Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy, an Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog

About Good Laughing and Bad Laughing
By Nancy Holmes | Jul 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 adopted 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:


Dear Readers,

I have a new adventure to tell you about, and my human’s weird reaction to it. I usually like it when Boss laughs at me. She looks at me with happy eyes and tells me I’m silly and smart and she loves me so much. But once in a while she laughs AT me. It doesn’t feel lovey and nice, so I turn away and feel sad.

One day, we went for a walk along the edge of the big field. Happy day! There was a pair of turkeys. I leaped through the long grass after them. The bigger one took off across the field, flying low, just in front of my nose. Can you imagine how exciting that was? It was really hard running in the long grass, and that turkey was so close I thought if I tried just a little harder, I could snap onto his tail feathers. That delicious smell, and the noise of the wings and I ran as hard as I ever did in my life. But the grass kept holding me back, and it’s a really big field, and I was stumbling a little as the turkey veered up into a tree. I jumped for it with all my remaining strength, snapping my teeth right behind the tail. I kind of got hung up in the bushes as I came down, and landed – of all places! – on my nose in the muddy little ditch at the edge of the field. Yuk! It’s not bad smelly mud, but my mouth and nose were full of mud, and I couldn’t see through the mud in my eyes – and the turkey got away.

I spat and gagged and pawed at my eyes for a minute; and then I trotted slowly back across the field with my tongue hanging out. Half way across the field I could see Boss giving me a funny look.

“What do you have?” she called out. Of course I didn’t have anything except mud in my mouth and dripping down my chest and my tongue hanging out. When I got to Boss, she began to laugh.

“Oh no! I thought you were carrying a big brown thing!” She laughed so hard she couldn’t talk. WHAT was so funny?

“What happened?” she laughed. “Why did you stick your head in the mud?” She laughed so hard she bent over with her hands on her knees. “You look like a hyena or something!”

That was too much for me. As I said, I usually like when she laughs at me, but there is good laughing at me and bad laughing at me. I don’t know what hyena-or-something is, but when I tried so hard to catch that turkey and just ended up worn out with my head in the mud, that was not good laughing at me. So I gave her a disgusted look and went off sniffing for field mice.


Wishing you lots of happy laughing,