Dogs used to terrify me. I had a paper route as a kid and there was a big, long street with a giant hill. At the end of the street was a husky that hated anyone in a uniform or wearing a paper bag. I would bomb from the top of the street and try to get past that house before that dog saw me. It would chase after my bike barking ferociously at my heels. 

My brother tried to make friends with the dog. He took treats to try and pacify it, but it bit his hand when he offered the treat. I gained a healthy fear of that dog, and it took years to overcome it. I've had a couple dogs since then and we get along pretty well. 

Every year, the United States Postal Service has a national dog bite awareness day. I know my fear of dogs wasn’t the animal’s fault. Some of the blame fell on the owner of the dog who let it chase kids on bikes and my own fear fed into it as well. Having said this, I think the Post Office has some pretty great ideas for Dog owners here in Utah. This is from their website:

During National Dog Bite Awareness Week, dog owners are provided tips for protecting mail carriers while making their rounds: 

  • If a carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Some dogs burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to attack visitors. Dog owners should keep the family pet secured. 
  • Parents should remind their children and other family members not to take mail directly from carriers in the presence of the family pet, as the dog may view the person handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture. 
  • The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a carrier feels threatened by a dog, or if a dog is loose or unleashed, the owner may be asked to pick up mail at a Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If a dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner's neighbors also may be asked to pick up their mail at the area’s Post Office. 
  • Sign up for Informed Delivery. You’ll know when parcels are being delivered in advance of the actual delivery and can take precautions to keep your carrier safe. 

This is good advice for anyone who has a dog. Being mindful and conscious of others' safety when your pet thinks their territory is threatened can make a big difference for all of us. 


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