Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Oct 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,

There are the strangest things going on. I’m a West Highland Terrier, so I’m really brave; but I hardly dare go outdoors. First the hugest truck backed into my yard. It wasn’t just huge the long way, it grew upwards after it was parked. Way up into the trees. Then a man climbed up it and chain-sawed off branches that came crashing down. I hid behind Mom! A smaller truck came, too, and lots of strange men walked around in my yard. That truck sat there for hours rumbling and barooming and clanking, and once in a while, it let off a hiss that made me spin away as if I’d been hit in the face. I wanted to hide indoors, but Mom wanted to sit on the steps and watch, and of course, I had to stay to take care of her. When it was really loud, she held her hands over my ears. That made the men laugh. Not funny! When they were done with the big truck, they made a sort of fire hydrant, but not red, on the lawn. A hose came out of it and made water like a brook run down the lawn. What in the world??

Thank goodness, they all went away before night. A few days later another truck came and brought a different machine that dug a huge long hole from the hydrant thing to my house. More strange men. Then one of the men went up and down my cellar stairs a lot carrying things and making noises where I couldn’t see. I’m really friendly, but that made my hair stand up, and I growled.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dad got the longest green snake I ever saw. I wanted to smell it, but every time Dad moved it, I jumped back. Dad and Mom thought I was really funny, but I didn’t. The last thing – can you believe this?? Dad put a thing on the end of the snake in the garden. Of course I had to sniff what it was; and it blasted water in my face! I’m thinking about running away. Do you think I should?


Wet Westie


Dear Westie,

No, Westie. Running away would be so lonely and scary. They must care about you, or they would have just shut you in the house by yourself. I hope your Dad didn’t make the snake spit in your face on purpose. But don’t humans do the weirdest things?! They play with things that are not quite animals, but they move and make noise. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a truck like the one at your house. That must have been terrifying. Boss has quite a few toys that make noise and move. One of the worst makes a lot of noise while she pushes a sort of snake thing attached to it around on the floor. She goes all over the house with it, so there’s no place for me to hide. I’ve never seen one of their toys dig a big hole. Do you think they were trying to dig out a woodchuck? I bet you are a really good digger, Westie. Don’t you wish you could dig such a big hole?

When you are being cautious about something like that snake, I recommend pretending that you are just playing. Jump around and bark. They are laughing anyway, so they might as well laugh with you as at you. Boss has a long green snake, too, and she puts things on the end of it that make rain. So far, it hasn’t made thunder. Sometimes it hisses and spits before it rains, so I just stay out of the way when she plays with it. I hope they didn’t make it squirt in your face on purpose. But even if they did, don’t run away. I bet your humans love you, and It could be a lot worse somewhere else.


Keep your tail up, Westie!