How does your dog feel about the postal service? The UPS man? FedEx?
‘Tis the season, after all. Even though we tried to do our shopping at local small businesses, we still have a good volume of packages coming in this week.
As I told Jen at The Elka Almanac in the comments to her Friday post, I have to assume that Silas will bite people who come to the door. I don’t think he would. Given how emphatically he does not like it, though, I can’t risk it. (This is tip-top on our to-work-on list.) Also, I know for a tested fact that he will run out the front door when he can. It’s low-risk, since our front common areas are fenced and gated, but still not something I’m wild about.
Beyond that, though, the truth is that most delivery people are afraid of dogs for good reason. My father-in-law was a postman, and he has a handful of dog bite stories–from a black dog who would hide on the front porch and leap out to get people to a little Pomeranian who was literally an ankle biter.
My regular mail lady and I worked out a system. She knocks. Silas barks. I open the door a tiny crack. We exchange a few pleasantries over the dog, and she says, “Okay, I’ll leave your package right here.” Or, she says, “I need you to sign today,” and I say, “Sure. Give me a second to put away the dog.” I come back to the door after Silas goes into his crate. We’re working toward Silas crating himself when someone is at the door, but we aren’t there yet.
Last week I talked through the system with our poor FedEx person. We don’t get a lot of deliveries from them, and it seems to be a new delivery person every time. I opened the door my tiny crack to say “Give me just a second to put away the dog.” Wide eyed, she blurted out, “Please put away the dog!” I said, “Absolutely! That’s what I was coming to tell you.” She told me that all day long, she has to listen to people say, “Oh, he won’t hurt you” or “she won’t bite,” while knowing full well that at least some of those people are really wrong about it.
So, this holiday season, do your delivery person a favor–unless you know that they like your dog, don’t take the dog to meet them. Even if you are 100% sure that your dog won’t bite, or jump up, or even bark, the delivery person isn’t.