Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Aug 01, 2019

I am a Carolina Dog, a breed that long ago owned Native American people. We were designed by natural selection to be so intelligent and physically superior that we survived without human help. My great-grandfather was caught from the wild. I can offer advice based on the natural instincts and attributes of wild dogs. In addition, my adoptive person and I have had lots of training classes and other experiences. Some humans call themselves Mom or Dad of their dog, but I refer to my human, tongue in cheek, as Boss. Much as I love her, I admit she has many of the same odd notions as most humans, so I can relate to other dogs with problem humans. If I can’t help, at least I can offer sympathy, and we can have some fun talking about our amazing humans. Please send your questions! N. Holmes, 280 Pond Rd., Newcastle, ME 04553, or email: askbammy@tidewater.


Dear Bammy,

The awfullest thing happened to me when I was just patrolling my own yard. The garbage can usually smells like old coffee and moldy stuff – not worth a second sniff. But early this morning I smelled an animal, but nobody I’ve ever met. I sneaked around behind the garbage can and saw a pointy little black face looking at me. It was sort of like a cat, but it sure didn’t smell like one. Being a friendly sort of dog, I did a play bow to it. It stamped its front feet and glared at me. So I ran around the garbage can the other way to see the back end of it. It had a big black and white tail raised up over its back, and it squirted in my face just like Dad’s garden hose. Only it WASN’T WATER. Baaad! I fell over backwards and scooted away. I couldn’t open my eyes, and the smell made me choke and gag. I whined and rolled on the grass and pawed at my eyes until I could see a little bit. Then I ran up to the house and barked hard at the door. Dad let me in, but he immediately started yelling at me to get out!!

He brought out a pail of water that smelled pretty bad of something else and started pouring it on me. I ran away, of course, and I saw that he’d left the house door open a little. He yelled at me, but I zipped in and started rolling on the rug. He chased me around while I rubbed and rolled on everything I could reach. He was really mad, but he stopped yelling. He sweet talked me outdoors again and bathed me over and over with the warm odd-smelling water. My eyes felt better, and we calmed down. The whole house still smells awful, and Mom isn’t speaking to me.

Now I know that smell is a black and white animal about the size of a cat, and it can shoot the world’s worst stuff into a dog’s face. Seems as if Dad was saying “Skunk.” Do you know anything about skunk, Bammy? How can I kill it or chase it away?


Dad’s Stinky Buddy


Dear Buddy,

No, no, no! Stay away from that animal! When we smell it, Boss yells, “Look out! Skunk!” I know that “look out!” means that she’s going to trip over me or something is about to crash down on me. The first skunk I saw was outside an open window at night. Phew! I barked and Boss came to look. She sounded really scared when she said “Skunk! Look out!” and we ran away from the window. So when you smell that smell, just shut your nose and look somewhere else. Don’t even look at it! I never run away, of course. I just pretend I was planning to go somewhere else anyway.

Mind over nose, Buddy!