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Hounded online by recently allied children

I'm being cyber-bullied, by my children. The Boychild has long been the chief campaigner for animals -not their rights in general, their rights to move in with us. There has been a succession of different live-in creatures, the most recent a dwarf goat, Delilah. But Delilah didn't prove to be the best domestic pet ever, funny enough, so she went to live on a farm. That's a real farm, not a "farm", and she is alive and kicking in Wickla, we have visitation rights.

The Girlchild has campaigned, successfully on occasion, for pets of her own but since her brother's move to Copenhagen she has taken up the role of chief campaigner. She wants a puppy.

I am not an animal person. I have borne the presence of other species in my home in the name of motherhood. Beloved quite likes animals, he is Buddy the mad hound's hero, but as the kids grow we have more independence, I want to go on big trips, animals just make that difficult. Girlette is 14, how long is she going to be hanging around the house to look after a puppy, then dog?

But it seems a campaign against me has been mounted behind my back, online. First I was bombarded with 57 pictures of the same puppy sent by the child sitting beside me on the sofa. Then the one in Denmark set up a chat group where they discuss breeds and benefits interspersed with cute puppy pics - even I am not immune. Before my eyes, they agreed a breed, they knew that agreeing on something would weaken me, then they made me feel complicit in the choosing. They have it all worked out, albeit in a slightly calculating fashion. This chosen breed is short-lived, it will die around the same time as Buddy the mad hound - which just happens to be right around the time the Girlchild will be moving out. Better late than never these children have discovered the power of alliance. Their father just said "when" not "if" re the puppy and your woman pounced, reporting it straight to her brother. I feel, er, hounded.

Sunday Independent