Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy

By Nancy Holmes | Apr 01, 2021

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 Bammy,

You seem to be a pretty tough dog in spite of being a Southern Gentleman. I hope you can help me persuade my Mom to stop bothering me with clothes. She’s afraid I will get cold even though I’m a Corgi with a thick coat. All the stuff she puts on me makes it hard to move, let alone feel the nip of the wind that makes me want to do zoomies.

I have to stick my head through the hole in a big, thick coat. Then she fastens straps firmly under my belly. They rub my elbows so I can’t take long steps. I’m a long dog with short legs, so in order to go fast, I have to take long leaps. It’s really frustrating to gallop with little short leaps. Mom thinks it’s funny, but I hate it so much I try to duck away when she comes at me with that coat.

That’s bad enough, but she’s afraid my feet will get frostbite. She makes me stand still while she ties booties on my feet. When she first did that, they felt so funny I took way high steps, one foot at a time. Boy! Didn’t she think that was funny! Some people say Corgis are stubborn. But we were bred that way to herd cows that don’t want to be herded. So I lay right down and pulled off the booties. Mom scolded me and put them back on. But I still take them off every chance I get. Right is right, and putting booties on my paws is wrong! Not to mention a coat that keeps me from me running fast.

So, dear Bammy, what am I going to do?



Dear Short-shot,

I feel for you. Dogs are made to run. I have clothes, too. The one Boss calls “jacket,” is very light and loose. I wear it every day for a while, and then she puts it away for a long time. I don’t mind that one because it means we’re going for a walk. The other one, she calls coat, she only puts on me when it’s cold out, and we’re not going for a walk in the woods. I used to run away from that one, but I’ve sort of gotten resigned to it. It’s heavy and stiff, and it has a wide band under my belly a little too tight. I have to admit it keeps me warmer in the wind, but I think I’d rather shiver.

If you really want to refuse wearing a coat and boots, you might be able to avoid it. But I warn you, it’s not easy, and she may be fierce and stubborn. It’s simple! Lie down. She can still put the boots on you and stick your head through the coat. If she’s really stubborn, she might roll you over to fasten the straps under your belly. Of course, don’t even think of growling or snapping. NEVER! It’s not necessary. Just lie there. Don’t go for her walk. Don’t move until she takes all the stuff off again. Then run to the door and do a happy-dance.

I hate to say there are a few dog owners who will abuse a dog that doesn’t do what they want. I hope your Mom isn’t one of them, but I worry a little since she laughed at your discomfort. DO NOT SNAP! Instead, roll belly up and whine and cry and lick her hand.

Is it really worth fighting over? I know you are a stubborn Corgi, but you COULD just put up with the clothes. Spring is coming!

If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em,