The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted March 1, 2014

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I'm generally a prety mellow girl ...

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Me and my big sister ...
I wonder who will become Matriarch?
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I Was Just Picking On Her …

By Annie


But dad and mom-D called it bullying!!??  I mean … we’re sisters, so it can’t be bullying, can it?  I really just started playing, and she started playing back … then, like what sometimes happens, one of us (I can’t remember which one – but kinda I think it was her) pushed a little too far, which got the other one agitated – then it just kinda escalated.  I don’t think that either one of us meant to start scrapping, but it happened.  That, of course, got everyone else’s attention – and then, before you knew it … they got involved.  As dad was ‘splaining this to me, he called it a “mob” mentality.  Of course, all of this happened when dad and mom-D were gone – I can’t remember how long it went on or what role that any of us really played in the whole affair … but I do believe that if we were attacking any buppy except Ms. Gall that we probably would have killed her!  While she did draw some blood on me (no one except us two really got hurt – except for Bubba’s feelings!) Gall did have to go see Dr. Fish and receive treatment.  Mom-D says that she should have gotten stiches on that one gash over her right eye (dad says that will just be a character scar – it goes right along with the rattlesnake bite!).  I guess it really was pretty bad – I mean she had to take antibiotic pills and had crepitus[i] and everything!  I didn’t mean to do it – and I didn’t expect anyone else to jump in on it either … none of us are sure why we did ... maybe after I started it, Gall was about to finish it, and the rest of the crew jumped in to stop it … HECK, I don’t know!  Anyway, dad and mom-D have expressed their displeasure at all of us – I now get put in the backyard (usually with Bubba) when they leave for their other work and dad has made me research and write this article.


Well, as all of you know – bullying has received increased attention in the news and social media.  In my interviews with folks for this article, I have discovered that despite all of the recent increased media coverage – bullying is not a new thing.  Goodness gracious, it seems that bullying has been around for about as long as living things have been on this ol’ world!  Bullying is defined as the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively to impose domination over others.  One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power.  Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets.  If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.  "Targets" of bullying are also sometimes referred to as "victims" of bullying.


Bullying consists of four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber.  It ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more "lieutenants" who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities.  Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse.  A bullying culture can develop in any context in which individuals interact with each other.  This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods.  In a 2012 study of male adolescent football players, "the strongest predictor was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player's life would approve of the bullying behavior".


It has been said that people bully others because they have a certain imbalance in their psyche that can only be fixed when they bully a powerless victim.  A person might become a bully in order to feel worthy.  By devaluing the target the bully feels superior and so maintains his self-worth and protects his ego.  While I whole heartedly agree that bullying is wrong and bad – I have to imagine that most everyone is guilty, at least at some level, of bullying someone else.  Sometimes it might just have been in jest – you know, like poking fun at someone.  Sometimes it might have been for pretty selfish reasons – that is, to get what YOU want, at the expense of someone weaker.  Some folks tell me of the “olden days” when bullying was sorta expected and sometimes even encouraged by the kids parents on their own kids!!!  But, nowadays, bullying is certainly a problem that we need to rectify and cease to tolerate!  Bullying statistics released in 2010 are showing that bullying is still a problem among children and teens, but is taking on a different approach with cyberbullying becoming more and more rampant in school and after school among teens and children.  Social networking has provided an entirely new environment for bullying to take place.  According to bullying statistics 2010, there are about 2.7 million students being bullied each year by about 2.1 students taking on the role of the bully.[ii] 


More statistics from the same source reveal even more concerning information:  Suicide continues to be one of the leading causes of death among children under the age of 14.  Bullycide is a term used to describe suicide as the result of bullying.  Bullying statistics from 2010 are reporting that there is a strong connection between bullying, being bullied and suicide, according to a new study from the Yale School of Medicine.  Suicide rates are continuing to grow among adolescents, and have grown more than 50 percent in the past 30 years. 


Bullying can include various types of behavior from physical attacks, to destroying one's personal property or clothing, verbal abuse, starting rumors, name calling, verbal attacks online as well as other forms of cyberbullying.  For teens and children who feel they are being bullied, it is important to address the matter with a parent or teacher right away.  It may feel like you are telling on someone for doing something wrong, and that admission might get you in trouble with the bully later.  However, this is not the case.  In the majority of cases when a bully is reported, the bullying stops because the bully is faced with dire repercussions or they are sent away to a juvenile detention center.  If you see bullying occur, it is just as important to take efforts to stop it or to tell a trusted adult about the situation.  There are many ways to try and prevent bullying from getting worse and by reporting incidents, you can help cut down on future cases of bullying involving other victims.  Maintaining a strong sense of self and good overall self-esteem is another way to ensure you won't be a victim of bullying attacks since bullies generally only prey on those they feel are weaker than them.  


CONCLUSION – Dad and mom-D are sorta thinking that it might be because Gall and I are cycling at the same time.  Hmmm, maybe so!  We are both a little more irritated and moody every six to eight months!  Of course, mom-D HAS THE ANSWER!!!  Since Gall is so old and because I had that dreaded intestinal surgery a while back - neither one of us should have puppies, so, on December 10, 2013, she took both of us to Dr. Fish to take care of that concern permanently.  Maybe this will allow us to become kinder, gentler pups and be the beginning of the end of OUR bullying problem.






[i] The medical term for air under the skin is Subcutaneous emphysema or crepitus. This often happens when air enters through a wound! - See more at: 






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