Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy

An Advice Column for Dogs by a Dog
Mar 01, 2017

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 dogs, but I refer to my human, tongue in cheek, as Boss.  Much as I love my human, I admit she has many of the same odd notions as most humans, so I can relate to other pet 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 to Downeast Dog News!  Bammy, PO Box 135, Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:

Dear Bammy,
I had a really bad experience at the vet’s office.  It wasn’t the vet.  She’s very nice!  A big, hyper dog came into the waiting room with his human.  They had one of those leashes that’s almost like a floppy thin wire that cuts you when it gets around your legs, and it can suddenly get very long by magic.  I think you know what I mean.  The human holds the handle of a little box that makes whirring and clicking noises when the thin leash goes out and in.  They scare me - I think they are alive.  But anyway, there were several other couples in the waiting room.  This dog pulled about half a mile of skinny leash out of the box and ran around tangling up dogs and humans.  He ran around behind me and then zoomed to my human and jumped up.  When he jumped, it pulled the leash around my back legs so I was flipped right over backwards!  Boy, did it hurt!  I yelped, my human screamed, the human holding the box yelled at the dog, but it didn’t help because the leash was wound around everyone.  That didn’t stop me!  I lunged and snapped at that obnoxious dog.  I wanted to bite the human, too, but my human had a good, safe leash so she stopped me.

Bammy, everyone was growling at me for losing my temper, but I think it was the fault of the human and her terrible leash thing, don’t you?
Small But Tough
Dear Tough,
I one hundred percent agree with you!  I hope your snap attack at the poor dog taught his human a lesson.  I’m so glad you didn’t get to snap at the human even though she deserved it!  They have all sorts of nasty tricks when they get upset.

You never see those dangerous leash things at agility events. Many people are giving them up, too, thank goodness!  Boss heard of a dog who got excited and jerked on the leash.  The box let go of it, and the poor dog landed in the road where she was killed by a car.

I actually think that those leash boxes hate dogs and try on purpose to get humans mixed up about how to push the button.  You sometimes see people forget that their dogs are running away while they scowl and punch at the little button on the box.  When they do it right, the dog gets an awful yank on the neck or the box thing just lets go of the leash and the dog flings away.  I am sure, Tough, that like the rest of us, you use your leash as part of your defense system.  We can often scare away a threat if we use a leash or a fence to protect us from actual contact while we lunge at our enemies.  But don’t trust that leash-in-a-box for one second!  If it lets go or fools your human even for an instant, you could land right in the jaws of a big, fierce dog.
In my opinion, all those leash boxes should be euthanized!
Keep up the good fight, Tough!