Last night we did our anti-bullying presentation at the Eaton County Fair in Charlotte, Michigan. We were asked to come and speak, after another speaker had cancelled. The 4-H Leader had called me saying she liked our program because we used therapy dogs and it would tie in with working with animals as well as anti-bullying–a theme they have working with since the first of the year.
We brought two of our dogs, Snickers and Baby Ruth, and shared both of their stories. Snickers was a runaway abused dog that healed everyone in our family and has went on to take that healing to others. Baby Ruth was our “bully dog” and was really hard to train. At a year and a half old because she wouldn’t come when called and she bolted out of our house, she ran into the path of an oncoming car and was hit. I freaked. Thankfully she was okay. I wanted to get rid of her, since I couldn’t train her, but I kept her, and worked with her even harder. Today, she’s trained, she comes when I call her, and she doesn’t bolt out the door, bark crazily, or chew on things. She’s not a bully anymore–Bullies can change. They can be better with the right help.
Last night in our anti-bullying rally, I also shared my son, Jeremiah’s story. He was bullied severely. He was threatened in high school and nearly ended his life. At the end of the presentation a young man came up to me and confessed that he was my son’s bully from school–that he was the one who threatened his life–and that he was very sorry and didn’t believe he had hurt him or us so much. Nothing meant more to me, than hearing those words. I gave him a huge hug and let him know that he was loved and forgiven.
Our workshops our geared to bring CHANGE and healing to victims, bystanders, and bullies, not to entertain a crowd or to bring in money. After doing careful research I learned that bullying and bullycide have actually increased since our laws have passed instead of decreasing. There were 1 out of 10 students that were bullied in 2010. Now there are 1 in 4. There were 1 in 10 who bullied, now there are 1 in 5.
Bullying and bullycide need to stop. Help us bring the change to your school, your community, your work place, your church, and your next event.