Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Dec 30, 2016

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 do,; but I refer to my human, tongue in cheek, as Boss.  Much as I love my human, I admit she has many of the same odd notions as most humans, so I can relate to other pet dogs with problem humans.  Send your questions to Downeast Dog News!  If I can’t help, at least I can offer sympathy, and we can have some fun talking about our amazing humans.  Bammy, PO Box 135, Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:
Dear Bammy,
I am completely confused about petting and patting.  Everyone likes to pat me on top of my head.  I can’t help blinking and flinching a little bit, but they just don’t get it.  How would they like it if I patted them on the top of their heads?

I don’t know how Mom can bear to go away without me, but she does – almost every day.  When she comes home, I really need to lick her face, but she just scolds me.  And why does Mom like to pet me all the time, but she pushes me away when I pet her?  Sometimes I paw her to remind her how much I love her.  But she might even yell, “Ouch!  No!” and attack me with those bad, bitey toenail clippers.  I paw her lots to tell her how sorry I am, and she gets even more grumpy and pushes me away.  How can she do that when I love her so much?

Dear Goldie-love,
You are breaking my heart!  I bet you are a Golden Retriever who just lives for loving attention.  But I’m sorry to tell you that I have a little bit of sympathy for your human.  My best dog friend is a Labrador-Golden Retriever cross.  I love her dearly, but she pesters me a lot.  She sometimes brings a tug toy for a good game, but mostly she paws at me and walks around me so close that I can’t think about anything else.  I would never think of growling at her.  I just get up and move away.  I lick her nose to show I love her, and I like to lie near her, but let’s not overdo it!

Aren’t humans weird about greeting?  You want so much to get close to their wonderful faces that you put your front feet up on them.  You never know. They may pet you nicely or they may knock you over backwards with their knees or step on your toes.  Even your own humans who love you may do that!  Of course, then you have to jump up again to apologize.  Remember, my readers: humans do not think like dogs!

Have you noticed that there are some humans who turn their backs on you when you want to pet them?  How rude!  I used to jump up on Boss, but she kept turning her back, so I had to wait while she did all that stuff like putting things down and taking off her boots before she would lean over and pet me.  Her loss!  Sometimes I see a dog with her front feet up on her human—all the love in her eyes, and the human gently rubbing the dog’s ears while talking to her.  I can’t imagine why Boss and other humans reject that!  I know of a trick a golden retriever thought up to show his disapproval.  He is a really big dog, but I think it would work for medium sized dogs, too.  If a human rudely turns his back to him, he just pretends he is smelling under his tail, but then he gives a good, strong shove!  It always makes the human laugh and the human usually pets him, too!
Here’s to nose power!