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Thursday, February 04, 2016


A couple of days ago, my neighbor brought to my attention that our mail was no longer being delivered. It turns out that it hadn't been delivered for over a week, but I hadn't even noticed - almost nothing of importance ever comes through the mail anymore: bills are paid on line, taxes are filed electronically, notices come via email, etc.

To me the Post Office is just a bit player in the giant circle of junk-mail life. They deliver it, I put it in the recycling, new paper is made from it, new junk mail gets printed, and the Post Office redelivers it to keep the circle going. Other than that, they have little use from what I can tell.

So they just stopped delivering my mail - no notice, no explanation, no nothing.


The ferocious furball pictured below approached and barked at the mailman. There was no contact between them and our dog didn't even get particularly close to the mailman. The dog is well trained and my wife was present and verbally in control of the dog (for example, she told it to stop barking and it did). Nonetheless, the barking is still considered an "attack" and enough of an incident to get mail delivery to stop without notice. The Post Office claims 6,000 dog attacks on mail carriers in a year. However, given that barking is an attack, I'm surprised the number isn't far higher. What dog doesn't bark (other than the one in the Sherlock Holmes story)?

When I first learned the reason for non-delivery, I did a google search. There're a gazillion stories of non-delivery where it was really onerous to get it started again and I started to worry. For example, an 11-pound furball caused an entire condo complex to lose mail delivery forever (or until the owner agreed to put the dog to sleep). So I was wondering what hoops I would have to jump through to get my mail started again. If it was just me, I wouldn't've even bothered since mail isn't useful to me. Unfortunately, my neighbor was unpleased at his lack of delivery so I was worried the whole thing would become a giant nightmare.

But it wasn't bad. The Post Office just made me sign something that said that I agreed to keep the dog under control during mail delivery times and that the mailman would not deliver mail on days when any dogs were visible. Works for me and it was only a little bit annoying.

Don't get me wrong - I am sympathetic to being afraid of dogs. Our 25 pound furball does have a ferocious bark for something so small and fluffy. I do wonder though: if a mailman is so afraid of dogs that merely being barked at is traumatic enough to be considered an attack, perhaps he's chosen the wrong career?

1 comment:

Barry Meislin said...

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds"

Nothing about furballs, so they have a point....