Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Excitement Of It All December 19, 2014

Table cloths. Holiday decorations. And food smells. Lots of food smells. I’ve been around long enough to know what’s coming. I don’t need to have a crystal ball to know there will be some kind of fabulous shindig at my forever home tomorrow. Mom spent the majority of today running around like the headless chicken she often does before such events. There is cleaning and cooking and baking and decorating to be done, after all!

The funny thing is so many people tell her to slow down. Take it easy. Don’t stress. Yet she follows none of these pieces of (very sound) advice. It’s puzzled me for some time why she feels the need to uphold this reputation of hers as a “super hostess.” She could as easily not go to the detail she does with things. She could skip an appetizer (or three). There don’t have to be dessert options. One is probably just fine. Flangipropping

I think I finally got my answer today. It happened somewhere in between ironing her third table cloth and setting up the dessert table. She sat down, for honestly the first time since she woke up with dear baby Carter around 7 a.m. and sighed. To a stranger, it sounded like fatigue. And maybe there was a bit of fatigue mixed in, but I know better. I know better because I could see her face when it happened. Joy. From the ground up, it resonated in her smile and the twinkle in her eye as she surveyed the work that had been done so far.

Table cloths and decorations and food smells were the way of the day around here today. It was a lot of work, most of which mom made for herself. But she loves it. Thrives on it even. Has she been breathing a bit heavy since this afternoon as she runs around dusting and cleaning bathrooms? Sure. Will she be sore tomorrow? Probably.

But there is something about the excitement of it all that brings joy to life. And I can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

 

The Mouse Will Play

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:47 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

Distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder. Even when you don’t think it’s possible. :)

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

I guess it’s called denial. That sense of refusal to acknowledge something we wish wasn’t happening. That’s how I started my day today. The dreaded suitcase was out and I could sense this would be a people-only adventure. In spite of my best efforts and employment of “the look,” my fears were realized when we made our first stop at grandma’s house. I was being left behind.Doggie Love

I should have seen it coming. All right, all right, I did see it coming. I just convinced myself it wasn’t happening. I was in denial. And I’ve got to say – that is not a very happy place to be. It was a couple hours after my people left me with grandma and my cousin (grandma’s dog) Buddy that I realized what was happening. I was sulking by the sliding patio door when it happened.

Buddy bit my butt. That’s right. He came…

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Off The Leash December 18, 2014

I know it happens to people sometimes. Sure, it seems more frequent for my forever mom than my dad. But that doesn’t make me any less manly a dog when it happens to me. (Right?)

Sometimes we all have those days. You know the ones. Nothing in particular went wrong. Nothing broke. Everyone’s accounted for and in good health. But there’s an emotional emptiness. A deafening silence. A weakness in the heart. That was today for me. Me and My Gal

Days like this there is really only one thing I care about. Attention. From the ground up, I’ll take it in whatever form I can get it. I (almost) never resort to sassy behavior, generally relying much more on the gift of nonverbal seduction. The head nudge under the hand. The shameless leap onto a lap that is already crowded with work and an 11-month-old. The stubborn stare down. These are all tricks I’ve perfected over the years; ways I’ve determined are best in dealing with the general sense of neediness I feel sometimes.

Today I tried them all. I played my whole hand, especially with mom. I followed her all over the house. I sat unnecessarily close to mom’s feet as she baked cookies. I hopped on her lap the second she sat down, even at the kitchen table at dinnertime (this was a new one for me). Sometimes we doggies just need to feel the love.

So you can imagine the love I felt when the topic of dinner conversation turned to a package we received in the mail recently. It was marked “royal mail,” which is a pretty big deal around these parts, especially when most of the mail we get is bills. Instead of a bill, the package contained love from London. Inside were a lovely note and book from a very beloved and loyal blog friend, Ute.

It was the first I was hearing of the special delivery and I’m not going to lie. My heart melted with happiness and gratitude to have received such a lovely and thoughtful token from someone out there in the blogosphere. The best part about it is the book, “Off the Leash: A Dog’s Best Friend” contains humorous comics highlighting the truths of a dog’s life. From the poop dance to the frequent napping behavior to our bed hogging tendencies, cartoonist Rupert Fawcett nailed it on the head.

He even had several references to our esteemed and award-winning attention-seeking skills. Namely, the things we do on days like today when we (for no good reason) just need a little love.

I know everyone has days like that. When you really just need a hug. Or a smile, even if it’s from a complete stranger. Or, in my case, a random piece of mail from loved one in another country. Some days are like that. But today reminded me it’s okay to have days like this. Because, if you let people in, there will always be someone there to give you the hug you need. Even if it is from halfway across the globe.

