National Day to Unplug and Connect with Our Animal Friends

by Bonney Brown

How many times have you checked your e-mail today? Liked a Facebook friend’s photo of their dog this morning? Laughed over an adorable animal video on YouTube?

Animal people are into online activity more than nearly any other interest group. What could be more fun than watching a video of a Jack Russell Terrier joyfully popping balloons or reading clever quotes attributed to the sour-faced Grumpy Cat? No doubt technology is fun and convenient, but is it really enhancing our communication?

Recently one CEO, Shayne Hughes of Learning as Leadership, decided his staff had become too dependent on email to communicate with each other. So he ordered no internal email messages for an entire week. People would have to connect the old-fashioned way, by phone or in person.

“I announced it in a Thursday staff meeting,” said Hughes. “The very next day, I felt this emptiness because there wasn’t a slew of things coming at me. . . I’m so used to being reactive to these things. Then I thought what should I be doing with my time right now?”

Well, today is the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging. The idea is to disconnect from the virtual world for a day so that we can reconnect more fully with the real one.

This is where our pets come in. In a world far removed from nature and focused on tomorrow, animals are an important connection, for all of us who love them, to a more real and immediate world. They live completely in the present moment, love with abandon and fully enjoy the pleasures of the moment. In spending time with them, we get to share in their exuberance and their affection and reconnect with nature.

So today, turn off that cell phone, and take at least a few hours away from your computer. Instead of surfing online, try taking your dog for a walk, brushing your cat, or playing your pet’s favorite game with them. The rewards include reduced stress, lower blood pressure and a fulfilling connection with another being who will give you unconditional love.

Perhaps in unplugging this one day, you will recharge your spirit and rekindle that connection with those you love, both two- and four-footed.

Events that Help Animals:

Doggie Palooza March 9, 10 am to 6:30 pm, at the Nevada Humane Society shelter. Dog Marketplace, cool dogs available for adoption, and celebrity guests. Admission is free. Shelter located at 2825 Longley Lane, between Rock Blvd. and Mira Loma Dr.

SPCA of Northern Nevada Pledges for Pets Love Life Telethon, March 10 from 5 pm – 10 pm, on My21TV to raise funds for at-risk pets in our community. For more information, visit


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