Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

Jul 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,

When I went out last night, it was hot and I saw a firefly. It reminded me of other years when Mom and I drove in the dark to where we heard horrible bangs, and mosquitoes got into the car because the windows were rolled down because it was so hot. It was sort of like a long, scary thunderstorm with no rain. There were funny lights in the sky, kind of like lightening except not very bright, and they drifted down slowly while I just crouched waiting for the next bang. Mom would say, “Oh, isn’t that pretty?” Sometimes there were people around who howled, “Ooo, Aah” when there were lots of slow lights in the sky. What did they think was pretty, Bammy? I don’t get it.

Last night when I saw the firefly, I was afraid Mom would say, “Let’s go see the fireworks!” So, of course, I would have to go because I hate to get left behind. She didn’t say it last night, but I’m scared she will one of these nights. What can I do?

Tender Ears


Dear Tender,

I SO hear you! Boss made me go to “fireworks” once. Thank my happy ears, never again! My ears are very important to me. I can find mice by hearing their little feet pattering, and I can hear the kind of trucks and cars that howl, long before we see their flashing lights go by. (Boss and I like to sing along with them.) But big bangs are very hard on me. I’m not afraid, of course. It’s just something a dog should avoid if possible.

You remind me of the rest of that miserable evening. There were wonderful little children running around carrying twinkling lights. It would have been so much fun to get out and run around with them, but Boss made me stay in the car panting and snapping at mosquitoes and waiting for the next ear-splitting bang. The stand-up parts of my ears are very tall and soft. Boss loves my ears and says they feel like rose petals. And mosquitoes love my ears for dinner. It gives me the nervous yawns to remember it.

But we have Dog-power, Tender Ears! Boss has never made me go to “fireworks” again, and you can probably put an end to it, too. You just have to be such a pest that Mom will leave you home next year. On the night that she took me, I whirled around on the seat chasing mosquitoes, and I jumped back and forth from the front seat to the back and whined and pawed at her. I was so unhappy I didn’t give her a moment’s peace. And it worked.

Of course, you must not beg to go with her. You will have some warning because all day there will be little bangs all over town getting practiced up for the big ones, I guess. At the end of a day like that, with distant bangs and mosquitoes and heat and fireflies, just lie on your bed and refuse to go out with Mom. And whatever you do while she’s gone, don’t do things she doesn’t like. This is definitely NOT the time to see if she has put anything in the wastebaskets for you. Think how safe and peaceful it will be, and doesn’t she always come back?

Be kind to those tender ears,