Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

By Nancy Holmes | May 01, 2020

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.


Princess is – or was – a Boston terrier, whose person wrote letters for her a few years ago. The last time I heard from Princess, she was quite old and going blind. So I wonder if she is still alive. I enjoyed Princess’s letters so much, I’m going to answer them again, even though she may have left her body.

Dear Princess,

Are you still running the house and keeping those two young male terriers in order? It must be a little harder now that you can’t see. But dogs’ gift of smelling is more important than seeing, and you are such a clever, strong little dog. In 2018 you wrote, “I still command the house-hold. It is Princess’s way or else.” How I admire your spunk. You were thirteen years old then.

An old man on Indian Reservation Township got you as a puppy, but he got sick and couldn’t keep you. You lived in three other homes on the Reservation and trotted back and forth between them on your own. You wrote that you were a real Indian dog. You learned a lot from the other reservation dogs and people. Then you were adopted by Claire.

I remember how you taught your human, Claire, to play the bed bounce game with you. You play-bowed on the bed to her, to invite her to play. Then you jumped into the air and she understood that she could bounce the bed and make you go higher. What a smart human! I imagine you, little Boston terrier, flying up in the air and coming down onto the soft bed any which way. It was so much fun that you “… barked like crazy,” and she must have laughed a lot, too.

Clair introduced you to wearing clothes. You wrote, “…I love clothes. That Corgi who didn’t enjoy raincoats doesn’t understand. Clothes make us even cuter… We get extra ear scratches and snuggles and snacks and people notice us. That is a total win for the woofs!”

I hope Claire can read this letter to you, but if you have left her den, maybe we will meet sometime, somewhere. Where do dogs go when they aren’t in their old bodies anymore? I wish you could tell me.


Sniffs and nose-licks,