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 December 8, 2011

Rooney 1
I think I look good in the snow!

Rooney 2
In grass too!

See - ugly ducklings can turn into
Beautiful Swans!!

My sleep number is a 35!
Spoiled ... Nah!
Not afraid to "speak" my mind!

These "kids" may be King of the Hill ...
but, I AM Queen of the place!

Rooney 8
On the Trail.

I REALLY hope ya'll enjoy!
I think this is good for Dad!

This Management Thing

By Rooney

Wow!  These kids are hard enough to control!  But when dad gets out in his shop and starts whipping them up into a frenzy!!  Dang it!!!!

I’m not really sure that I ever signed up for this management thing.  I didn’t really want to go see that boy dog in the first place – mom took me, and DAD LET HER!  Then – SHE TOOK ME BACK AGAIN A FEW YEARS LATER!!  The only good thing out of that whole deal is that they only kept four of the little brats (I had 7 in the first litter and 8 in the second!)!  So, it could’ve been worse!

… No, I really do love and appreciate them (and I’ve mostly forgiven mom – not dad though!).  I know that MOST of them are trying, and we're all shooting for the same goals.  It’s just that when one or two get temporarily off track ….Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr Rooooof!!

Gall:  She’s too timid to advise me when I’m making the wrong decisions.  She is my steadfast, loyal, top performer.  I can count on her – she’ll be there, or will die trying.  Unfortunately, I don’t give her the acknowledgement that she deserves.  She is STILL kicking rabbit @$$ - but she’s starting to get some years on her and she’ll probably burn out before too long (if she hasn’t already!).

Patches:  She’s still extremely optimistic and loving – always will be – regardless of what I do (or don’t do).  She’ll never be a top performer, she’s happy with the Status Quo – but she’ll always back my plan.

Bubba:  Do I even need to tell you?   He’s my number one buddy!  He’s there!  He’s got my back – no questions!  Problem is – like Patches – he will follow me off the pier.  He doesn’t question me at all.

Annie:  ahhhh, Miss Annie!  She is my problem child.  BUT, she is starting to become a top producer, like Gall.  She is opinionated and a little bitter about some of my decisions.  She continues to perform very well, but doesn’t hesitate to question my decisions or protocol when she believes that it adversely impacts her territory or the League … er, I mean Team!  Ordinarily, this isn’t a problem – but sometimes she forgets that I am “THE BOSS” and I think that I don’t want any disagreement.[i]  There might be a problem with this thought?!!  Hmmmm.

So, as manager of this League … dang it, Team, I have to figure out what to do with my folks.  This is what I came up with:

Gall:  Support her the best that I can.  Give her praise IN PUBLIC (I noticed that when I bragged on her RIGHT IN FRONT of the others – she perked up even more!  I heard dad mentioning that some of his colleagues received some sort of additional, special authority thingy or something like that, but that his management didn’t make any kind of announcement or anything – kind of like when they give out awards – I guess because they didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings?!  Dad said that this really cheapened the acknowledgment since it wasn’t acknowledged – IT’S A SECRET ACKNOWLEDGEMENT!  WOOO HOOO, special!)  Anyway, to reward Gall’s dedication and hard work, and to encourage her to continue to perform for the whole benefit of the Team (see I said it PC that time – guess I am a PC BC!  Ha!!  That was some kind of humor!) – I’ll acknowledge her accomplishments IN PUBLIC in an attempt to encourage future behavior.

Patches and Bubba:  I know that they have my back.  And, I’ve got theirs.  I’ll, of course, encourage that attitude and hope that it “goes viral” (Dad shouldn’t leave his computer connected to the internet over night – I have learned all sorts of things!)  I’ll open communication even further to ALL in hopes that Patches, Bubba, and the rest believe that they can dissent with me without having their Milk Bones withheld – after all, it’s for the Team (see I did it right??!! again!)  The trick, for me, is to allow and encourage dissent and discussion.  Also, since Bubba IS my favorite, I’ll have to make doubly sure that he doesn’t keep getting the preferential treatment that he has become accustomed to.  He’ll just have to understand that he’ll have to earn his keep and share in the cuts with the rest of his peers.

Annie:  How do I make amends?  Should I make amends? … Well, of course I should!  She’s got potential!  Yeah ok, I’ve kind of messed her around.  She was holding her own (actually doing better than some, even with less resources) – I think I’ll take the same thoughts that I had for Gall and apply that to Annie as well.  I’ll also try and adjust my limited resources to give her a commensurate share so she can complete her job without the personal sacrifices that she has been making that the others haven’t.  I am really ashamed that I have treated her so poorly while she has been doing a pretty good job overall – which, after all, makes me look good!

Ahh, you know – maybe this management thing isn’t really so hard after all.  I mean, heck, just use a little common sense, remember what you learned in Sunday School, and don’t be so danged concerned with the PC stuff!  Our favorites, and our loved ones, are our favorites and our loved ones – but work is work, and personal is personal.  I guess if I can’t keep that straight in my mind, I ought to just ease on out and let someone else run this show.  I reckon that’s what a real leader would do.




I am the one that helps dad with his quotes – and there are SO MANY good quotes on leadership and management – I wanted to share a few of “our” favorites here:


Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.

Harold Geneen, Chairman, ITT Corp.


Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

Peter Drucker (1909 - 2005)


Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary.

Margaret Cousins


And my personal favorites (I have two) …


No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversations as a dog does.

Christopher Morley (1890 - 1957)


Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.

Ann Landers



[i]  Disagreeing with other people, without taking a body count or courting disaster, is something most people try to avoid as much as possible. Nevertheless, we recognize that we can’t always agree with everything that comes our way – even if it comes from the boss. Many of us think that disagreement with the boss is one of those career-limiting moves to be avoided as all costs. Think again.

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