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Irresponsible Dog Owner.

March 27, 2020
Gunther doesn’t want to be left behind.

March 26, 2020

Yesterday my nephew Jon had bronchitis, saw a medical provider, got an antibiotic.  He said in 24 hours his cough abated. They didn’t suspect coronavirus because he had no fever.

Mentally for me, things are not quite so smooth.  At the grocery this morning we bought our usual list of fruits, vegetables, cereal, eggs, dog food, lemonade.  Otherwise, we stay at home nearly all the time.

We also needed toilet paper, so I checked out the “bathroom tissue” aisle, nearly bare.  I asked a nearby store man for some TP.  He went to the back part of the store, then tossed me a 12-pack.  He said before they instituted the “senior only” hours from 7-9 each morning, young people would show up when the store opened, clearing certain shelves.

I’m stalling.  I need to confess.  I am certifiably an irresponsible pet owner.  Allow me to explain.

Yesterday we went for a three-mile hike. Gunther loves to hike with us.

As usual, as soon as I set his soft crate near the back door, G. ran into it and hunkered.  He seems to fear being left behind.  Me, I dislike lugging him in his carrier all the way out to the car.  He weighs almost two stone, according to his veterinarian.

Therefore, I upended his crate and poured him out.  I shouldered my daypack and jacket, and out the back door and down the steps.

Only Gunther didn’t trot to the car.  He started howling and barking and sprinting to the front of the house to challenge our mail carrier, who by coincidence, was passing the end of our driveway.  

Another time he had warned me that he didn’t like being harassed by our dog.  

I ran after Gunther and shouted at our mail carrier, “I’m sorry!  I’m sorry!”

But it didn’t help.  Our carrier turned for the street, making a wide circle around our place.  He didn’t stop to deliver mail or pick up the Netflix envelope.  

I felt doom.  Jon’s wife, Kristi, who is also a mail carrier, told me that she had been instructed not to deliver mail to places with aggressive dogs.

Gunther howls and barks sometimes.

Nonetheless, we hiked at Sword’s Park.  Had a pretty good time walking three miles.  Visited Yellowstone Kelly’s grave, although I never get too worked up over Yellowstone Kelly.  I should probably learn about him, but I’m not curious.

Today after our grocery trip I posted on Fb the news that yesterday G. menaced the postman, because guilt weighed on my mind.  Kristi told me it was a serious offense.  I worried.

By noon, while I cowered in the bedroom, the Postmaster came to us.  He hand-delivered a letter to our adult son, stating that our mail delivery service had been stopped because of our unrestrained dog.  I would have to visit the main post office to get mail delivery again.

The letter.

Kristi recommended I take additional action.

I wrote an apologetic note to our letter carrier.  Then I drove to Starbucks to buy a coffee card.  Then I drove to the main post office to collect our mail and sign a letter of understanding that if our dog menaces the carrier again we would have to rent a post office box because we would forfeit our mail delivery service for ever!

Only trouble was, the clerk at the main post office didn’t know where the letters of understanding were.  She said to try later.

Irresponsible pet owner.

Back home, I harnessed Gunther for his noon constitutional walk.  As we turned the corner of the block near Mrs. Johnson’s (where Gunther likes to poop) I came face-to-face with our carrier!  Of course Gunther growled menacingly so I pulled tight his leash.

“I’m so sorry!” I stammered.  “Look, I wrote you an apology!”  I handed him the envelope with the card.  

“You didn’t have to do that,” he said.  

“We appreciate you!” I insisted.  “Please accept my apology.  I put in a coffee card for you!”

He smiled, placed the envelope into his mail pouch.  “Thanks, Dan!” he said.  He told me a couple minutes later that he would deliver mail to us again after he gets the letter I need to sign at the main post office.

Later, P. and I drove to the main post office, signed the letter, and got two pieces of mail.  Junk mail.  Well, one was a birthday card from our insurance agent.  I resolved to leash Gunther if we so much as think about going outdoors.

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2 Comments
  1. Blaine Ackley permalink

    Poor Gunther, poor Dan, poor Penny. Luckily no one was bitten or became infected but I bet you learned a lesson from this.
    And what a nice grocery story clerk you encountered. Did you thank him or her profusely?
    The same empty shelves phenomenon appliers here too. So now the New Season’s Market has a community hour every weekday from 8 to 9. That means the store is closed to the general public and only seniors or those with fragile conditions can gain access it.

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