Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

No Place Like Home August 19, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:32 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It’s something I’m not sure I will ever fully understand. And maybe that’s okay. In general, watching dear baby Carter figure out the world around him brings to light how little I understand about little people. Every day, there is something new to see, touch, feel or try to gnaw on. All the while, I can almost see inside his head where connections are happening. Things are starting to make sense to him, albeit still mighty confusing to me.Goofing off

Today was an exception to the rule. Today, I watched as Carter attempted to make a tunnel out of his toy bin. I’m not exactly sure where he thought he was headed, but he certainly was not in it for the toys inside. He was on a mission to destination imagination and no one was going to stop him. Well, except mom, who rescued him when he got upset that his tunnel ended about two feet in. And about 30 seconds after that, he resumed his pursuit of the cable box.

Meanwhile, his little experiment got me to thinking about where I would go if I had an imaginary tunnel to anywhere. Where would it go? What would it look like there? Who would be waiting on the other side? At first I thought I would want it to be an endlessness of dog park. Everywhere I looked there would be dogs running free with no end in sight. But I got kind of lonely there surprisingly fast. 

So I revised my dreamscape to include a cabin on a lake for my people neighboring the park. They can fish and roast marshmallows while I run all day and return to them each night. But the cabin was too small to fit everyone I love past and present. 

Given that, I suddenly realized where my dream tunnel would go. It wouldn’t be to an endless dog park or a cabin on the lake. It would shoot straight up to this place called heaven (where I do believe all dogs go) where I can have the best of both worlds. Past, present, and future, I would be surrounded with loved ones regardless of what side of the tunnel I was on. 

But I suppose even that would get tiring in some ways, just as I hear people talking about needing a vacation from their vacation. Ultimately, I would need to know the tunnel would take me right back home. That it would take me right back to my front row seat to all things little person as baby Carter discovers the world, whether or not I ever fully understand how he is doing it. Because as nice as a tunnel to anywhere would be, all of this served as a reminder that there really is no place I would rather be.


My Bittersweet Birthday Blankie

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:07 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

I haven’t seen this blankie in a while. Where has it gone, I wonder…

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

My people call me a doggie vacuum cleaner. It’s no joke. I suck up anything and everything that hits the ground in my forever home, at grandma’s house, or wherever I am welcome. I’ve also been known to scavenge couches, loveseats and recliners for any leftovers that may not have hit the floor. Don’t get me wrong, my parents and (most) other loved ones are not in the habit of giving me any people food. Its a habit I picked up all on my own, likely a result of living on the streets and sharing food in the humane society.Mom's Blankie

Well, this little habit of mine bit me in the proverbial behind yesterday when I got a taste of something terrible. It smelled like heavenly caramel, but believe you me, it didn’t taste a thing like caramel. It was heavenly caramel flavored coffee grinds, but it was one of the…

View original 374 more words


Me Oh My It’s A Fly August 18, 2014

It happens pretty frequently this time of year. The weather is nice enough to have the windows open to let fresh air into the house. My forever people are spending more time outdoors. As am I for that matter. But there is this one thing that really (really) gets to me about this time of year. Flies. It’s one thing when they’re outside where they belong, but when they get into the house it sends me into a tail spin. Literally.


It always starts the same way, with my heart racing and tail wagging as I think I can catch the intruder. Then it happens. I’m not sure what or why this thing in my little doggie brain switches on, but I know it all to well. Fearlessness. From the ground up, let’s just say it’s not my strong suit. Instead I go from master of the animal kingdom within my forever home to a skittish, frightened version of myself I am embarrassed to admit exists.

I can’t explain it. It’s like everything inside me freezes and all I want to do is hide in places that apparently seem silly to my people for some unknown reason. My choice of today’s hiding place, in a small space between the couch and an end table where I would never ordinarily hang out, evoked the strangest response from my people. All three of them reacted in their own unique way, Carter by trying to climb me and my people by a round of uproarious laughter. I certainly did not intend to become a side show in my little game of hide and seek with the intruder. But that didn’t matter because somehow my reaction brought joy to my people.

I found peace and contentment in those moments, though I suppose maybe I should have been insulted. As for the fly, he’s still buzzing around here somewhere. And for not that’s okay, because at least for now, he serves as a teeny tiny reminder to find silliness in the most unexpected of places.


The Family Fortune

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:03 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

That thing called perspective sure is insightful.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

It was an absolutely beautiful day in Wisconsin today. The sun was shining its warmth on us and there was a solid breeze from the south to keep things feeling toasty. Literally. Today brought a warmth to the soul that breeds joy from the heart. That is, until I realized how awful a hand of weather was being dealt a few states to our south.

Tornadoes tore through Kansas and Oklahoma today, leaving whole neighborhoods in their wake. The latest reports are confirming casualties at an elementary school in Oklahoma City. Precious little people who were going about their day learning their multiplication tables and how to write haiku poetry. Gone. Lives are changed forever, ripped apart by mother nature. All of this on a day that seemed pretty close to perfect in my little part of the world.

