“The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.”
—Andrew A. Rooney
This issue has articles on two topics that show how much computers can
affect your life in unexpected ways.
We’ve all got digital junk and I’m always looking for ways to reuse or
recycle computer stuff—some people might remember my idea of hanging old AOL
CDs in my garden or the “chip bugs” we gave away at the computer show, which
were made from chips off a 386-20 motherboard. But on the ‘net you can find
more creative ideas, like a description of how a guy turned a Vax into a wet bar and
how you can turn a Macintosh SE into a fish tank. (Egad…computer furniture!)
My dog Leto is an example of how computers have affected my life in a
furry way. Leto is a big goofy retriever-ish dog. Although he’s not a Samoyed, he
is white. So a shelter in Los Angeles called a Samoyed breed rescue group asking
if they’d take him. Leto was so nice, the rescue folk overlooked the fact that
he wasn’t a Samoyed and transferred him to a foster care home in Redding,
California. He hung out in Redding for about 6 weeks grooving on the fact that he
wasn’t in L.A. anymore (hey, a lot of us feel that way). So how did someone in
North Idaho ever find out about him?
I have a Samoyed mix named Cami. She had a number of problems in her
puppyhood, so I joined a Samoyed discussion list to talk to experts and find out if
her problems were common in the breed, or if she’s just plain weird. (It turns out
to be a combination.) Leto’s picture was on a website that was posted to the list,
and I clicked the link. I liked what I saw, so I sent an e-mail to his foster “mom”
and learned more. Many e-mails later, my husband and I decided to adopt him.
The trick was getting him from Redding, California to North Idaho. Enter
the Canine Underground Railroad, a network of volunteers who drive dogs to
their new homes. Via a private e-mail list, people sign up to take “legs” of
long-distance trips. Leto rode with a Brittany Spaniel who was meeting her “forever” family
in Vancouver and then going on to Seattle. I was scheduled to meet them in
Seattle. I e-mailed to find out if any nearby motels would accept dogs, and they found
me a Motel 6. I met Leto there and the next morning we went off to North Idaho.
Amid the information overload and technical computer stuff we’re all
faced with, it’s easy to forgot the power of communication the Internet provides.
Your connection offers a real opportunity to learn, make contact with people, and
find out more about the things that are important to you.