As we blogged about recently, we are now accepting calls for advice from our readers, which we (Spunky, Dr. Richards, and pals) will do our best to answer! The latest request for our wise counsel follows, along with our response:
I am a 14-year-old girl and I’m overweight. I [have] tried everything I know to slim down, but every diet fails. The kids at school taunt and bully me all the time. I have no friends. I don’t hate school, but I hate going to school. I fake being sick so I can stay home, but my mom is getting suspicious. What can I do? – Porky in Pittsburgh
Dear Miss in Pittsburgh,
First, I refuse to call you “Porky.” Remember, if you call yourself that then you’re helping the bullies win! Never let a bully control your life. Here’s what I want you to do. Sit down somewhere that you feel very safe, get settled and calm, and think of three positive things about yourself and then two things you would like to change about yourself. Be as honest as you can. They can be small quiet things that only you know about yourself. The fact that you like to learn (you said you don’t mind going to school) I would say is an important one.
Now, I want you to send me that list. I won’t show it to anyone — well, maybe Fearless, if you say that’s okay. You can use our contact page to send me a private email. Once I see your list, we can work on a plan of action just for you. Okay?
Remember: Never ever give up on yourself.
We dogs have to face bullies all the time. As a terrier, it is very hard for me to back down, so, I must be realistic. If some mean, angry dog is a serious threat to my physical well-being, then I go find help very fast. I’m stubborn, but not stupid. However, if my observations tell me he’s just a growler who likes to show off in front of his buddies, then I look straight at him and I pretend he is a silly puppy acting up (you can conjure up a horse’s ass if it helps you). Then, I say with all the indifference I can muster, “Okay, hotshot, you can growl. Who cares?” Never ignore a bully completely — it tends to make them growl more. But if they cannot get a rise out of you, sooner or later they get bored and will move on to someone else. However, I try real hard not to show my fear or my anger and I never growl back. I want that dopey dog to see I don’t care what he has to say. It doesn’t bother me one little bit.
There is a great website called Bullystoppers. I think they give good advice about how to handle bullying. Check out their webpage: http://www.bullystoppers.com/advice.html
Never give up. By the time we are through, you could become an honorary terrier-mutt!
If you have a problem, please submit it via the comment form below, or send us an email via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!
Who is Spunky?
Spunky is a 12-year-old terrier mutt and the protagonist of the Spunky Murder Mystery series, a series of cozy mysteries for dog and cat lovers, written by author Holly Lewitas. Titles include The Nose Knows, The Nose Sees All, and An Army of Noses.
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