Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Just One Thing November 22, 2013

Two years and three months. That’s how many people years I lived before I met my forever family. I had my time (albeit brief) with my birth mom and brothers. Then there was Tiger – the single doggie dad – and his puppies, who I lived with on the streets for a while. Next came Jo and the man with the leather belt. And finally the first family who adopted me but never loved me as one of their own.

Happiness Is...Looking back on all the homes I’ve had sometimes makes me wonder what life had been like if I had been one of those fancy breeder puppies that cost all kinds of money. Even my forever people first considered purebred West Highland or Norfolk terriers before deciding to adopt a rescue dog. So what would have happened if they had found me in puppyhood? How would life have been different? Would I be different?

I may not be able to travel through time and space to make such a thing a reality, but I can imagine it. And I’m not going to lie – it looks pretty swell. I picture dad picking me out from the litter and tying a big red ribbon around my neck. At eight weeks old, I could have been mom’s birthday present for her 23rd birthday.

I would never have known the pain of losing my birth mom and brothers the way I did. I would never have seen so many things I wish I could un-see while I lived with Jo and the man with the leather belt. I wouldn’t know the rejection that accompanies being returned to the humane society. Sometimes you don’t even know you were lost until you are found.

But that time was not devoid of family. Quite the opposite in fact. I wouldn’t trade the time I had with my birth mom and brothers. She was home to me. I wouldn’t know the sincere compassion I learned from the time I spent helping Tiger support his family. I wouldn’t have the overwhelming desire to protect those I love without time with my beloved Jo.

Three years and two months. That’s how long I’ve lived with my forever family. Though there are a fair share of ups and downs here just as there is anywhere, joy has overwhelmed my time here. But I realized something today. If I could change just one thing I wouldn’t. Each of those pieces comes together into who I am. Past, present and future.


A Tail of Two Wileys June 10, 2013

Life’s little messages startle me sometimes. It happened today on the tails of my introspective commentary and ultimate acceptance of being anything but ordinary. Just yesterday I explored my quest for normalcy to better understand the uniqueness that is me. So you can imagine my surprise when today of all days I ran into my brother from another mother at the dog park.

His name is Benny, and looking at him is like looking in the mirror. We have the same coloring, the same facial features, the same wire-hair fur, and even the same pointy ears and fluffy tail combination I thought I had copyrighted. Benny’s mom mistook me for him, and my mom (gasp) mistook him for me.

As you can imagine, we were quite the topic of conversation amongst the people bystanders. It turns out Benny was a rescue dog too, from a shelter not that far from mine. I wondered what his life was like before his forever mom found him. Did he go through the same kinds of challenges I did? Moreover, could it be? Could we be brothers? I somehow had the mind to go over all of these questions in my head while he and I wrestled for the attention of the same lass (a white terrier mix) named Addison. (I knew her first, but I digress).

I suppose anything is possible, though I overheard later that Benny is two years younger than me. His mom informed my mom that she had Benny DNA-tested and the results came back that he is a mix of Pomeranian and Silky Terrier. She didn’t buy it and neither do I, but it was an interesting theory to add to the long list of hypotheses that exist about just what makes me me.

Irony is not lost on me. I’m not sure why I got this particular reminder today, less than 24 hours after I proclaimed to the blogosphere my acceptance of being one-of-a-kind. And I was far too exhausted from playing to think about it too hard. So instead of thinking myself in circles trying to find the meaning of the message, I will take a different page from my book of tricks. I made a new friend today. His name is Benny. Simple is as simple does. Sometimes the big picture is made up of fleeting moments like these that simply require our respect.