On Connor and maybe some lessons

UPDATE: Connor’s owner has spoken out and reveals a dog sitter left a door open

This a reflective post about the live video I shared on Friday. Connor was a loose dog along the Cherry Creek trail who avoided animal protection officers and then ultimately got hit by a car. Connor was euthanized shortly after being hit because of severe spinal injuries.

Over that last few days I’ve dwelled much on Friday’s horrible incident.

I’ve avoided talking about it with people as my consciousness battles with itself through feelings of guilt and regret.

The image of Connor in the middle of the road is painfully hard to forget and I confess I feel responsibility for sharing something so tragic before a mass audience.

Perhaps this public post will help air out the circumstances of this horrible situation and help me, as selfish as this may sound, come to terms with my role in making this so public.

When the sirens screamed past my office window and when I heard there was a dog stuck in the rushing water, my inherent reaction as a reporter was to dash outside and capture the moment.

I was expecting a dramatic rescue as I made my way to the water. I saw the fire department’s rescue crews ready to take action.

As I began my live broadcast, it became quickly clear the audience was captivated by Connor’s situation. Thousands of observers through the feed invested much emotion into the poor animal as things unfolded in real time.

As many of you unfortunately saw in the live video, after Connor fled the field of view and entered Speer Boulevard, I came upon him in the middle of the road after being hit by a car. This was captured in the feed.

Hindsight tells me maybe I should have panned away from the disturbing image or cut the live feed.

I don’t know if what I did and captured was appropriate.

With 1,000+ viewers currently watching and commenting every second, perhaps I became more focused on the needs of the audience to receive a documented ending to what they invested in.

I’m not sure if I handled the situation correctly and to be absolutely honest, I’ve been plagued by the thought that it was quite absurd of me to even begin broadcasting in the first place.

I’ve received a phenomenal amount of feedback about the situation.

Some of it is quite ugly, including this message below from a viewer. I must admit I was defensive in response to this guy as I opened up my inbox as I left the scene.

response

At the end of the day, I sat down with an animal protection officer to talk about what happened in an effort to find some sort of lesson with Connor’s story.

For those of you who saw this unfold, I’d like to apologize about what you saw.

But most of all, I hope the family who lost Connor will find strength. I can’t imagine losing my dog in a tragic situation and I know I’d be devastated.

If there is any scant crumb of value out of this incident, I do sincerely hope the thousands of people who saw this will double check their fences and doors.

A return to what I miss

Three years ago I held a silent funeral before my computer screen.

With a heavy sigh, I navigated through the online confirmation process to forever and permanently delete my blog at http://www.jeremyjojola.com.

I remember holding my finger over the mouse button before that final fatal click wondering if it was a good idea.

Jesus, that was a mistake.

Hundreds of my postings disappeared in a second. A nuclear explosion on the binary level.

Instant decimation.

Some of those posts garnered great traffic and I fondly remember the thrill of seeing my website referenced in some widely read articles and publications.

Now I’m back as a guilty executioner hoping to find again what I miss the most about writing—freedom and space.

When I hit the delete button in 2014, I thought Facebook and Twitter were ultimately the best places to share my thoughts and experiences. As I succumbed to their expanding universe and power, I believed my own website became an obsolete speck of dust.

I was wrong.

While extremely effective tools at sharing photos and my experiences, I find Facebook and Twitter to be distractions, especially over the last year.

I’d open up the social media apps to post something, but instantly I’d end up getting distracted by the outrageousness in the newsfeeds.

I became addicted to the endless scroll. You know what I’m talking about. That non-stop conveyer belt of sweet information that rewards the pleasure centers of the ever hungry human brain.

Oh look, what’s this political car wreck today? There’s an absurd story I’ve got to read. That guy said that?! What’s trending? Is that fucking giraffe giving birth yet?

I’ve been consuming more than creating more.

And when I write and post something, I feel like I’m trying to squeeze my words on the same notepad millions of others are using at the same time.

Digital cholesterol has clogged my mind, in a way, and I can almost feel it’s hard for me to write again like I used to.

I can’t let that happen. I miss that piece of me.

So here I am again.

This new site, www.jeremy.press, will be my refuge from the distraction of social media – a way for me to get back to what I miss.

I know it may seem absurd to launch a new site while admitting a potential social media addiction, but I believe what we consume online is just as important as our own food diets.

The human mind is inherently hungry and this is my way to run on the track rather than sit in the cafeteria for seconds.

We are what we read.

We are what we write.

I hope to post here at least once a week.

So thanks for reading.

(Man, I miss writing that.)