Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy

About Chipmunks
By Nancy Holmes | Jun 01, 2021
Photo by: Skyler Ewing courtesy of Pexels

I am a Carolina Dog, a breed that owned Native American people a long time ago. 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:


About Chipmunks

Do you know those little, striped, squirrelly animals? Boss calls them “chipmunk.” They smell rather like squirrels, except there’s an earthy smell to them because they seem to live in holes in the ground. At least, when I try to catch one, it usually goes down a hole. They go into stone walls, too, or log piles, or even an old stump with a hole in it. I ran one up a tree once just like a real squirrel.

I hate to admit it, but I’ve never been able to catch a chipmunk. They seem to be really stupid, the way they don’t pay attention to what’s going on. Or maybe they do, and they are just teasing. They love to poke around on the ground until I am just two jumps away, and then they go “Squeak squeak squeak!” and pop into a little hole where I can’t get them. When they are safe, you’d think they would just keep quiet so I would go away. But they go right on teasing! They chitter and peep all up and down a stone wall and from different holes in the ground.

When I was a puppy, I tried really hard to catch them. I tried to take stone walls apart, and I dug at their holes in the ground. I could look out the window and see them under the bird feeder. They filled their little mouths with birdseed until their cheeks stuck out. I hardly breathed until they started to run to one of their holes, then I yelled and jumped on the window, and Boss yelled at me, “Off! Noo!” I’m no dummy, so I gave it up after a while. Why waste energy on those little teasers when I could catch birds and woodchucks and scare snakes away? Boss didn’t like me to catch birds and snakes, either, but for goodness sake, I am a dog!

I still chase a chipmunk once in a while if it looks as if I might have a chance. There was one way out in the driveway, so I charged. I’m not as fast as I used to be. Maybe I would have caught it when I was younger. The closest I ever came was just last week. Boss and I were sitting on the big stone step outside our den when we saw a chipmunk coming up the walk toward the steps. I hardly even breathed – and I think Boss didn’t either. When the little thing was just a couple of feet away, I thought it was going to jump right into my mouth! I opened my mouth to lunge, but it disappeared! It was just gone. I looked over the edge of the step where it should have been, but there was nothing there except a chipmunk hole. Oh grrr! I knew that hole was there, but with the chipmunk running right to me, I forgot.

I usually like it when Boss laughs. We think the same kinds of things are funny. But not this time. She laughed her head off, and I just turned around and walked away.

Good luck hunting chipmunks!