Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

Nov 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! N. Holmes, 280 Pond Rd., Newcastle, ME 04553, or email: askbammy@tidewater.


About My Best Friend

I knew something was wrong when my old best friend, Pookah, suddenly lay down while we were going for a walk. Boss and I ran to her and sat beside her. Her humans came and sat there, too. They looked so sad, I gave them each a slurp on the nose. Pretty soon Pook wasn’t there anymore. I mean, her big, black furry body was there, but she was gone. So I went back to see if I could get a chipmunk out of the stone wall. But it wasn’t much fun – I kept thinking about Pookah. Her humans wrapped the empty body in a sheet and loaded it onto the tractor. We were all sad, so I walked back to the house close to them instead of hunting. Sometimes I look out the window at her house, but I know she isn’t there. I whine a little and go looking for something new to chew on.

I was so little when Boss came for me, I don’t remember much. I missed my mother and the other puppies, so when I met Pookah, I was all licks and wiggles. She lived in a den close by and often came to play with me. We always wagged a lot and licked each other’s noses. She wasn’t that swift at barking to come in, so I barked and ran around like crazy when I knew she was here. Sometimes her humans went away, and she stayed with us for a long time. When I was little, I looked out the window at her den and howled when she went home.

Sometimes she brought me a toy, and we played tug. We ran in huge circles in the hayfield, taking turns chasing and being chased. After a while I could run faster than she could, and I’d jump over her at top speed while she ducked. Even when I knocked her over or snatched her toys right out of her mouth, she never, ever growled at me. Even so, I didn’t try to eat from her bowl, and she didn’t look at mine.

Sometimes Pookah visits me when I’m asleep, and we do things together. We used to love to sing when one of those howling machines went by on the road. When she got old, she couldn’t hear very well, so Boss would say, “Hear siren?” and we would all have a good sing. We loved to have Boss join in even though she couldn’t howl right.

It’s confusing, now, when I howl in my sleep and wake up in my bed and no Pookah. Boss calls it “dream” when Pookah and I play while I’m asleep. I growl and twitch when we play tug. She is such a good tugger! When Boss and I walk in the woods, it sometimes seems as if Pookah is there, running beside me. Maybe she is. Who knows?