Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Jun 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 LOVE to ride in the car with Mom. When she even thinks about going somewhere I can tell because she goes into the bathroom and fixes her hair and puts on different shoes. When she picks up her purse, it’s like my dream comes true. We go off down the road feeling good until I see a dog or someone walking along beside the road. Then I wag my tail like crazy and jump up on the window and yap, “Hi! Hi! Hi!” to them. I think it’s nice to be friendly and share the joy, but Mom doesn’t think so. She keeps telling me to be quiet, and she isn’t very polite about it. What am I doing wrong? How can I get her to enjoy riding in the car with me?

Thank you,

Li’l Greeter


Dear Greeter,

I like your attitude. Have a lot of fun and share it with others. I think it may be the noise that bothers humans. They don’t seem to like us barking at home, either. I keep a sharp eye on everything along the road, but I don’t ever bark at things. It seems sort of like the TV. You see things but then they go away and you see new things. I have to admit I did bark at something once. Boss stopped beside a field with a lot of VERY big, thick animals. One of them came right up to the fence and stared at me. Its big round ears stuck out to the sides, and its eyes were enormous. I don’t like to be stared at by anyone. Except when Boss and I get lovey-eyed. This thing didn’t even blink and it was so big, it freaked me out, so I lunged at the window and yelled at it. Boss understood. She apologized to me and drove away.

I don’t normally bark in the car, but I get very unhappy and whine and fuss. She gets impatient with me and tells me to hush. Once she even grabbed my muzzle and held it shut. She hasn’t done that again because it made me cry even more. So I trained her to give me treats.

Does your Mom give you treats? See if you can beg treats in the car. You are going to have to stop yapping so she’s in a generous mood. Stare at her with hungry eyes. Lick your lips, maybe even drool a little. If she doesn’t get the hint, sniff around and make a starved little whine. DO NOT YAP at this point. She won’t think of treats if she’s mad. Keep fussing for food and eventually she may get the idea and give you a treat. It takes a lot of patient persistence to train a human. When she finally obeys, reward her by sitting quietly. No yapping for several minutes.

You can do it! You can greet things as you drive along, and get lots of treats, too! All you have to do is sit quietly for a couple of minutes after each treat. Boss is so well trained that she keeps a jar of treats, so she can feed me as we drive.


Happy motoring, Li’l Greeter!