Monday, April 28, 2008

Going Postal

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

-Unofficial motto of the United States Postal Service, adapted from Heroditus (circa 475 BC)

This all started about two months ago. The Woman I Love and I received a note in our mail box, but no mail. The notice informed us that there was an "animal conflict" at our address, and that no mail would be delivered until the mail box was moved from the side to the front of our house. We were a bit confused; yes, we'd had an animal conflict or two with our pets, but they were three "indoor only" [unless one made it out the door] cats.

After a little investigation, we found out the new people in the front house had brought with them two pit bulls. I met them and, although they took to TWIL a lot more than they did to me, we all got along very well. I also learned that:

1. / The Postal Service was only going to allow us one pick-up at the Main

Post Office [not the branch within walking distance of our house], and

2. / The Postal Supervisor handling the matter was basing his decision strictly

on the mail carrier's statement that she was "afraid" of the pit bulls.

[I'm sorry. The very least he could have done was to personally examine the matter. I had an uncle who was a long-time postal inspector and supervisor, and I don't believe he would have avoided a visit]
At any rate, the battle continues. The mail person wouldn't deliver one day because she thought the dogs might break through the door [that one I might grant her. They've charged the side door, barking and growling, when I've come home from work, and it sounds like they might come through]. Another time, she refused to deliver because the front window of the house was open, and she was concerned they might jump through it.
(Oddly enough, she's not afraid of most dogs. The former residents of the front apartment had a mixed-breed dog which had a habit of jumping on people [personally, I think he had legitimate issues. He was almost always left outside, and the jumps may well have been an attempt to get and keep a little company]. She brought him dog biscuits.)
The last time we checked [Saturday morning, after the people in front had blasted the postal supervisor over the phone], it looked like the mail would not be delivered until the mail person was assured that there was no way the dogs could get out.If that didn't happen, all residents of the house would have to get a Post Office box, and pick up the mail. If that is the way things are left, I don't think we should have to pay for it. After all, we don't own the dogs [which, for the record, are devoted barkers, but have yet to jump up on anyone within my sight]. I'll have to let you know how this all turns out.
Sorry this isn't funnier.
-Mike Riley


heidi said...

I had a run in with the postal police too! My former mail carrier was afraid of dogs which, of course, drove my dogs insane. When people exhibit bizarre behavior in front of dogs, dogs tend to instinctively determine that the person is sickly, maimed, or otherwise in need of being hunted down and ripped apart. This guy would make it a point to stare down my dogs as he would purposely cross the street to walk by my house. My dogs are there to protect me, so they were right to be suspicious of the jerk. Then one day it happened... Buddy, my little beagle/pit bull mix pushed open the screen door and chased the guy down the street. I called Buddy back into the house, but not far behind him was the mail carrier who marched right up to my porch, got in my face, and started screaming at me in a very threatening manner. This only made all three of my dogs go insane as I had to hold the door shut so they wouldn't come out and tear this guy apart.

I then got a visit from the postal police who made me move my box to the front of the house, and who warned me that if I didn't have the front steel door shut during the day, that the carrier would refuse to deliver my mail. They told me that the carrier said I had three large vicious dogs and that he feared for his life. I told them that 2 of my dogs were under 30 pounds, one of which was geriatric, and that they were just doing what I would expect of them if ANYBODY were to step on my property and threaten me.

Then for good measure I threw in the fact that all three of my doggies LOVED the UPS man!

Well, needless to say... there are 3 new mail carriers who share my route now, none of which cause my dogs to respond the the level of viciousness they did with the other guy.

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