Dear Dr. Zeus: What was life like before the internet? – “Stella” a Curly-Coated Retriever from Birmingham, AL
Dear Stella: Well, I believe this question would be better answered by someone “old and wise”, and no one has ever referred to me as that – mainly because I’m not that old (6 years young!) and it’s questionable how wise I am (like walking into the house with muddy paws and getting into trouble but doing it over and over again). But I can tell you that a dog’s life was much different before the internet (also known to some as the “interweb”) which I think some guy named Gore invented. Or did he invent Ozone? Busy guy. And sometimes I wish that he hadn’t created the internet as I got a glimpse of what life like was before it was around and it was pretty darn good.
What Went Wrong? Our cable modem (which brings us the internet) broke one Saturday. It’s located in a hall closet on the floor and my parents were pushing buttons and pulling wires and mumbling words that I think I should have had my ears covered for. I tried to help by smelling the wires and looking closely at the blinking lights with them – boy, it was crowded in that tiny space. When that didn’t work, I tried bringing them a toy and pushing it towards them but I guess they weren’t in the mood to play. After some time with no luck, their eyebrows raised and a finger was pointed in the air and it looked like we were going to go outside to play… but, no, they started walking around the yard with their Smartphones hoping there would be some connection, talking about “bad cells”, etc. They held the phones up to the sky – which I thought was odd – how are they going to see or hear anything with it that far away? Maybe they were just stretching? And why do they call them “smart” phones? Can they find a duck downed 100 yards out? I think not! We should be called “SmartLabs” – or is that being redundant? Needless to say, no internet was in the cards that day and, after a phone call to the cable company, it sounded like no internet until Monday afternoon. Then another idea appeared in their heads…
Return to the Good Old Days. … and we went outside again but this time we got situated on the lawn furniture and enjoyed the sun (which is another rare event in Seattle). My granddaughter, Puddle, went crazy chasing butterflies and their shadows – it’s very entertaining watching her as she never catches them and she exhausts herself in the hunt so much so that her long tongue hangs out the side of her mouth. I joined the rest of gang either finding and chewing sticks or just basking in the warm sun. Then someone found a ball and we all had some fun racing and chasing and retrieving it. I’m sure there were more balls around but it seemed like we all wanted to play with the same one. It was so hot out that day, we got to cool off in the baby pool during ball-chasing breaks. What a great weekend we had! We all had the chance to relax and enjoy each other and the outdoors.
I’m not against having the internet or anything as I do enjoy the occasional viewing of FaceBook posts and pictures, keeping in touch with family, etc. And I’m sure it’s good for finding lost pets, coupons for dog treats, and good restaurants. But mostly it’s just a distraction and I’d much rather be out playing or retrieving birds than looking at a computer screen all day. I just need to convince my parents. Hmmm… now that I know where the cable wires and modem are …
Category : Ask Dr. Zeus