The connections you build are real

The connections you build are real

Yesterday I shared the loss of our German Shepherd, Teddy. So many friends stopped by to comment and as a family, we have read through them and been able to talk more about the pain. And there were many more that stopped by on my Facebook page or on Design Resumes Facebook page.

Sometimes you read articles like this one by Ari Herzog where he wonders if you can build real connections or real friends through social media. I think Ari is mostly concerned that FB uses the term friend when he doesn’t think that everyone you connect with on FB is really a friend.

Yesterday was another example to me though of how caring people are and how you can build relationships through social media. I did talk to several friends on the phone yesterday and even on Friday, Teddy’s last day, but the majority of my conversations were on FB or my blog.

I made myself do all kinds of work yesterday. I caught up on the laundry, scrubbed the bathroom floor, scrubbed the stairs, and shoveled snow. I made meatballs from scratch even though it ended up that no one came home to eat them but me.

The gathering of young people that are usually here stayed away, not ready to face the house without Teddy. I couldn’t focus on writing resumes yet though I know I will get going soon because even that is therapeutic, keeping to a routine.

Connections from social media are global

Between all of that, I kept wandering back to the computer and saw more and more messages coming in from friends all over the world. Jim Connolly from the UK, Gee Backhouse from France, Reeta Luthra from Dubai, and so many more from all over the United States and elsewhere stopped by to share their thoughts. Every one of their comments was welcome.

Clients left notes and though many don’t use social media the way I do, I know as the news gets out, they too will share their thoughts.

How you build connections

My business has always had that face-to-face model and many of my clients got to know Teddy. He sniffed them and let them pet him. I had a standard line when I concluded a call to set an appointment: “Our dog, Teddy, a German Shepherd, will answer the door. He takes his job seriously but he is very friendly. If you look down, you will see his tail wagging.”

Even my virtual clients got a taste of Teddy because they could hear him barking or I would need to interrupt a long call to take him outside. I even finalized some client calls on our walks. Teddy got used to me being on the phone part of our walks. He never cared that he didn’t have my undivided attention. He knew that there were many walks where it was just him and me and sometimes the camera.

I know I will never forget all the impact Teddy had on our life. His presence interwove with my journey on social media. I am very glad for all of you that stopped to share your concern and let me know I am not alone in the loss of a pet who was more of a family member.


  1. gee backhouse on January 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Hi Julie,
    You’re right, you’re not alone. I’m so glad to have met you. You’re fun to tweet with, write amazing posts and, above all, are such a good person. If we lived closer I’d have insisted on sharing those meatballs you made!
    Warmest wishes from me and a lick and a wag from Jasper 😉

  2. ROBERT P. POINDEXTER on January 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    My heart goes out to you and your family ,Julie.These four-legged entities who never speak a word impact us in ways that I’m not even sure they fully understand. Celebrate his life as you mourn his loss. He looked like a real sweetheart in the picture.

    • Julie Walraven on January 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm

      That was the first picture that I took with my camera and the one my camera always went back to when I went backwards instead of forward. He was a precious dog with talents and intelligence that was simply amazing. From playing the piano, which started as him trying to get my attention when he wasn’t using the stairs to later playing what even sounded like a song with his nose to a thousand other things that amazed us daily. We will miss him forever.

  3. Julie Walraven on January 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Henway, since you have been visiting my blog for months in disguise, it is hard to get to know you. But if you read back on the Teddy post, you will realize how many of the people that responded have solid connections with me. Rob above, is the husband of a friend and colleague that I have known for years virtually and finally met in person in New Orleans. Though he has not met me in person, his wife, Jacqui and I have and we have also talked on Skype since as have many of my friends on the other post. I often make a full connection with others. Gee, also above, shares my love for dogs, cooking, and is as thoughtful and caring as I could wish for in a friend. We met through our blogs and Twitter but we also have Skyped in the past and will again. Bonds can be built over miles and through short interactions.

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