Sunday, January 13, 2013


PIRATE J. EDEY ON TECHNOLOGY I like to think of myself as an old-fashoned basic dog. All I really need is a bone to bury, a friendly hand to sneak me scraps when my people aren’t looking, and at least one good walk every day. But things are changing. I can no longer live in the past. There is no point in pretending that progress hasn’t touched me. For even I—the most old-fashioned of all dogs--am now under the influence of the ubiquitous iPhone. No longer does the sound of a familiar voice in the kitchen automatically preceed a pat from a loving hand. It could be a real person I heard, or it could be only the voice over Facetime and the face on a tiny screen, coming by magic from Paris, or Florence, or even Ontario! Now I ask you, what good is a voice from Ontario to a dog who needs good belly scratch? And that’s not all. The iPhone seems to have changed the names of my main people. The thing rings and a familiar voice says, “Hi Granny and Grandad.” It’s their daughter Ruth in Guelph. I don’t know why she’s talking baby talk. So I sidle up and my people say, “Here’s Pirate. He wants to see the baby!” What are they talking about? Since when did I want to see a baby? But I look at the screen and there she is, holding a baby. He looks harmless enough in the picture, but I can imagine what he’d be like in person, poking my eyes,sneaking food from my dish when nobody’s looking, taking all the atttention that usually comes to me. My people took the iPhone to Ontario. They came home with 117 pictures on the iPhone, 117 pictures of that very baby. Alas, I try to stay positive, the way an old-fashioned dog ought to. Babies, it seems, are nearly impossible to avoid. But if we have to have babies in the world, then let them visit me by iPhone!

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