Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Jun 01, 2017

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 pet 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! Bammy, 280 Pond Rd. Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:


Dear Bammy,

My Mom and I have a really bad difference of opinion. We both love going for walks in the woods and fields. When she knows her way around, she takes the leash off, so I don’t have to take care of her. Then I can run all around and sniff. Most times we go for a walk, I find something deliciously, irresistibly aromatic to roll in, and she gets really annoyed with me. Wild animals don’t use toilets, so their scat is just lying there ready for use. My favorites are muskrat and turkey.

When I flop over and start rolling, Mom yells and runs at me, or even throws little sticks at me! Then the rest of the walk, when I run to her to share my joy, she scowls and turns her head away. The worst is when we get home she makes me stay outside even if it’s cold while she gets a pail of warm water and some bad smelling soap and half drowns me. All the while, she’s scolding, “Do you actually think you smell nice? Keep your nose up! Do you want soap in your eyes? Why do you do that? You don’t really believe it helps you sneak up on rabbits!”

I love my Mom, but why does she have this absurd reaction to my perfectly normal enjoyment?

Sweet Pete


Dear Pete,

Perfume, or cologne if you prefer, is one of my very favorite things! I usually find some musky delight on our daily walks. I like muskrat, too - or even beaver if I can find it. Little bird droppings and dead earthworms can be quite intense, but the very best is fresh deer hunter. Some hunters bury their scat like a cat, but a lot of them just turn into wild animals. Dead things are nice, too. A friend of mine found a porcupine so soft that the quills weren’t sharp anymore. I guess she had the last laugh, proudly wearing perfumed porcupine quills on her shoulders!

I’m sorry to say, Boss is obnoxious about it, too, though she doesn’t get physical trying to stop me. That’s partly because I only roll in something when she is at a distance. Before she can get to me, I skip away wearing my latest delight. If your “Mom” gets too aggressive, I suggest that you run home and cower on the doorstep. That way you not only spoil her walk, but it’s hard for them to stay mad when they are so glad to find us safe. And, of course, cowering is good – especially if you roll your eyes up and whimper a little. (Just for the record, I never cower! But I have a pretty effective way of laying my elegant ears down along my neck and making my beautiful brown eyes tragic and reproachful.)

As for the bath, I don’t know any way to avoid it. We are not going to be allowed in the house wearing our perfume, so the sooner we let them wash it off, the sooner we can come in. If you come up with a solution, please let us know!

Keep on rollin’ … ,