Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

Dec 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.


Dear Bammy,

I know that you are pretty smart about keeping out of trouble. Can you give me some hints about living with my humans? They do so many things that don’t make any sense to me. Like, if I see a squirrel out the window, I bark and claw the window to scare it away. My humans bark, “Sam! Shut up!” even louder than my barking. Since they are barking, too, I bark even louder, but they pounce on me, and scold and drag me away from the window. Can you figure that out?

My humans keep some very big birds in a yard with a little den of their own. I know these are birds by the smell, but they don’t fly, mostly. Once in a while one gets out of their yard and when I try to catch it, it flaps and cackles. I absolutely, believe me, Bammy, cannot help chasing them when they do that. My humans get so excited they bark and howl and I run up onto the porch and huddle against the door so they won’t kill me.

Sometimes my life is pretty scary. How can I keep out of trouble?

Born to hunt,


Dear Sam,

You are asking the right dog. I believe I have solved the squirrel problem. I haven’t seen one of the fuzzy little things in weeks. Boss used to bark with me the way your humans do, and I was shredding the wooden parts of the window with my claws. So she put up a plasticky thing that looks like glass on the inside of the window. When I jumped on it, it made a sharp smacking noise and the squirrels ran away. Boss pretended not to notice, and she didn’t bark and scold. She trusted me to use the smacking noise to eliminate the squirrels. And it worked! No more squirrels!

Those big birds are called chickens, and there are three right next door. Once in a while I run away to their den and eat lots of delicious chicken poops, but the chickens are boring. They just wander around talking nonsense to each other. When I was a half-grown puppy, I tried to play with a chicken. It ran and fluttered, so I caught it. Boss was right on my heels and took it away, so all I got was a few feathers and SOME FUN! After that, she led me close to the chicken yard every day. When I tried to lunge at them, she dragged me by, so I pretended not to see them. She told me I was wonderful and gave me lots and lots of yummy treats. That’s the only way, Sam! If there are any humans around, just turn your head away!

On the other hand, I heard of a dog that killed a chicken when no one was looking and buried it in the garden. Boss digs in the garden all the time, so I would be afraid of her digging it up. But if you find yourself with a dead chicken, it’s worth a try.

Good luck Hunter Sam!