Thursday, 16 May 2013

Of Dogs and Mailmen

There's a new survey out, done by the US Post Office, showing where you're most likely to be attacked by a dog when delivering the mail. LA tops the list, (69), San Antonio (42) comes second, and Chicago is third with 41.

My first thought was, "Why are they doing this survey?" and then I read that it's National Dog Bite Prevention Week next week.  Now I'm thinking "Why just for one week?" Do the dogs then go back to snarling at the mailmen the following Monday?"

But the reality is that mail carriers/postal workers do bring out the erm, animal in a lot of otherwise perfectly decent dogs. Mine anyway, goes berserk when she sees our lovely chap, even if he's across the street. It's embarrassing as he's never so much as frowned at her.

She doesn't really like anything on wheels passing her at speed so skateboarders are also subject to a bark and quick show of the not inconsiderable fangs. (Thank goodness she seems to be OK with baby buggies). I assumed she was afraid of the little trolley bag our mailman has,

but no - she barks at him on sight. Must be following the Pavlov rules. 

So anyway, as I said, it's National Dog Bite Prevention week starting May 19th. Not quite sure what we're supposed to do now, since any decent dog owner would presumably be making sure his/her dog was safe anyway. Nice idea though.


  1. It must be quite scary for mailmen - while I'm sure most people are responsible, there are still people out there who don't control their dogs. There was a terrible incident in our town last year where someone's dog bit their friend's child - the two families were good friends and at the same school, so it caused all sorts of ructions.

  2. I seem to remember Agatha Christie via Hercule Poirot saying that from dog psychology the postman is a visitor who comes to door, attempts to enter and then goes off again - and a thinking dog should bark as this is obviously an unwelcome visitor who has no place in the household. Our dog has such a poor grasp of psychology that he would lick not only the postman but any intruder to death.

  3. Interesting post considering here in the UK there was (another) discussion about the Dangerous Dogs Act yesterday in relation to prevention (attacks never happen) rather than prosecution (closing the door after an attack has taken place).

  4. My hubby often gets a less than warm welcome when he does a home visit on a patient with a dog. He now takes charge and insists dogs are put in another room. He finds it amazing that some patients think he can conduct a medical examination with a pooch yapping around his feet. About a year ago he was bitten by one patient's dog: he was not happy!

  5. Our dog fake snapped at a handy man the other day and I was mortified. However, she has some sort of sprain in her leg/shoulder at the moment and I told him she was not feeling great. He was trying to "befriend" her and should have just left her alone as she wasn't bothering him. Fortunately he's a dog owner and recognised that it was more his fault.

  6. Our postie's bags are now on wheels and much bigger than the one you show.
    Dogs and postmen do not mix and soon there will be big trouble for any dog over here who nips (or pretends to nip!)
    Maggie x

    Nuts in May

  7. When I was a baby my parents left me on the front lawn with our golden retriever (the good ol' days) and the post lady came up to the house, saw me with the dog and worried about my safety so she came over to pick me up and the dog attacked her, protecting me. That's my postie story.

    But Trish's comment reminds me of a conversation with a paramedic about dogs. One reason dogs are meant to be either belted in (with dog seatbelts), in a cage or behind a screen in the back is for their saftey, one reason is so they don't become deadly missiles in the event of a sudden stop but the other is to protect paramedics if they have to attend to injured people in the car--the dogs will try to attack the paramedics.

  8. Our dog gets bits of cheese for fetching the post (he started chewing it when he was a pup so I figured we either had to get one of those cages on the door or reward him for bringing it to us), so he thinks post people are wonderful!

    He does sound scary when he barks, and he looks a bit like a wolf so some of them look a bit terrified when they see him, but actually he is a big softy who can't wait to earn his cheese. Thankfully most of them seem to like dogs and he gets made a fuss of, which he laps up while wearing his "I'm so adorable" expression. He has most people well trained!

    On a more serious note, we have trained him to sit near the door while we answer it, and not to come forward to greet the person until invited, which is what all dog owners should do. At least, it works unless it's someone he knows well or one of his doggie friends, but then it doesn't matter anyway.


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