The universe contains many mysteries.
One such mystery is the hatred dogs have for mailmen. It’s not all dogs of course, for instance I imagine a mailman’s dog doesn’t hold these prejudices. But the undeniable fact is that there are a good number of dogs who turn practically werewolf at the sight of a mail delivering vehicle. And it’s not just the US Post Office anymore… it’s FedEx…it’s UPS…it’s any form of parcel delivery.
When I was a child I witnessed this…this fury first hand. One of my Mom’s best friends had a German shepherd who probably held meetings with the local neighborhood dogs on how to rid the world of mailmen. I remember watching this German shepherd one particular day barrel through the front door….leap over the fence…and chase down the mail truck as if the entire future of the world depended on this one moment. The spit was flying. Her legs were flying. Her fangs gleamed in the sunlight. Thank goodness those Postal cars have a little more power in it than appears. (They remind me of a carton of milk. Doesn’t exactly scream speed demon.) The point is…the mailman got away…unscathed. The dog, however…got in a lot of trouble.
For many years, the attacks on mailmen ceased (in my part of the world). The world was at last at peace.
I was at my parent’s house. Alone. Well, not exactly alone. They have four dogs.
There is one little Rat Terrier, Joey. Two words to describe Joey: boundless energy. He doesn’t even drink coffee…fancy that.
Then there’s Ginger. She’s a Jack Russel lab mix. Ginger knows one word in the English Language: BALL. At 12 years old, she’s a lot slower and more rickety, but say the word “ball” and a newer, younger dog emerges.
Cooper. Cooper is my baby. He is a fluffy husky mix, with a curly tail and the sweetest eyes you ever saw. Cooper has moments of insecurity (also known as keep away from small children).
And lastly, there is Hachi. Hachi is just…the PERFECT dog. Some things he does seem slightly human….weirdly human. He LIVES for making friends with all people and dogs alike.
All in all they are a good pack of dogs. Who have no issues or hold no grievances against the postman.
The ring from the doorbell echoes throughout the house. And so ensues barking from all corners…
I notice the barking isn’t just “there’s someone here” barking. It’s wild…uncontrolled. Hmmmm….
Then comes the growling.
GULP. Who is at the door? Images flood my mind. Darn you Criminal Minds! I tell myself I am never watching that show again as I head towards the door where all four dogs have formed a group– barking wildly, snarling at the unknown object on the other side of the door.
Should I have grabbed the baseball bat?
I tip toe towards the door, I can still pull off the there’s no one home trick if necessary. I clutch the handle and hesitate. The dogs are geared up, ready to pounce–ready to lunge and devour whatever is on the other side of the door.
Then it hits me. Autumn…it’s in the middle of the day; it’s probably just the postman or FedEx guy or something. I beg the dogs to calm down and squeeze in between them, opening the door just a crack. Just as I suspected there is a box lying on the porch. I sigh and relax my grip on the door.
BIG MISTAKE. Had I not noticed the dogs were still on the verge of transforming into werewolves? Had I not felt them pressing against the door…trying at anything to burst outside? APPARENTLY NOT.
Just as I notice the departing image of man in a brown uniform, I am thrown forward….and the door flown wide open.
Out burst four dogs…fangs ready.
I reach out and manage to grab Hachi’s tail but it’s no use. The next thing I see is the UPS guy’s face fill with shock and horror as the beasts are closing in on him. It looked like one of those National Geographic Documentaries where the lions close in on a gazelle. “And so the lionesses’ hunting ends in a smaller meal, but they are grateful. It is enough to keep the pack alive during this retched drought,” -said in a British Man Voice.
The UPS man wasn’t ready to give up. He must have grown wings and flew–somehow…he escaped. He leaped into his truck….cursing up a storm. Not that I blame him. He almost became a chew toy.
At this point I managed to pick myself up and chase after the dogs. “Get over hear now! Stop it! Stop it!” Of course, it was all futile.
The dogs were now circling the UPS truck. They looked like vultures. It was ridiculous.
How I wrangled all of the dogs together…I don’t know. But what I did know was that the UPS guy was FURIOUS. Once again…not that I blame him.
Through the swirl of curses he hurled out at me, I made out three words…wait, four. “Control your dogs, lady!”
YES SIR. I’M SO SORRY SIR.
Please, God let me never see that man again.
Life is always full of surprises.
And months and months later, I DID see the UPS guy again. He of course never came back to our house, he appeared elsewhere. Yes, at my work.
I worked as a teller at a bank. And guess who our UPS delivery guy was? That’s right! The UPS guy…the very one. I remember walking to the front and freezing when I saw him. (And the color draining from my face.)
Please, God let him not remember me…or my dogs.
He walked up to the counter, eyeing me.
I plastered on a smile and said, “Hello!” Gosh! It was a bit too cheerful sounding.
He grinned, but was still studying me. “You look so familiar. Like I swear I’ve seen you before.”
You have….just as you saw your life flashing before your eyes. “Oh, I get that a lot. Apparently I just have one of those faces.” Please don’t remember!
He just stared.
Then he shrugged his shoulders and grinned once again. “I-guess you do!”
He ended up being the nicest UPS guy ever but I could never ever confess to him the truth. And so this story is just another case file put in storage under the unsolved mysteries of the universe: Why Dogs Hate Mailmen.
Does anyone out there have a theory to why dogs hate mailmen? Or do you have a story on what your dog has done to a mailman?