Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Raindrops Keep Falling May 2, 2014

Rain drops keep falling on my head. Literally. It’s been pretty rainy and dreary around here lately. Enough that it’s getting to my head a little. I don’t know why I let it happen, but suddenly and seemingly randomly I’m overcome with a feeling I prefer to avoid. I feel sad. Blue like the sky isn’t. Downright bummed out.

And it hurts. I am the dog who finds joy in people places and things. I can’t be letting a few dreary days get to me. That’s when I remembered this trick I’ve heard mom talk about a few times. It’s a game she plays with her mind and wins with her heart. Perspective. From the ground up, it’s  a pretty powerful thing. Love in Truth, Truth in Love

When you are encountered with a sticky situation (be it emotional or otherwise) think about the worst possible thing that could happen, she says. Nine times out of ten that worst case scenario will be so far out of the realm of possibility it is destined to bring relief to your soul.

It’s a good idea to be sure. So many terrible things could have happened today. Someone could have knocked down one of those candles mom lights all over the house and the house could have burned down. Carter could have gotten hurt, or sick, or worse. I could have gotten into an altercation with the neighbor dog on my walk.

I think it’s great that mom loves her new job in the news business, but I personally am in the business of ignoring news. Today I caught some news by accident and got my answer to the question of what the worst possible thing would be to happen today. Stories of tornados wiping out whole cities and local moms dying after bouts of cancer and a teenager who was arrested after police got word of his detailed plot to kill his parents and school mates. These are real things that happened in the world today.

Meanwhile, I’m cozy and comfortable in the comfort of my forever home. I had food in my dish and water in my bowl. I have my toys and my health and my people. And, as usual, I had more love thrown my way than I could possibly catch. Rain drops keep falling on my head. Which, I’m not going to lie, is getting a little annoying. But there is a silver lining in even the worst case scenario. Perspective. From the ground up, it’s a pretty powerful thing.

 

Learning New Tricks January 25, 2014

The Time is NowWhoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks didn’t know what they were talking about. I’m five people years old and I learned a new trick today. Well, that’s not entirely true. But I thought about it. Does that count?

All kidding aside, my people talked tonight about teaching me to retrieve a specific toy based on its name. Flea. Mrs. Prickles. Mr. Prickles. Angry Bird. These are a few of the characters in question. What they don’t know is I definitely know who’s who amidst my toy clan. I just prefer to not play favorites.

But this whole trick misunderstanding is akin to something silly I heard my people say a while back. There’s no right time to have a baby, mom said. It doesn’t necessarily sound like a positive thing to say. Nor is it negative.

And, as I am in the habit of choosing optimism over pessimism, it got me to thinking about this idea of there being a “right” time to make a major life change. Like learning a new trick, regardless of your age. Or breaking a bad habit. Or starting a good one.

“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go,” suggested American author and motivational speaker Nido Quebein, “they merely determine where you start.”

It doesn’t matter when you learn the new tricks, as long as you have an open mind. Because the “right” time is now.

 

So Happy Together July 28, 2013

I don’t understand why people call cell phones smart. The way I see it, they distract more than they connect. They take people away from the company they’re with to a cyber place with people somewhere else. And (perhaps most importantly) they detract from my favorite time of day: family time.Family Time Please

It doesn’t happen often, but it did tonight. There we were in the living room. Together. But separate. Mom and dad both were playing around with these so-called Smartphones. I don’t know what they were doing that was so important, but it doesn’t matter to me. Sunday nights are not for cell phones. They are for family time. So I did what any dog would do: I shut that technology party down.

And it was far from easy. In addition to every single one of my toys (which I still don’t understand why dad insists on putting into a basket), I brought out some of my best tricks. I sat and stared at dad. I jumped at him. I pawed at his foot. Nothing. I stared at mom. I jumped at her. I pawed at her foot. Nothing.

Well, not exactly nothing – my mom confused all of my purposeful shenanigans as a desire to be let outside. I dutifully went outside, did my business and then scratched at the door to be let back inside so I could resume my mission. I would not be ignored. Persistence and patience paid off about fifteen minutes later when I finally succeeded in luring them both into a game of pickle in the middle.

This is a favorite game of theirs and (in spite of how frustrating it can be to always play the role of pickle) it is a favorite of mine. They always smile and giggle and I can feel it in the air. There we were in the living room. Together. Joy. In a moment, there it is.

These games never last very long, but as I am an expert in the area of people watching I know what always comes next. Family time. It never stops with the game. It starts with the game. The cell phones get put away (who are you calling smart now?), and we cuddle together as a family. We are so happy together in these moments. Now if only I could figure out a trick to get them to turn off that television.

 

‘Tis the season to be a Packer fan December 23, 2012

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

I have a confession to make. I am in love with Aaron Rodgers. He is my hero. Shhh, don’t tell my dad.

Not only does Rodgers throw one heck of a ball on that moving picture window in the living room, but more times than not he makes my parents so happy. Sundays are fun days in the Schmidt household…usually involving visitors and yummy smells in the kitchen that result from the ridiculous amount of food mom makes in preparation for game day.

165710_515270537807_4039697_nWe all dress up in our favorite Packer fan garb and cheer on the team as best we know how. For me, this means I get a lot of extra practice giving high fives to whomever requests them, usually after they finish screaming and jumping up and down. That was one of the first tricks I learned when my parents took me in, so I have a lot of happy memories of my mom and dad (and their various pals) teaching me to “shake,” and “give paw.” Its all the same to me (especially when there are treats involved), but high fives on game day are definitely my favorite. Go Pack Go!!!

Now if only I could figure out how to catch those balls Rodgers is throwing…