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 April 14, 2016



By Annie


Well, dad says that it’s time for another article from me … I don’t generally have that much to say, to tell you the truth!  I do a whole lot more of just watching and listening and try to keep my speaking (and writing) to a minimum – kinda keeps folks on their toes (and, often times, a girl outta trouble), dontcha know!  I’ve heard dad describe this method as “shut up, listen, and learn” … sounds like a good plan to me!


So, there’s this one song that comes through on dad’s rotation pretty often – it’s called Jalapeno[i] by the Bellamy Brothers (and we have a LOT of Bellamy Brothers tunes around this place!).  These guys are plenty savvy and are really good singer-song writers (they also did Catahoula[ii] and Mexico Came Here[iii]!)  Well, Jalapeno is no exception – it’s a funsy, upbeat song with a pretty dang deep message ….



“Well it seems like more and more were being stifled.
All them colorful words I once used now are wrong.
So before we lose our free speech and our rifles,
Allow me to elaborate in this song.


Life aint nothin' like a bowl of cherries,
There's too little laughter and too much sorrow.
It's more like a jar of jalapenos,
Cause what you do and say today, It don't go away and stay …
It'll just come back and burn your ass tomorrow.”



Hey … how true is that??!!  Especially with this dang ol’ Presidential contest going on (not to mention our own little Peyton Place with our own little local elections!).  We’ve already watched a BUNCH of the debates/arguments out here in the shop – and dad says that there will be plenty more coming!!)


It just gets me to thinking about little ol’ Merritt’s situation – you did know that she only has three legs, didn’t you?  Yep, she’s missing her rear, starboard leg!  Bubba, Gall and I have asked about it – she won’t tell us what happened.  Mom-D and dad asked her foster people, and even called the pound that her foster people rescued her from!  No luck.  But clearly, what she said and did yesterday, has clearly come back to burn her today!!!  That being said, let me remind all of you that her missing appendage is not slowing her down at all in participating in ALL of the activities around this place – and she’s even inventing a few new activities for all of us to perform!!  (Dad says that’s why he keeps that jingly collar on her … kinda like “belling the cat”!)


It just goes to show you that “It is, what it is!”[iv] … but, even more importantly, “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”[v]


Hey, if you’re content wallowing around in self-pity and always trying to blame someone else for all of the “problems” that plague you … Just Go Right Ahead!  I don’t imagine that any of us here can do much to convince you that it probably isn’t quite as bad as you’re making of it.  I also figure that as long as you’re trying to lay all of the blame at someone else’s feet and refuse to take on any of the responsibility (and most likely some of the fault, too) then things will likely NEVER get any better for you … COME ON FOLKS, WE’RE ALL ADULTS HERE!  STEP UP AND TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR WHAT IS YOURS!  If you’ve been dealt some bad cards, all you can do is to play them on through and hope that the next hand is better!


That’s what Ms. Merritt is doing … and it’s working out pretty dang well for her!!!!


Well, that’s all I have to say on this!  Dad says that our articles oughta be a couple of pages long … so I’m just gonna add more quotes!


Just deal with it[vi] … ok??!!







Now for the “Filler”!  Hope you enjoy!!



If you can’t take responsibility for your own well-being, you will never take control over it.

Jennifer Hudson



Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Colin Powell



Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self-respect springs.

Joan Didion



My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we’ll change the world.

Jack Layton



You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

Abraham Lincoln



A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours.  Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart.  He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight.  And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity.  Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.

John Grogan, Marley and Me”



There is only one optimist.  He has been here since man has been on this earth, and that is "man" himself.  If we hadn't had such a magnificent optimism to carry us through all these things, we wouldn't be here.  We have survived it on our optimism.

Edward Steichen



Few things in the world are more powerful than a positive push.  A smile.  A word of optimism and hope.  A "you can do it" when things are tough.

Richard M. DeVos



You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals.  To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.

Marie Curie



We've gotten to the point where everybody's got a right and nobody's got a responsibility.

Newton Minow



To decide, to be at the level of choice, is to take responsibility for your life and to be in control of your life.

Abbie M. Dale





[i] You can watch the video here!


[ii] You betcha I’ve got a link for this one!


[iv] I used to have this positive interpretation of “it is what it is” that was connected to the acceptance of ambiguity and suggestion of a world full of possibilities.  But after pondering the use of the phrase for a while, I realized that there are other interpretations of it.  One article that I read, had a suggestion of its meaning that actually leaves a sick feeling in my gut.  To them, the phrase indicates a resignation; a sense of acceptance of something that just isn’t quite up to par.  This strikes me as sad.


[v] Quote attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.


[vi] To me, "Just deal with it.", strikes a certain down-to-earth common sense note and suggests learning to accept some of the unpleasant givens in one's own physical condition, genetic predisposition, or existential situation.  There is a whole mindfulness tradition that emanates from Buddhist meditation practices having to do with acceptance (it can also emanate from sitting around drinking beer with buddies, and reminding ourselves of all the good things that we have in our lives, as well!).





Here's an alternative version of Jalapenos




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