It has been some time since I posted Dog Story #1. I have quite a few of them. I’ve been bitten twice which is two times too many. For those of you who aren’t that adept at math, getting bitten once is one time too many. I won’t go into either one of those today, though. Today, I’ll honor my wife and tell her all time favorite dog story.
As a sub, I was filling in on a route for a fellow carrier who was off for hernia surgery. I had the route for two months in the worst part of the winter. I’m pretty sure it was for January and February in 1999. The day it warmed up and the snow melted is the day he was suddenly healed and back to carrying his route.
On this certain section as I was walking on a very cold day, there was a little yippy dog from across the street who came out barking like it was all ferocious as I went from house to house. I hadn’t been to the side of the street where this dog lived yet. As I moved up the street away from this dog’s house, the dog went back into its yard. I never turned my back on the dog and had my dog spray handy, but the dog fell short of actually coming within striking distance.
As I came back down the other side of the block getting closer to this dog’s house, the dog came out again barking like it was some huge dog defending a hidden stash of beef jerky treats. I was two houses away from its house as it started to get quite confrontational. I stomped my foot, yelled, and it ran into the next yard closest to its own. I delivered the mail and proceeded into the next yard. The dog awaited there. So I did the same thing. The dog didn’t seem like it wanted to challenge me there in a stranger’s yard, so it went into the next yard, which was where it lived. Then I delivered the mail for that house.
As I got closer to the house where the dog lived, I was ready to skip delivery since you don’t want to confront a dog on its own territory. (Take note, people, if you don’t ensure safe conditions for the delivery of your mail, the Postal Service is not required to deliver your mail if it puts the carrier at risk.) But I noticed that the owner had come to the garage door and was trying to call to her little dog. The owner was a middle-aged, African-American lady who seemed very polite. However, politeness isn’t always the right attitude for every situation. Here is what she was very politely saying to her dog.
“Fifi! You come here. Fifi, that’s not nice. Fifi, you need to come here right now. Fifi, come here right now, Fifi.” And so on. This lady made no attempt to come out to her dog and physically restrain it. The dog just kept yapping like she wasn’t even there about twenty feet away in front of her. Then I noticed something else she was saying.
“Fifi, you come here, Fifi. Fifi, that man’s going to spray you. Fifi, that’s not nice. Fifi, you come here right now. Fifi, you come here or that man is going to spray you.” I thought to myself, “The dog can’t understand you, lady. Even if it could, it doesn’t know what being sprayed is.”
The dog was not responding to her at all. There was never even a break in the dog’s barking as she spoke. I stood at the edge of the street with her mail in one hand, raising it in the air as if to say, “What do you want me to do?”
Finally, after more polite coaxing, she said to me, “Well, go ahead and spray her.”
In disbelief I asked, “You want me to spray your dog?”
“Yes, how is she ever going to learn?”
I took the spray in my hand and got ready to press down. I thought, “I’m not hearing this right. I’m going to make sure.” I asked her again, “You’re sure you want me to spray your dog?”
“Yes, because how is she going to learn that she can’t do this?”
“Oooookay.” I pressed down on the can of dog spray. It was very cold out so it was a bit frozen. It wouldn’t go down at first. Then as I pressed very hard, a stream of spray went out, but because I had pressed so hard my aim went off a bit so the main portion of the stream of spray went just to the side of the dog’s head. But some of the mist floated into the dog’s face.
What happened next was so funny. The dog’s non-stop yapping instantly stopped with a slight flinch when that mist went into her face. The dog just stood there silent for about five full seconds just staring at me trying to figure out what had just happened. Then the dog turned around and slowly headed toward its master. But just before it went into the garage, it turned back around to look at me one last time. It stared at me for a few more seconds as if puzzled, in vain trying to figure out what had just transpired. Then it turned and slowly walked into the garage without a sound.
As I walked up to hand this polite lady her mail, she thanked me for spraying her dog. I forget if I said, “You’re welcome,” or not.
There ya go, honey. Your all time favorite dog story – on the web.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman