The William Morris Project: 2014 | At the Computer

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The William Morris Project

Over the weekend I sat down and cleared out my email inboxes. It took hours, but I deleted hundreds and hundreds of emails. I felt a stab of guilt when I saw how many missed/neglected emails I had. There were some emails I don’t even remember receiving. I can tell you when my trouble with email began: the day I got my iphone 2 years ago. When you check your email on your phone, it gets marked as read on your desktop. Then more emails come in when you get home. Before you know it, the email you checked while you were out and planned to reply to when you got home is lost in the shuffle. I now no longer read emails while I’m out. I scan the subjects and will look at one that looks important, but for the most part they go untouched until I’m home and able to reply.

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I also sat down and started removing myself from newsletters I subscribed to years ago–and also those I never subscribed to but seem to keep receiving. This is why.

We, and our veterinarian, suspect Buster has bladder cancer. He’s 13 years old, so…yeah. This has been on my mind since Saturday. On Monday the vet called and asked us to come in that day for more tests to confirm the diagnosis, which we’ll have by Thursday. I got really, really sad. I didn’t even feel like going for a walk and instead found myself sitting at my computer with a blank stare. I figured unsubscribing to newsletters would top the list of Mind Numbing Activities to Do When You Think Your Dog is Dying, so I went through hundreds of emails and unsubscribed, unsubscribed, unsubscribed. I don’t use gmail, so I can’t take advantage of that speedy everyone is squealing about. Maybe next year?

One lousy discovery I made today regarding newsletters: when you unsubscribe, you only unsubscribe to the newsletter/promo alerts, not all emails from the company. I knew this, and I know you know this, but I realized as I was going through all my emails that some companies are sending daily emails about the same nonsense they later put in a newsletter/promo emails. They found a work around the unsubscribe button. If you can, select the option to cease all communications from a company.

I also learned you shouldn’t unsubscribe from any newsletter from a company you don’t recognize. Instead, you should report it as spam or a fraudulent email. When you unsubscribe from some newsletters, that link is actually some mass-enroll type whatever that sells your email address to more dating sites/online pharmacies/dashers of hope. This explains the dozens of “newsletters” in my inbox. I remember unsubscribing from something spammy a year or so ago, and since then I get daily offers from all sorts of super-hot guys who want to date me. Also, life insurance and home alarms.

Sniffy Buster

So that’s what I did. Then I went on a walk with Buster and let him sniff all the things.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Dana says

    I am so sorry to hear about Buster . We just learned last week that our sweet,9 year old beagle Doogie has lymphoma. I know exactly what you are feeling right now. Our children have been handling the news fairly well so far but it is hard to tell if they really grasp the finality of the situation. We have a few weeks to a few months left with him so we are spoiling him-the day he was diagnosed I made him a nicer dinner than I could stomach on a broken heart. I hope the news from the vet on Thursday is good news for your family. You are in my thoughts.

    • says

      The boys don’t really get it too much. They start to sniffle when we talk about it, but it’s very much NOT REAL to them. They have no clue what’s coming.

  2. Missie says

    Oh Jules, I’m so sorry about Buster. I love that you let him sniff all the things. You’ll be on my mind on Thursday.

  3. says

    I’m so glad you and Buster made that moment yesterday to stop and sniff all the little things. I do understand the sadness you’re feeling as we’ve very recently gone through the same, but even with that, there are no magic words. Of course I want good news and hope from your vet. As you wait for results, be kind to yourself, love on Buster, and hold close as a family. Robin

  4. Hazel says

    I san only say I’m so sorry about Buster too. Been there, several times and it doesn’t get any easier. Will be thinking of you all on Thursday.

  5. Beverly says

    I’m so sorry about Buster. I also understand what you and your family are going through and unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can say or do. You and your family will get through this rough time. I’m sure Buster is and will be loved beyond measure.

  6. says

    Thinking of you. We lost a pet to cancer (our female kitty, inoperable mast-cell tumor, early 2010), and it’s just awful. I’m not sure who decided animals should only live a decade or two, but I sure wish they stuck around longer. It’s such a blessing and burden to be tasked with keeping them comfortable and making the big decisions at the end of their lives. They leave an indelible mark on your heart, though, and you have provided them with a wonderful life in the time shared, so I try to focus on that. What wonderful, if fleeting, relationships.

  7. says

    Our 13 year-old Great Pyrenees is struggling mightily with back legs refusing to cooperate. I know Charlie’s time coming and yet, each day, when she looks at me with those bright eyes begging for a little more rotisserie chicken, I think, well, today can’t be the day – she is way too happy – and I watch her drag those unwilling legs back to her bed, satisfied with her chicken. Charlie and I will be thinking of you and Buster. Take care.

    • says

      This is me! I’m giving Buster some brie cheese as I type and he’s so happy and chipper. I find myself thinking “He’s fine! Look how happy he is!” and ignoring the fact he has trouble urinating and has lost weight over the last couple of weeks.

  8. says

    I very much hope that Buster is okay, and that there are one million simple and mind numbing things to help you during this difficult time. I also very much hope that Buster doesn’t have cancer at all.

    *imaginary hugging of the family and Buster the dog*

  9. says

    I wish there were words to make it better. The mere thought hurts my heart . . . simply know that I stand with those who’ve commented before, sending love and prayers to you and the Buster pups, and all whom he loves and whom love him back.

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