Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy

By Nancy Holmes | May 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 dog, 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, 280 Pond Rd., Newcastle, ME 04553, or email:


Dear Bammy,

I always look forward to your column. There must be other dogs from Away needing advice about rural environments. I’m a city dog. I came from a puppy mill and was sold to a little girl from an apartment in Harlem. When her parents divorced, she took me to a terrible dog prison where most dogs receive the death penalty. Fortunately, her tears attracted the attention of some very kind humans who took me home, even though they wanted a ShihTzu instead of a Jack Russell Terrier.

My humans have a house with a big backyard in NYC and spend their summers on a lake in Maine. They take me on long walks every day, so I can keep up with my p-mail. I have a big brown sister with a black nose, who prefers lounging on our humans’ bed to chasing squirrels and sparrows in the backyard. Even though she doesn’t have my energy, she joins in most of my games for a few minutes.

I refer to my humans as free-range parents. They listen to me most of the time and help me learn new human tricks while I teach them games like “chase the toy under the radiator” and “throw the ball again.”

While I have very few complaints about my humans, their fashion sense is limited. I like functional clothes. I run for my life vest whenever we go kayaking or swimming. It helps me swim farther with less work, and I love nothing better than swimming from kayak to kayak even in the ocean. The other day they got me this crazy black leather number they call a motorcycle jacket. I’ve had to wear this jacket for photo ops a couple of times. They send the photos to their friend who runs a women’s motorcycle club. I’m starting to get worried I might have to ride motorcycles. We don’t have a motorcycle. I hate motorcycles. I bark at them and all the loud trucks as well. Give me the peaceful Maine woods. Do you know any dogs who ride motorcycles? What should I do? I love my humans.


Can’t wait to get back to Maine,



Dear Eddie,

Thank you for your wonderful e-mail! I’m sorry I had to leave out some of your words to have space for my answer. You are so lucky after your terrible puppyhood to have such wonderful humans!

When you get tired of wearing the leather jacket, just refuse to stand up. It does look macho, and I like macho, specially after they “fix” us as they say. I wonder if they would think they were “fixed” if we bit off their little nubbies!

I know about chasing woodchucks and rabbits; but I’d never dare talk back to a motorcycle. I heard of a beagle who rode one. He had a box with a short leash so he couldn’t jump out if he saw a rabbit.

As for country life, cars are the worst menace. Next are porcupines. I bit one once and had to go to the vet to have all the thorns pulled out. Never again!

When you come back for the summer, e-mail me and we can talk about summer fun.

Look out for the skunks!