Mindful Interneting – What’s Up in the Petosphere This Week?

The Internet is a kind of vortex. I open up my laptop with the purpose of checking one thing and three hours later I am researching some completely unrelated topic while downloading music from my favourite band in the whole world,  even though I didn’t know said band existed until ten minutes ago. I don’t have an addictive personality. Sure, I like my morning cup of coffee and I’ll never turn down a free drink, but I’ve never struggled with an actual dependence on something. And, trust me, I have tried. Nothing ever stuck. That is, until the Internet. I am fully confident if I had to I could live without television. Perhaps, I could even live without books. But don’t take away my interwebs.

As a self-respecting dog-obsessor, a lot of the stuff I look up is canine related. I jump from article to article so fast that I barely register anything. The idea isn’t to learn or process, it’s just to read for the sake of reading. But what’s the point of that?

These days I am attempting to live with greater mindfulness. This includes my time spent Googling the name of the actress who plays the girlfriend of that movie I saw three years ago. Rather than powering through every link that comes up on my Facebook feed, I am trying to be more selective. When I do click on something, I commit to it. Actually read and consume it. It’s been pretty life-changing. So much so that I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned.

Here are some of the articles I loved recently:

Pawsitively Training sums up exactly how I feel about recall training: “Your dog has to want to be with you before he or she will recall to you.” Precisely. The video in the post is quite helpful as well.

Pit Bulls Make the World Go Round has some wicked advice for handling encounters with off-leash dogs, the bane of many of our existences.

The Working Pit Bull has a fantastic guide to understanding “soundness” and relating it to your dog. I am so grateful to My Life With Flyball Dogs for sharing it with me in a comment last week. It’s made me look at dogs in a brand new way.

This article by relationship-based trainer Suzanne Clothier on gauging thresholds in dogs has also helped me a lot. I still don’t know if I am an expert at reading Shiva’s body language. Sometimes I jump in unnecessarily and other times I think I wait too long. It’s so hard to know and she seems to react out of nowhere. When in doubt, it never hurts to increase distance. Good to know.

All five of the finalists’ stories for Freshpet’s World’s Greatest Pet Parent contest are inspiring and made me cry happy tears. My favourite kind of weeping. You may recognize the dog in the first story, owned by none other than the writer of No Dog About It. If you are as touched as I am, why not throw a vote her way?

Speaking of votes, it is now time to get your nominations in for the 2013 BlogPaws Awards. I’ve been having a blast putting up some of my favourites from the Petosphere. (Yep, that’s what I am calling it from now on. I decided.) I am so glad I have been able to take my time with my entries as well, as opposed to dashing them off at the last-minute in my usual style.

This fascinating article from National Geographic suggests that the domestication of dogs  may have had more to do with the “survival of the friendliest” rather than any active effort on humanity’s part. Really, when it comes down to it, science is just catching up with what dog lovers have always known. The world doesn’t change when we adopt them; the real magic occurs when they adopt us.

Do you share my online addiction? What is on your must-read list this week?

20 thoughts on “Mindful Interneting – What’s Up in the Petosphere This Week?

  1. Mindful Internetting sounds like something worthwhile that we should all probably be doing.

    Why, why, WHY is it so addicting anyway??


  2. I feel like I fell down a rabbit hole! lol An hour later, here I am finally commenting on your post. You have a great collection of articles here and I enjoyed all of them! 🙂


  3. I am very proud of myself for stopping my addiction to BuzzFeed. I subscribed several weeks ago and found myself clicking on things like “7 facts you don’t know about [some actress I’d never heard of]. Rather than making decisions about what to click on, I just unsubscribed. It was a liberating moment for me.


  4. We’re just struggling to keep up with everyone’s posts. My dad has almost given up reading books. Now he pretty much listens to them being read to him on his commute to work and back.


  5. Thanks for including my blog!

    I could certainly do with mindful internetting – I couldn’t tell you how many times I want to send a link to someone but can’t remember it, didn’t bookmark it, and can’t remember how I got to it!


  6. I try and stick to the blogs, as otherwise like you I find myself spending time on the internet.

    The internet is a wonderful thing, but I don’t have enough time to look at everything I’d like.


  7. Hey there! Just wanted to say thank you for linking to my blog (Pit Bulls Make the World Go ‘Round) and I’m glad you liked my article!


  8. It is a vortex, the great time suck, unlike you though I tend to veer off to mindless stuff. Games. Those are my big addiction. I need to get a grip on this.

    I do think I need to check out some of your links, I know I need to be a bit more mindful of the time on spend on the interwebs and I really do need to learn something (anything) about recalling my dogs!


  9. LOL. I’m glad I’m not the only who jumps around so fast on the internet that I hardly absorb anything that I read over the past 2 hours! I’ll defintley have to try out this selective process you are talking about:))


  10. Good links–especially the post on dealing with unleashed dogs. And I’m always a fan of Suzanne Clothier. No one has changed my ideas about dogs more than she.

    Thanks for asking people to vote for Mel in the FreshPet contest. I suspect the competitors are doing multiple voting. I wrote to ask if that’s allowed.

    And I too am enjoying making nominations for the Nose-to-Nose awards. It’s fun to think about all the work people do and the wonderful things they create. I can’t wait to see who ends up being finalists.


  11. Mindful reading is why I am so often behind in checking out all the blogs I enjoy…I’m glad you did this and hope you make it a regular feature as these posts often lead me to great articles that I would otherwise not have seen


  12. Definitely the internet.
    I made myself go cold turkey in Hawaii last year and it was nice to really enjoy what we were doing but the itch to find a wifi connection and hop onto Twitter or blog something quickly was HUGE.
    Thanks for all these great links, I’m tempted to reblog all of them but there’s probably no point 🙂


  13. I haven’t had much time to read at all lately let alone do it mindfully 🙂 I know what you mean though. I agree that quality over quantity better but I am having to not only keep up with the Petosphere but also the social-media-sphere for my class.


  14. I do share your online addiction. Cushion says the iPad is grafted to my hand these days. My must read list every week includes real estate links in places we’d like to move to, blogs and other reading on places we’d like to move to, and Spanish verb conjugator and vocabulary links. I really need to take up a speed reading course.


  15. I loves how you write and think Kristine! I was reading this and nodding my head. I believe I am addicted. I have been trying to be more mindful as well. Doing drive-by commenting is just not fun or fulfilling. I want to commit to the post and the writer. You know what I mean?
    BTW – Thanks for the shout out, but I believe the Freshpet contest is now closed. I’m sure I didn’t win. I was working on puppy mill stuff this week and simply ran out of time.


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