Off the Leash

 

Car Ride To Nowhere

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 2:08 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

“Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.” -Elizabeth Green

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

I went on a car ride to nowhere today. Well, it wasn’t exactly nowhere. It was to a place called Best Buy to get some kind of gadget I don’t understand. Dogs aren’t allowed inside, so I can’t say it is one of my favorite people stores (like Petco and Pet World, for example). And I didn’t get out of the car at all. Loving Life

But that didn’t really matter to me. What mattered was the context of my outing to nowhere: the company I kept. It was a random car ride on what I’ve come to recognize as a weeknight and (gasp) it was dad’s idea to have me come along. This is normal for mom (who regularly brings me along on those things called errands) but not for dad.

Mom frequently brings me along as we make our way from parking lot to parking lot. Not dad. He gets anxious when I voice…

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And Let It Begin With Me December 17, 2014

It’s not uncommon for it to happen at any given time during the year. Thanks to the evolution of streaming radio, it can happen with the touch of a button. And around here it does. It doesn’t matter if it’s February or July or September. Christmas music is a favorite thing for my dear forever mom.

What that means for me is I get to hear all my holiday favorites whether its snowy and frigid or sunny and toasty. And I’m not going to lie – it has a way of evoking that special sense of the magic of Christmas regardless of when I hear the words. Frank Sinatra’s original version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” are two of the best in my opinion.

Today I (re)discovered a familiar tune that I had forgotten about in recent years. I haven’t heard it much for whatever reason, but when I heard it today it invigorated my previously lacking sense of holiday happiness.

“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me,” the song goes. “Let there be peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be.” There is something so simple about the lyrics, but what stands out to me is the sense of personal responsibility for one’s role in the world. A personal responsibility for the impact we have on others. And (good or bad) it doesn’t take much.

I think I heard one too many stories of the rude and pushy people out there in the world this holiday season. It got to me.

That ends now.

Today was not unlike most days in my forever home. But hearing that song reminded me yet again what is important in even the most normal of days. Joy. Peace. Love. From the ground up, these are the building blocks of who I am.

So tonight I do my part to bring to life the words of my new favorite Christmas carol. Let there be joy. Let there be peace. Let there be love. And let it all start with me.

 

Life In The Fast Lane

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:08 pm

Wiley Schmidt:

“Maybe that was something that needed to happen for all of us.” -Lindsey Buckingham

Originally posted on Wiley's Wisdom:

Today was loud. And fast. And I loved every minute of it.

I was the official unofficial race dog today at a place called Road America. It’s a well-known racetrack in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin about an hour away from my forever home. It has become a family tradition to go with my people and my grandparents right around this time every year. I look forward to the sights, the smells and the people love even more than the car ride to get there.

Joy. From the ground up, it happens throughout my time there when I get all kinds of attention from a wide variety of people from all over the country. I encounter smiles wherever my heart takes me and it doesn’t even bother me that they’re not just smiling because of me. They’re smiling because they love everything about race day. The sights. The smells. The speed.

The…

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A Healing Pain December 16, 2014

At first it was fairly subtle. A faint twitch here and there. Slightly less time on that Smartphone contraption. A few less pets than usual when she visited. From there it seemed to escalate at a surprisingly speedy pace. The twitching became more noticeable. The Smartphone was set aside more frequently. Almost no pets (but lots of verbal love) when she visited. Gratitude

It turns out my dear aunt Morgan has carpal tunnel. In both her hands. Her case seemed to worsen overnight to the point where I noticed her frequently shaking out her tingling hands to lessen the pain. I cringed when I overheard the stories she told my forever mom about waking up screaming in pain. No one I love should ever hurt like that.

Well, today is a new day for my dear aunt Morgan’s hands. A fresh start. Today marks the day of the first of two surgeries to repair her damaged wrists and, in doing so, restore her quality of life. So she can use her hands like a normal person again. I’ve missed those pets, after all.

Joking aside, it really pains me when someone I care about is hurting. Physically. Emotionally. Psychologically. Pain is not one of my favorite things. But if there’s something pain has taught me, it’s to not take anything for granted. Some things aren’t fixable with surgery or therapy or whatever other interventions are out there. And life has a way of working itself out.

Fortunately, many things are fixable. If all goes well, my dear aunt’s hands will be among them so there will be no more twitching and pain. Pets will be restored. The pain of the past will be replaced by a new pain, which I suppose is the only kind I don’t particularly mind. A healing pain. After watching first-paw something so subtle rapidly turn into something so terribly painful, take it from me. A healing pain is a good pain. Because as Gautama Buddha suggested “pain is inevitable in life, but suffering is optional.”

 

 
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