Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Sep 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 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 Bammy,

I come from a place a long car-ride away, where it’s very hot. In summer, we come to Maine where it’s cool, and there’s water to swim in and woods where I can smell lots of animals. The squirrels are different here. They are small and reddish colored, very fast, and their voices are sort of squeaky. There are also small striped ones that hide in the stone wall. They keep chirping at me while I try to tear down the wall and scare them out by barking. They are pretty dumb to keep chirping. If I start to go away, they call me back.

But what I’m writing about are bigger animals that smell like rats and squirrels, only different. They have very sharp hair that sticks out all over them. The first one I saw, I bravely dashed in to bite it, and those hairs jabbed into my muzzle and stuck there. Yip! I ran back to camp yelping. Mom held me while Dad pulled those things out with pliers. It hurt so much I screamed, but I knew they were helping me, so I held still as much as I could.

The second time I saw one, my hair stood all on end because I remembered how hateful it was and I got really mad and bit it hard. BIG trouble! I’m going to REALLY KILL that thing next time!

What is that animal, Bammy? And how can I kill it when it hurts so much to bite it?

Thank you,

Bloody Nose Pup


Dear Nosy,

When Boss sees one of those things, she yells its name: “NO!-LEAVE-IT-PORCUPINE-NO!” The first one I saw, I circled it and then sniffed it and got those hurty sharp hairs stuck into my snoop. I trusted Boss to help me, but it felt as if she was pulling my nose off! The second time I knew not to touch it. I just sneaked around behind it trying carefully to get a good sniff, and I found out that it can flick its little tail quicker than I can jump away. It stuck two needley hairs in my leg. So now, I just look the other way and trot right by as if it weren’t even there.

That is my advice to you, Nosy. I really don’t know what they are. They smell like animals, but they don’t bite like animals, and I’m sure you can’t kill them by biting because you would get a mouthful of needles again. So don’t even try.