in rare form this morning, waking up at random times, screaming bloody murder, breaking things and trying to eat my food.

More than once, he made his way for my doggie food bowl, each time when a parent dared look the other way for some reason. He did not succeed either time, in spite of his relentless efforts, but it certainly disturbed me (as well as my forever people) thinking of him eating my food. Not at all because I don’t think he would not like the taste, but instead because of the danger it could be to him.

All in all, it was a challenging day. It was one of those days that makes a person (or both of my forever people in this case) throw up their proverbial hands and go to bed longing for tomorrow. Alas, that was not an option for any of us, but that wasn’t the worst thing.

Because apparently it’s normal to want the last word, and today was a rare instance where I not only wanted it, but I had it in my little doggie paws. Today it was a game I played in rather than observe. Today I provided much-needed comic relief. I played with dad and Carter while mom was away at that place called work tonight. I stayed close to mom when she was home instead of escaping to my thoughtful places like under the bed. I wrestled with dad while Cater napped.

Today I had the last word. And in spite of everything else, that word was joy.


Days Like This July 10, 2014

It started last night. Dear baby Carter was upset. To be honest, I haven’t seen him this upset in a long while. In general, he naps about as much as I do throughout the day (which is a lot) and (as a result) is a generally happy baby. I’ve witnessed the effect his joy can have on people in public, and I think it’s all to do with his great napping schedule. But last night was not one of his good days. He was crying and nothing calmed him except when mom walked around the house holding him. So that’s what she did for as long as it took to put him to sleep.

Again today, I watched as more than one person attempted to calm him and nothing worked. I feel so helpless in these situations. The poor kid is teething (which I’ve heard is a nightmare), growing (which is apparently quite painful) and had shots yesterday (been there). And, as a result of all of this, he slept very little and ultimately gave his caregivers a run for their money today. Not to mention the effect his screaming had on my sleep. As one who naps pretty frequently himself, you’d think maybe he’d show some respect. But today involved no such thing. Today involved no such joy. Love

Instead, today was “one of those days,” as I’ve heard people call it. But I’ve also heard people say “there’d be days like this.” It’s a part of life. It helps us appreciate when times are good, which (at least in my humble doggie opinion) is much more frequent than days like today.

For me, the hard part was seeing that light that usually burns so brightly within dear baby Carter flicker today. His light brings such joy to so many people, it pains me to see him this unhappy. But, just as I know today is one of those days in the valley that reminds us to look toward the mountains, I was reminded of the importance of finding another source of light when the power goes out. Another source of joy is always within our reach.

Today it happened in the sun. Dear baby Carter was far more upset than I’ve seen him in a long while. When I thought for sure he would not stop crying, mom tried something that warmed my heart. She put us together on a blanket outside in the beautiful summer weather to play. At least for a few brief moments, Carter was happy, which means mom was happy, which means my heart was happy. It’s funny how that works.

“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful,” suggested my favorite transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson, “for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Like any handwriting, I think His can be hard to understand sometimes, but the message itself is clear. There will be days like this, but it’s up to us to find the beauty that makes them worth living anyway.