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