The Kindle community has lost one of its most beloved members.
He was known simply as dog, with a small d.
In the traditional sense, I never met him. I only knew him through the Amazon Kindle Community. However, I do feel like I know him a whole lot better than I would have if we’d met at some social event. We don’t have much in common on the surface. He was a former marine, a Vietnam vet who eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General. I’m a geek who didn’t serve in the military at all.
If we’d been introduced, I assume we would have just said, “Hello”, shaken hands and both moved on to other conversations.
Instead, we met in the forum. I hadn’t been posting there long at all, and this was my first real experience with an on-line forum like that. I asked how I could see a list of discussions I’d started.
dog said, in part:
“…there might be an ego.com but it probably won’t help!”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond to that. :) I didn’t know if he was being seriously sarcastic, so to speak, or just funny. Another poster (P. M. H., who is still active) immediately defended me.
It’s a conscious choice for me, when I’m not sure, to assume that someone meant something positively. I responded in part:
“…I tried ego.com…they were down. Apparently, they suffered a denial of service attack from id.com. ;)”
That particular thread established for me that it was, indeed, a community. Concern was expressed, support provided, and answers given. It was smart, friendly, and funny, and dog and I established a common ground that I don’t think would have happened in person.
For the past seven months or so, I (and many others on the forum) have looked forward to dog’s writing. dog and I directly interacted in threads from time to time, with dog even weaving me into some Kindle fiction and choosing to interview me at one point. When I searched the forum just now for “Bufo dog”, I got 131 posts where we were both mentioned. ChuckC suggested we could do commercials, like the Justin Long/John Hodgman Mac and PC spots, and Inquiring suggested we were the same person.
We publicly disagreed about the nature of human interaction, and certainly didn’t always see things the same way. I’d like to say, though, that we were friends. For people who think the internet is degrading the way people relate to one and other, I present dog as exhibit A. While he was truly accomplished in the physical world, he went on to enrich many more lives in the virtual one. Released of our physicality and backgrounds, we know each online purely through our essences.
And thanks to people like dog, we can form true communities.
We’ll miss you.
The Best of dog
I’m going to list just a few of the threads where you can enjoy dog’s writing, and the writing about him:
I think “dog” deserves some kudos (January 15, 2009)
Forum member Roger started an appreciation thread for dog.
dog shows depth with a political satire featuring Michelle Bachman
ILB folds due to Kindle boycotts (May 19, 2009)
dog slyly comments on the Kindle boycotts in a parody post
The homage to Lee Child consolidated thread (June 8, 2009)
dog writes in the style of popular author Lee Child.
Twas the day (June 11, 2009)
dog writes about the new Kindle DX…in rhyme!
a song for kindle peace (May 26, 2009)
dog writes several song parodies.
A Day in the Life (August 16, 2009)
dog brings the Beatles into the Kindle age.
REWARD: Missing dog… (August 31, 2009)
This thread was started by one of the other legends of the forum, Kindling Kowboy. The absence of dog brought out a lot of concern. On September 5, dog bravely and simply told us of his terminal cancer in this post.
Helga seek help with dog (September 17, 2009)
The day before his passing, dog was still writing humor to make other people feel better.
Requiem for Dog (September 18, 2009)
Following his wishes, Robert’s daughter Selena logged on and told us dog had passed on. She told of us his life. Even at the end, he had taken the time and what must have been his fading energy to write a final message, which she shared with us.
Those just represent a small part of what dog wrote. If you have other favorite posts of his, or other things to say, please feel free to leave a comment here.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.