Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Jan 01, 2018

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 humans. My great-grandfather was caught from the wild. I can offer advice based on the natural instincts and abilities of wild dogs. My human and I have had lots of training classes and other experiences. Some humans call themselves Mom or Dad of their dog, but I call my human, tongue in cheek, 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 fun talking about our amazing humans. Please send your questions! Bammy, 280 Pond Rd. Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:


Dear Bammy,

I am a Corgi with a fine, thick coat. But my mom insists on putting a raincoat on me when it’s wet out. I HATE it! She pulls it on over my head, and it binds my front legs and tries to choke me when I lower my head to sniff, which, of course, I have to do most of the time.

I admit I don’t like to go out in the rain, but isn’t that just common sense? Couldn’t we wait instead of getting all fussy with clothes? And if we must go out, does she think I’ll melt? My ancestors were sturdy Welsh herding dogs. Mom accuses me of being opinionated and stubborn, but when you are right, you are right!

Can you help me avoid this shameful raincoat?

Wet Dog


Dear Wet Dog,

I was all for you until I saw your nick-name. I don’t know how to say this delicately, but is it possible that you have more of an odor when you are wet? My coat naturally sheds dirt, so most of the time I smell good. But when I’m wet, Boss sometimes says, “Phew! You smell like a wet dog!” I claim a better nose than any human, and I know I don’t smell bad, just a little doggy, but humans do object to our natural smell. Amazing, considering how much they smell!

Maybe she thinks she’s doing you a favor, putting a raincoat on you. I have noticed that most humans hate getting wet from rain. Isn’t that odd when they get themselves soaked in the bathroom almost every day?

I think humans fail to notice how elegant our fur system is. When Boss and I get up, I want to go right outdoors and run back in for breakfast. Poor Boss has almost no fur at all, so first she takes off the furs she sleeps in and then puts on the most amazing variety of furs - from little ones on her feet to layers of furs on her body. Only her face and hands stay bare. Wouldn’t you think an animal that can make machines that keep the house warm could figure something better?

In summer, my fur is thin and cool; in winter I grow a lot of wool with long hairs over it to shed the rain. Summer or winter, I can adjust my fur by sleeking it down to be cooler or fluffing up for warmth, but my face and ears are always short haired, and that’s where the rain bothers me. When I stick my head out the door on a rainy day, I lower my ears like sheep-ears so the rain can’t get it. Then I back up, fast, hoping Boss will let me stay in for a while. After I do that a few times, she so rudely (but gently, thank you) pushes me out the door.

You have my full sympathy, Wet Dog. And there is something you can do to avoid the raincoat - but it may start a fight with your human. If you lie down when you see the raincoat coming, there’s no way she can put it on. Just pull your front legs up under your chin and keep them there. Maybe she’ll understand how much you hate it.

Wishing you happy, raincoat-free walks,