Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

Happy Tree Day
By Nancy Holmes | Nov 30, 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,

My humans are starting to wrap things in bright paper and ribbons. I want to help, but they won’t let me. I know what’s going to happen because I am an older dog, and I’ve seen it before. They will carry in a tree – a real live tree! I have to smell all the news on it, but they keep tripping over me and trying to send me away while they make it stand up and then hang lots of little things all over it. The little things smell like attic and mice, so I need to inhale all that, too. Then one day the whole family, including me and Skit (he’s my cat), open all the packages at the same time, and the humans keep going, “Oh, thank you! It’s beautiful!”

I LOVE to open packages! My packages have lots of wrappings and maybe a box inside a box, so they are lots of fun to open. I get so excited when I find a new toy! Then they get a package out of the refrigerator. It’s wrapped in lots of brown paper bags that smell exactly like a beef bone! The humans cheer for me while I bite and claw and tear to get it out. MMM-mmm! Mom makes me stay on a towel while I chew it, but that’s okay. It’s SO good! Skit gets little balls and things and a toy that looks like a mouse and smells like dry leaves, but it makes him crazy. He bites it and tears around chasing it and rolls on it until he falls asleep.

So, Bammy, what is this all about? We are all so happy and lovey - why don’t we do it more often?

Party Pup


Dear Party Pup,

That happens at my house, too. Boss’s grown up puppies and other friends who smell like family come with food and packages. I try to score a package while no one is looking, and I check the kitchen counters to see if I can reach anything. It’s pretty good pickings because the humans are all talking at once and putting their paws around each other. But I’M not supposed to put my feet on people. Why not? I’m excited to see everyone, too. They even bring things for me!

I hope you are aware of the doggy convention that all hard parts of a stuffed toy must be removed as soon as possible. You can chew a toy until it’s slimy-wet, but it won’t stop squeaking until you tear the squeaky thing right out of it. Also, parts like eyes and button noses should be removed right away. Then you can disembowel it at your leisure.

Oh, yes – your question. It does seem to be all about love. They have little parties now and then - even one for me - so I don’t know why they don’t have the big ones more often. Could it be something about the tree? Maybe they need it for the party and they can only cut it the beginning of winter?

Happy Tree Day, pups! And give your humans a lick on the nose from me,