Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | Jul 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:


Noses up, pups! There’s another wave of invaders on our lands. This spring I have alerted Boss to four different kinds of animals, three just in the last two weeks. It’s really worrisome to a responsible watch dog.

Back in April, when I was checking the bird feeder for squirrels, I saw something really spooky! It sort of looked like a bird – it had two skinny little legs and a long bill. It was bigger than a blue jay and shaped more like a potato. It didn’t seem to have any neck at all, except that its head stayed perfectly still while its fat body kept going up and down in a bouncy little circle. It was so weird that I lunged against the window yelling at the top of my lungs.

Boss came running, and when she saw it, she about fell down laughing. I was so mad I just kept barking until Boss pulled me away from the window, saying, “Hush, Bammy! It’s a woodcock.” I kept on barking and struggling to look out the window. “Hush!” she said. “BIRD! BIRD!” I know what “bird” looks like, but dear readers, woodcock doesn’t look like bird!

Two weeks ago I was out in the yard when a skunk – one of those smelly animals – ran across the yard, right in the middle of a sunny day. I never saw one in daytime before, and it was RIGHT IN MY YARD! Not in the fenced part, though, so I couldn’t do anything about it, except bark. I ran up and down the fence line, with my hair all on end, barking my fiercest. When Boss came to the door, I ran to tell her about it, but she commanded me to come inside. I jumped up on my box to look out the window. That skunk ran out into the hayfield in a big half circle. The grass was so tall I could just see its white tail bobbing. When it got way out in the middle of the big field in the blazing sun, it turned around and ran back into the yard and disappeared behind the garage. Boss didn’t bark, but I bet her hair was on end, too.

She telephoned her grown puppy who lives next door, and he came out carrying one of those long sticks that makes a Big Bang, but they couldn’t find the skunk. That afternoon she refused to take me for a walk. We just played frisbee.

And last week, I was looking out my window when a fox came across the yard. I guess it was a fox, though it looked really skinny and didn’t have much fur. When I brought Boss to look, she said,” Aww, mange! Poor thing!” It heard me barking inside the house and got up on the mulch pile to look. Then it trotted into the woods.

The last invasion was just yesterday morning. Boss got the scope and set it up to look out the window. She was really alert, so I got up and looked out the window, too. I didn’t see anything, but she watched for a boringly long time. Suddenly a deer stood up! It had been lying down in the long grass. Then I saw another, and a third one popped up out of the grass. I barked my loudest, so the deer heard it. But did they run away?? No. They just sauntered back into the woods.

Well, Protectors, if they didn’t fence us in, we could do better, but give it your best bark.