Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Kindness Too Soon November 22, 2014

Stop. Pause. Breathe. If people could learn tricks, that is what I wish I could tell them to do this time of year.

I’ve said before the holidays are a favorite time of mine, what with all the family time and music and snow and snuggling. There are few things about the holidays I don’t enjoy. But there is one thing in particular that gets to me. It happens every single year and seems to intensify as the countdown to Christmas continues.

I Am Listening!People get rude. Pushy. Rushed. And completely inconsiderate of those around them. I don’t witness much of it in person, but I hear plenty of stories exchanged between my forever people to know what’s up. It drives me crazy. Not just because it’s the season of giving. Gratitude. Unconditional love. But because of the impact this behavior has. Negativity has an awful way of spreading like a disease no one can control, and while I would hate to see that happen at any point in time, it bothers me most around the holidays.

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late,” suggested one of my favorite transcendentalist thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson. If there is a reason to rush this holiday season, that’s the reason.

Because this is supposed to be a season of kindness. A season to share love with others who may otherwise not receive it. This is supposed to be a time of joy, and any ignorant person in a parking lot who steals a spot from an elderly lady or shoves their way in front of someone in line or loses patience with the overworked clerk who is only in the challenging position because the store is understaffed…well, they are doing nothing but stealing joy from other people. Not sharing it.

So I say stop. Pause. Breathe. Remember what the season is really about. It’s not about the gifts or the wrapping paper or the perfect Christmas tree. Its about joy. From the ground up, that is the real reason for the season.

 

 

The Mouse Will Play

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:11 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Mischief is a dog’s best friend. And worst enemy.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

From sneaking people food right off the dinner table to jumping four-foot fences, I used to fancy myself a master of mischief. Somewhere along the line, I determined it was best to use my God-given brains to cause trouble because it triggered attention from people. Sometimes it was even the good kind of attention. Though they were few and far between, occasionally my behavior merited a “oh, that is so cute” comment in place of the dreaded “bad dog” nickname.

Me? Sassy? No...But something changed for me the day I escaped through the doggie door and jumped the fence of my first adoptive family. I remember feeling so disappointed when they found me and brought me home, and then (almost) relieved when they took me back to the humane society. (This ended up being a very positive thing because I met my forever people a few weeks later as a result). Forever changed for me that day as I wandered the…

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Lease on Life November 21, 2014

I couldn’t believe my ears. Mom had the speaker on her phone today while she did an interview with a woman who owns a doggie daycare called “A Dog Sanctuary.”

She says its unique because she and her staff make an effort to actively engage the dogs in a variety of mental and physical games while they are there. She says its unique because its a place dogs go to be happy and dogs have a way of rubbing off on their people. She said this is her life’s passion.

That all sounded well and good. Drive safely

What shocked me was why she, at the age of 22, decided to quit her job as a post office worker and open a business. Just over a year ago, at the age of 21, she was the victim of an attempted homicide. The man snuck up on her from behind as she was leaving the dog park with her one-year-old German shorthair pointer, Millie. She was exceedingly happy because Millie had enjoyed the swim in the pond she’d been trying to encourage for months. Her glee turned to the most serious and breathtaking kind of fear when she saw the knife and roll of duct tape. As she fought for her life, she didn’t even feel the knife slice through her hand. All she said she could think about in those moments was how badly she wanted to live. And live she did.

A week later, the man went on to murder a woman of a similar age. Last month, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. But all of that is water under the bridge for this woman. She doesn’t even think about it anymore, she said, because she knows she is living her life’s mission. The mission she couldn’t spend one more day not doing. She’s more than a survivor. She is a giver of life to those around her.

All because she was given the kind of second chance that not everyone gets in life. A second chance I got (in a far less graphic and terrible way). I couldn’t even believe my ears as she told her story, seeming completely unphased by what happened to her a mere year ago. As surprising as that was to me, I realized there is a lesson to be learned from her passion. From her mission to share joy with the world. From her drive to live.

Second chances don’t come along every day. When yours comes, take it and hold on for dear life. Take it from me – you won’t regret it.

 

 

That Time I Fooftered

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 4:49 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Laughter has to be one of my favorite sounds.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

Forget milk. It’s humor that does the body good. I say this partially because I’m not allowed to have milk (even though I’ve sneaked a delicious taste from my dad’s glass a few times), but also because I’ve seen laughter at work. It’s a pretty amazing thing that creeps up on me at some of life’s most unexpected moments.

