Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Mar 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:


This is a letter to my pen-pal Eddie Jack Russell Terrier.

Dear Eddie,

I haven’t heard from you for a while. I hope city life in the winter isn’t too boring. There’s always a lot going on around here. You might say it’s always hunting season. It’s not easy, but I am usually able to coax Boss out for a daily walk. The snow hasn’t been too bad this winter. You know, as a southern gentleman, it’s not my favorite thing. My pack-mate Pookah loves it. Can you imagine lying down in cold snow, rolling onto your back and squirming around? I roll on things that smell good, but snow just smells cold. What’s the point?

Yesterday I went hunting. I smelled mouse and dashed to the composted manure pile. I kept pulling pieces of tarp off the pile, but I couldn’t get back fast enough to catch the mouse. I often give up on chasing mice, but when I can actually see one …! Eventually, I caught it. Boss didn’t seem to be impressed and even grumbled about my tearing the tarp. She usually likes me to catch mice. Why not this time?

I made another catch that Boss likes a lot. She named it “Antler;” and I love it so much that I learned its name in one day! We were walking in the snow in a wonderful place where there are lots of wild smells. Sometimes I give a partridge or rabbit a little run, but I can’t catch those, so it’s just the principle of the thing. This trophy is not really an animal, but it smells like one. I smelled a deer under the snow, so I dug it up. It smells like a deer, but it just looks like a stick with branches, and it’s harder and heavier than any stick could be. Really hard to pick up and carry.

I didn’t dare put it down where someone else might get it. I started home without waiting for Boss. She kept calling me, and she sounded so worried that I went back to show her what I had. She said I was good, so I ran home and put Antler on the doorstep where I thought it would be safe. Then I went back to walk with Boss and make sure she got home okay. She got all lovey, but what did she expect? Of course, I wouldn’t leave her alone out in the woods!

She doesn’t usually let me keep my trophies, but she let me bring this one right in on the rug, and sometimes she even plays with it herself. I haven’t seen her chew on it, but she holds it in her paws and looks at it.

Well, Eddie, write me when you have time. How’s your new cave? Have you kept the raccoons away from the dumpster? Barked at any unusual traffic lately? I’d love to know how you and your two and four footed packmates are getting along.

Keep on barking,