I fully admit to being a technology addict. I’ve had a love affair with Facebook for many years and am now starting to get really into Twitter, Google Plus, YouTube and (obviously) Blogging. I’ve had conversations with people who “don’t get it” and have never been on Facebook before, and I’m sure I sound just as much like a martian to them as they do to me. I have also been a smartphone addict for a number of years and have had similar conversations with non-believers.
But beyond my love of all that has a microchip in it, I recently became exceptionally grateful for smartphones. Yes, those “unnecessary” phones that think they’re computers. The very gadgets that make many in my parent’s generation cringe when they see a 4 year old mindlessly thumbing her way through Facebook or Angry Birds when she should be paying attention to something else. Dear readers, these little gadgets have an important place in my heart.
My husband and I recently lost our beloved beagle Ralphy to cancer. We took him in to the vet because he started acting funny last week- he wasn’t eating good for us and was a little more lethargic than usual. He had just recovered from a herniated disc in his neck, so we thought perhaps the steroids he had been on caused an ulcer. Five hours and a lot of testing later, the vet told us that the mass they saw on the X-ray was most likely a very malignant form of cancer and they had to remove his spleen. When they opened him up and removed the spleen they found several other masses on his liver and pancreas that they could not remove. When we got the phone call late that night we agreed with the vet- if we closed him up and let him wake up he would only be waking up to a very painful couple of weeks. Our baby didn’t deserve that. We gave them the go-ahead to let him go that night. We had had him for one year and ten days and he was only six years old. Within a span of eleven hours we went from “just a quick run up to the vet” to “we think it’s cancer” to “the humane thing to do is to let him go tonight”.
Life is SO short, but the problem (and the blessing) is we don’t really remember that until we lose someone close to us. It’s probably a good thing that we’re not fully aware of how short our time was here on Earth (go to 20:10). Maybe this is another case where ignorance is bliss. On the one hand, it makes these times in life tremendously painful. I feel like someone just came up and punched me in the face, heart and stomach all at once. But what about the alternative? If we had known that Ralphy’s time with us was growing short what would we have done? The only thing we can hope to do is appreciate everyone and everything we have every single day and lead a life that brings ourselves and others joy.
Smartphones made this difficult time in our lives a little bit easier because they allowed (nay- encouraged) us to document every single thing that dog did this last year. In the old days if you saw something you wanted a picture of you’d have to run and find your camera, but not anymore. Why risk losing the photo op to go get your “real camera” when you can bust out your iPhone on the spot? We have hundreds of pictures of Ralphy doing absolutely nothing because we were constantly sending each other picture and video text messages of “our son”. When I wasn’t texting a picture to Mike I was posting pictures of Ralphy to Facebook and Twitter. Facebook is the new wallet full of awkward family photos- you don’t need to have hard copy prints of every photo and then try to show them to everyone you know. Instead, upload them to Facebook or text them in real time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to my mom on the phone and said “You wouldn’t believe how cute Ralphy is being… Check your texts for pictures!”
If it wasn’t for cameras, texting and social media on smartphones I guarantee we wouldn’t have even 1/10th the number of pictures and videos of that precious dog as we do today. So yes, smartphones are unnecessary. But like so many things in life, sometimes you’d be surprised how one’s definition of the word “necessary” can change in a matter of minutes.
So sorry to hear about Ralphy. I had to put my Boston Terrier down last year after having him for seven years. His old age lead to his spine starting to degenerate. It was the toughest decision, but he went so peacefully that I knew it was the right time. Dogs truly do make an impression on your heart for a lifetime, no matter how long they're in your life. It sounds like Ralphy was supremely loved while he was here, which is all that really matters!
So sorry to hear…We have a 7-year-old Beagle named Louie who we adopted two years ago. Ralphy was sure lucky to have had you!
That breaks my heart, I am so sorry for your loss!!! Light and love to you!
I am so sorry for your loss. Raplphy was very lucky to have amazing people who loved him.
Wow, what a difficult thing to find out and have to do in such a short time. Sending hugs and good thoughts to you as you relive the moments with your precious pup through your pictures and videos of him.
So sorry for your loss and so thankful you have the photos to remember your sweet little pups by!
Thinking of you and your husband. Our pets are our family!!!! It's never easy. Hugs from Wisconsin!
I am so sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is nothing short of heartbreaking. Sending love and hugs your way!
Big Hugs to you Nikki!!!
Big hugs, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.
To sorry to hear about Ralphy! I love my pups so much and hearing your story made me hug them a little closer and take a little more time on our morning walks.
This has in me tears for more reasons than I would list in one comment — but I have this very special place in my heart for beagles. (my very first dog was a beagle) And now we have our own pup, just five months old and like you, I take pictures all.the.time. And they're often blurry. And sometimes he's doing nothing. Just being Lincoln. But your story reminds me that it doesn't matter, I'm documenting our life — and you just never know how much time you DO have. Sending love and hugs from Wisconsin. xoxo
Thank you, everybody! It was hard to look at the pictures and watch the videos at first, but I'm so glad to have them. It's hard because we miss him, but it's so comforting because you can tell that he was SO happy. Don't just document the "cool" things- document everything you love about them while you have the chance. You'll be glad you did : )