It Wasn't MeTake tonight for example. There I was, scratching behind my ear with my back paw when bam. I fooftered. (This is my more delicate way of saying farted, for anyone that didn’t already connect the gastrointestinal dots). It was far from dainty, and seemed to almost echo through the room. To be honest, it startled me. It brought my scratching to a complete halt for crying out loud. (It isn’t unusual for me to stop and pay attention to my butt region when these foofters happen, but I’m not usually stopping mid-scratch to do so)…

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Tiny Little Hands November 20, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:43 pm
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It wasn’t easy for me. I didn’t always like snuggles with people. Or pets. Or any kind of touching for that matter. It was okay if I trusted the person, but trust didn’t come easy for me back then. I blame the man with the leather belt for that.

But that is ages ago and I have come a long way since then. A gentle touch. From the ground up, it has a way of warming my soul like no other human connection can do. So when it happened with dear baby Carter this morning, I can’t tell you how happy my heart was.

A boy and his dogThere we were in the same exact spot in my forever home at almost the exact same time of day as we were when I made a big mistake all of those weeks ago. When Carter caught me by surprise with a sudden yank of the tender fur on my tail and I growled in response. I regretted it as soon as it happened, and even more so after I saw how much I hurt mom in that split second in time. I never want to hurt mom. Or dear Carter for that matter.

Today was the polar opposite of that moment. As has been happening more frequently as he learns how to use his hands, Carter found his way next to me, slung his arm around me and gently pet my fur.

I’ve felt the love radiate from both my forever parents countless times in moments like these. And Carter has certainly pet me softly (which has taken some practice for him, I’m not going to lie) before today. But somehow in that moment I felt a whole new kind of love. The love I always knew I would have for my little person. The love that I know has been there since the moment I knew mom was having a little person. The kind of love that changes a dog forever. I felt the love of a little boy.

It might not have been easy for me to get over my trust issues with hands, but I honestly have never felt more over it than I did in that moment. I felt safe. Secure. Loved.

I can think of few better ways to start my day than that.

 

Bundle of Joy

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:25 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

I had no idea what I was getting into with this whole puppy brother thing, but I like it.

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

I got a taste of big brotherhood today. Literally. Her name is Alexis and she is the little person that my doggie pal Diesel oversees. She is two people months old today and she tastes delicious, at least by what I could tell by licking her cute little button of a nose. This was the longest bit of time we’ve spent together (my mom, Diesel’s mom Jessica, me, Diesel and Alexis) since she was born and I got the strangest feeling she somehow sensed she was not (technically) the only baby in the room.You Smell Like Joy!

I knew it was probably nonsense. I figured it was just probably the sense I got. It’s not that unlike me to misread a situation regardless of my good intentions. But then mom’s friend Jessica said it out loud and I knew that maybe (just maybe) I wasn’t imagining things.

“It’s like she somehow knows you have a baby in your belly,” she…

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Little Star November 19, 2014

Winter is here. Remember those posts about it knocking at the door? It has arrived in all of its snowy, frigid goodness. With it I’ve already gotten more snuggles than I knew in the summer months, which I think is one of my favorite things about winter in Wisconsin.

Tonight I discovered another silver lining to being cooped up inside for the better part of the next several months. It’s a new one this winter, and while I can’t say I wasn’t expecting it in some ways, it still took me by surprise.Ground Up Thinking

An old favorite of mine has resumed on an almost daily basis as we play together as a family for a bit before Carter’s bedtime. Your resident pickle in the middle is back. Mom and dad throw a toy of mine back and forth while I chase around trying to intercept it. Meanwhile, Carter sits by giggling at the action. And when he gets the toy for some reason, he gives it to me like he knows he is a co-conspirator.

Tonight’s game really wore me out, and when it was over I snuggled myself into mom’s legs on the floor as she and dad took to playing some sort of silliness with Carter. That’s when something new happened. Dad turned off all the lights in the basement except for this little nightlight that is shaped like a doggie (of course) that projects an image of stars onto the ceiling.

I couldn’t help it. The scene as my three favorite people in the world laid on the floor together looking up at the fake stars warmed my heart. ‘Twinkle twinkle, little star,’ mom sang softly. “How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle twinkle, little start, how I wonder what you are.”

I made a wish as mom sang her song and dad and Carter and I listened. I wished with all my might for something I can’t share. (I can’t say or it won’t come true).

As the moment ended and the bedtime routine ensued, I found myself again thanking my lucky stars that winter is here. With all its snuggly, snowy, frigid goodness. And that’s okay by me.

 

 
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