Buddy’s bad day

On the afternoon of Friday, June 13, I was home—rather unusually—at about 12:30 p.m. My whole purpose for coming home at that time was to let my dog, Buddy, out of the house for a little noon stretch. I would like to point out here that Buddy is a 26-pound Jack Russell mix. Buddy has a wireless fence around our house, so I clipped on his collar and let him out.

I was in the house and heard some kind of a noise that made me peek out the window. I saw the mailman bringing a package to the front door, so I thought I would go to the door and meet him. In order to get to our front door, one must come up on, and walk across, our deck. The mailman got to the door only seconds before I did, and as I opened the door, I saw Buddy sitting on the deck looking perplexed at the package—not growling, not barking, not showing teeth, just sitting there; and then a split second later, I saw the mailman—arm outstretched—pepper spray my dog.

I understand about protection of oneself, because I too have a job that takes me to the houses of people who may have dangerous animals. I do not carry pepper spray or any other kind of substance to slow down attacks. Are the employees of the U.S. Postal Service so worried that they have to carry a debilitating substance to stave off attacks of domesticated house pets?  Is that what the recent increase in stamp prices is for? What if I had a young child that came home and played with the dog after this happened?

I confronted the mailman and surprised him, because he did not know I was home at the time. I fully believe he was getting some kind of thrill or power trip by spraying my dog.

After discussing this with some co-workers, I discovered that mine was not an isolated incident. I would encourage everyone who has animals and receives mail through the postal service to pay much more attention to these postal carriers. This kind of behavior is unacceptable by anyone in such a position, and they should be appropriately held accountable. I finally understand the age-old question of why dogs hate mailmen.

— J. Keith Masters

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3 thoughts on “Buddy’s bad day

  1. contentpersephone

    Mr Masters –
    That is simply an appalling. You should contact the postmaster for your area and file a complaint.

    Please let us know what happens.

  2. Cheshire

    My primary mail carrier, thankfully, has just about every dog on my street (almost every other house, several of them free-roaming) in love with her. Wonderful lady.
    However, there are bad apples in every bunch.
    You stated that you discovered this wasn’t isolated: if the other pet owners and yourself complained as a group, that might have greater impact. Best of luck getting this jerk dealt with.

  3. gb1222

    Mr. Masters,
    I can’t imagine what must have been going through your mind at the sight of the scared-for-no-reason mailman?!?! My mind is filled with ‘What ifs..” Like, what if I weren’t home and Buddy had to try to get the pepper-spray off by himself? What if I didn’t know there were pepper spray on my dog and my child went to pet Buddy? To even contemplate the idea of the shock and dismay that Buddy now has of the mailman – they could have been friends. I think that the Federal Post office might take some lessons from watching a few training shows. I might even suggest one of the many hosted by Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer”. Another suggestion would be for the mail man to play the good guy like bank tellers and just have a few dog treats in pocket instead of a personal self-defense weapon.

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