Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Aug 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 Readers: I’d like you to meet my e-mail pal Eddie. He likes to chase things, too, so I wrote him about my latest adventure.


Dear Eddie,

I wonder if you are in Maine yet.

I just have to tell you what I did yesterday. Boss has lots of plants she fusses over. Her asparagus and kale are delicious, but she doesn’t like to share with me. Woodchucks like them, too. She bays like a hound for me when she sees one.

Yesterday I had a big surprise for her! I brought her a woodchuck I’d just caught! She made a wonderful fuss over me and called me “Hector Protector.” I love the way she says that, but I don’t know what it means. Do you?

I wanted to bring it into our den, but she wouldn’t let me. I’m embarrassed to say I fell for her “Trade Game.” Again! She brought a yummy hard-boiled egg in my dish. Every time I tried to bring in the woodchuck, she shoved the dish in front of me and said, “Trade!” What could I do? I dropped my prize and followed the dish into the house. When she let me out later, I trailed her to the garden gate, but there was no strong scent of woodchuck, so I suppose she buried it. I might have done that myself if she hadn’t tricked me out of it. I saw her bury a dead bird I found, so I know humans bury things, too, but I never saw them dig something up again to eat. What a waste!

May you have grand adventures,



Dear Bammy,

My humans have not gone to Maine yet. We have had change in our pack. My grandma Bunny, who lived in the cave underneath ours, used to feed my sister Lulu and me dinner every night. Before bedtime we would go down to her cave for cookies. Grandma Bunny loved it when I turned circles on my hind legs to get a biscuit. Lulu can only sit with her tail straight behind her. Grandma called these behaviors "tricks." After the tricks, I would race around her house looking for her cat, Dexter. He knew how to disappear. I could smell him but never see him.

This winter Grandma stopped feeding us so often, and we didn't always get cookies. The last time we did tricks Grandma didn't even stand up to feed us, but I did my "pirouettes" for her. She seemed very weak, and then one night my human, Susan, picked me up and let me sniff a human body, but Grandma was no longer inside.

We didn't go in Grandma's house very often after that, and Dexter's smell is almost gone. Instead there are chemical smells and humans yelling, "Stay away from the paint!" Do you know what paint is, Bammy? It doesn't smell like anything you would want to eat, but the humans seem fascinated by it.

I sure miss Maine, but my humans say that we can't go until after we've "moved downstairs." I'm not so sure what that means.

I hope we go to Maine soon. Maybe I'll get to meet you. In the meantime, I hunt the big wood bees that fly in our garden. Sometimes opossums and raccoons come by. I cornered a baby one between the fences a few years ago. Whenever I have one treed, the humans come out and drag me back inside. They have no sense of adventure.