Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

About “The Thicket”
By Nancy Holmes | Feb 01, 2019

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 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:


About “The Thicket”

Boss and I went for a walk in a special place she calls “The Thicket.” There was enough snow to hold the scent in footprints, so I had a great time sniffing animal trails. I could hear Boss’s footsteps, so I knew she was safe. I picked up a whiff of bird plus raw meat and quartered upwind smelling for whatever it was. One bad thing about The Thicket is that there are a lot of thick, thorny plants. There was something on the ground in the middle of one of those vicious bushes. It was black and very flat, but, oh, that smell! I pushed through the thorns to it.

I could hear Boss calling the way she does when she wants to know I’m taking good care of her. I run to her and she gives me a treat. But I just had to get that thing before I went to her.

After I worked my way painfully through the thorns, I had to taste my find even though Boss was still calling. Most of it was covered with big black feathers, but one end was raw meat and bones. I crunched off a yummy piece and then hurried to Boss. When we got home, Boss did a bad trade. But I got a nice piece of chicken when she took the wing away.

Boss has rubbery, spiky things she puts on her boots that help her walk on ice. She discovered that one of them was gone, so she put on a different pair and carried the mate to the one she lost as we went back to The Thicket. I was hoping for more of the black bird, but she called me and started the “Find the other one,” game. She showed me the rubber thing and gave the “Find …” command. I gave it a good sniff and started searching. There was the other one, just a few feet away! I brought it and got a lovely treat. We started home, but in a few minutes, she called me back. She had lost that thing again! That time it was quite a way back on our trail, but of course my mighty nose led me to it. She was so happy that I found it! Wouldn’t you think she would have been more careful? But she lost it AGAIN! That time it was off the trail behind some bushes. I had to quarter and circle, but I found it and brought it to her proudly! She was so excited to get it back - why did she keep dropping it? It is a sort of squirmy rubber thing. Maybe it jumped out of her hands, though it was well behaved while I had my teeth on it.

I was pretty excited by that time, and when I smelled something in the swamp. I thought it might be another treasure or something Boss wanted. So even though I usually come when she calls, I was just too excited to quit. She was almost home when I heard fear in her voice, so I ran to catch up. She didn’t have a biscuit because she had given them all to me in The Thicket, but we were so happy about our walk that it didn’t matter.