Downeast Dog News

Ask Bammy

Aug 01, 2021

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 Sleep

When I ramble around the house at night or have something really itchy to tend to, Boss says, “Bammy, please go to sleep.” When she says, “Go kennel.” I can do that because that’s my bed in my crate. But I don’t know where “sleep” is, so how can I go there? When I close my eyes, I go to all different places. Sometimes wild things like deer or foxes are there, so I have to bark and pounce my front feet to scare them away. Other times I hear those trucks that howl as they go by, so I howl along with them. I think howling scares them away because if I howl really loudly, I wake up right at home on my bed, and it’s quiet outside.

I almost always run in the places where I go. I even meet Boss there sometimes and wag my tail hard. We might be playing on an agility course, and she tells me to jump a really BIG hurdle. I kick so hard with my hind feet that I land right back on my kennel-bed. I’m so surprised I sit right up on the bed. Boss laughs and asks, “What were you dreaming?” Why doesn’t she know what I was dreaming? She was right there telling me to jump!

I can sleep on Boss’s bed, but I always ask permission – when she’s awake anyway. She doesn’t scold me for getting up without permission, but I’m really clear that it’s her bed, so I hop right down if she’s around. She doesn’t bother me in my bed either.

When she’s away, I need to be on her bed to feel close to her. Right on her pillow is best. When she’s asleep, I sometimes just quietly climb up, cuddle against her legs, and give a big happy sigh. But if it’s too warm or if she turns over a lot and kicks me, I’d rather sleep on the floor or in my kennel.

These days she’s in the garden a lot. I always want to be close to her, but I’m an older dog who needs plenty of rest, and I just can’t sleep outdoors. There’s always an interesting smell going by, and I might miss something. You can’t be too careful with all the wild things around now. I can’t sleep in the car either. When we go for a long drive to an agility meet, I get really tired from running the courses and staying alert to all the barking and people. But the best rest I can get is a bit of sleep if we’re on a long, smooth, straight road. I lie close to Boss and she strokes me gently. That’s really nice, but I have to stay alert to make sure she’s safe. Remember, poochies, you are always responsible for your humans!

Sweet dreams!