I generally make a point of avoiding disturbing news, but today…

View original 289 more words


The Words Themselves August 17, 2014

There is this thing about words. In their way they make the world go round. And in other ways, they make the world come to a screeching halt. It’s the kind of parody that can only be in the paradox in itself that is language. Mind you, this is coming from your resident doggie optimist, who himself is incapable of anything other than nonverbal communication.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t witness every single day the power that is words. They can bring light or darkness into a room in an instant. They can bring laughter or joy, or tears and sadness. It really depends on the situation which emotion is evoked by which words. Happy Doggie

I think that is what makes poetry such a special and valuable part of human existence. I can’t necessarily say the same for us four-leggers, as we have much simpler lives with relatively less obstacles before us. The same cannot be said of most of the two-legged people with whom I have come into contact in my time in this life. They have good and bad and ugly things happen that all make poetry in both  brilliant and bittersweet ways.

It’s kind of funny in light of this book I come across every single day on the bookshelf in the living room of my forever home. It’s called “Inside of a Dog,” and I suppose the idea is to dissect the  brain of us four-legged best friends of men. The concept kind of makes me laugh inside, since it is one that sounds about as simple as me dissecting what is happening inside the mind of one of my forever people. They both keep me guessing on a daily basis and (if I’m being honest) it’s more fun that way.

This is why I know my perspective on words is the true and sincerest one you will come across. Because I know in my heart that words are powerful. They might be even more powerful than the emotions behind them. They can bring the world to an emotionally screeching halt, after all. But that is why the poetry behind the words is so valuable.

I think sometimes it can be all too easy to forget the meaning behind the things people say. I wouldn’t know since my only mode of communication is nonverbal. But I see it every single day. The words themselves don’t mean nearly as much as the meaning behind them. So mind what you say, dear friends. Because whether you know it or not, people are listening.


No Freedom Without Love

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 8:27 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

It makes me sad to think about loves lost, but that is selfish of me as I know in my heart they have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

Shelter dogs long for it. Teenagers drool over it. Adults occasionally miss it. The way I see it, there is this thing about independence I can’t quite put my right paw on. It’s almost like its one of those things in the world that isn’t all it’s written up to be. But what exactly is it written up to be?

Well, you’d better believe I thought I knew the answer to that question while I was fending for myself on the streets all that time ago. After the initial anxiety I had about being separated from my mom and brothers wore off, I had a newfound and overwhelming surge of pride in my independence. I could do whatever I wanted wherever I wanted with whom ever I wanted. I didn’t have to report to anyone, rely on anyone or support anyone but myself. It was fabulous!

Feeling the LoveOh dog, did I have…

View original 471 more words


The Value of Happiness August 16, 2014

It happens all the time. And it has definitely intensified since the arrival of my dear puppy brother otherwise known as Carter. From time to time, I am overcome with the most terrifying reality that I am, by all intent and purpose, completely and utterly broke. I have nothing of value to my name other than my collection of collars, and even that isn’t (technically) mine. And in rare moments it bothers me.

Not at all because I need anything. My needs have nothing to do with it. I have all I really need in the love of my forever people. It’s their needs that get to me every now and then. There has been a general tightening of the proverbial purse strings around here lately, especially since Carter was born and mom scaled back her wages in exchange for being a bit more present in his (and by proxy my) life. Things are not dire by any means, but they are certainly not lush either.Backyard Happiness

And it’s tough from time to time. I might be your resident doggie optimist, but I have a very soft spot for a crying forever mom who says she feels like she can’t catch a break.

But almost as frequently as I long to have money enough to buy whatever my people want (let alone need), something happens to remind me it’s not all about that. I’ve said before that money can’t buy happiness. Well, today those words came to life right before my little doggie eyes.

Sure, money is tight. Grocery shopping has been scaled back from pricey markets to the bargain stores. Money has been borrowed from family members. Carter’s clothes are gently used instead of new. But there are moments every day that remind me it’s all more than okay.

Like today, when my beloved people brought home a swing that I think was borrowed from a friend of the family. This little piece of plastic didn’t cost anything at all, but you won’t believe what happened next. Dad hung it from a branch in one of the trees in my backyard paradise and magic happened. He strapped my dear puppy brother in nice and tight and what happened next was music to everyone’s ears. Laughter. From the ground up, I don’t know if there is anything more contagious than a baby’s laughter. It made mom laugh. It made dad laugh. Heck, if I could laugh I would have been giggling right along with them.

It brought into focus this thing about money I’ve always known but needed a reminder of today. Because it happens all the time. I find myself feeling terribly guilty that I can’t contribute more to the bottom line around here. I am, indeed, as broke as they come. But, like most things in life, it’s not really about that. Money is money. It’s not happiness. I’m broke but I’m happy. And I wouldn’t even call what happened today a silver lining because in reality this happiness in its purest form is more priceless than gold.

Want to see Carter’s first swing experience?





Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,828 other followers