$%#@&^%! mailman just hit my dog

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by BearCreekFarm, Sep 8, 2005.

  1. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Unreal. DH and I had just come in from tending a sick goat, the dogs were lagging behind, when the mail carrier pulled into our driveway. The dogs ran partway down the drive to check out his vehicle, and as my Ridgeback, who is blind in one eye, crossed the driveway in front of him, he didn't even slow down, just kept driving and hit her as she passed the left front corner of his vehicle. He hit her, not hard, but enough to push her off the driveway, and he kept driving. I am sure that he had no idea we were standing by the kitchen window watching him. I was so upset that I asked DH to go out and talk to the man, but DH is much too nice- he just told the guy that the dog is blind and asked him to be careful. I would have been screaming at the guy- which is why I did not go out, but I wish DH had been a little more forceful. I don't want to get into a row with the mailman, but this is insane! The dogs were on our property, doing their job, and this jerk just plows right through them. We don't let our dogs run, and if we had been expecting the mailman to drive up to the house we would have had the dogs inside, but we did not expect him and the dogs were on their way to the house at the time- they just walk slower than us because they have to sniff at every little thing they pass on the way. I was already upset this morning because the goat was sick, but now I am REALLY upset!!!!!!!!! aaargh.
     
  2. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I am SO sorry! Thank goodness the dog is all right. You can supposedly report unfortunate mailperson behaviour to the Postmaster General in your area, if you feel like doing so.

    hollym
     

  3. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Are you positive the carrier even saw the dog before or after being hit? My carriers sit on the right side of their vehicle (stradding the hump), which limits what they can see on the left side.
     
  4. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Ken, I KNOW that he saw both dogs as they approached his vehicle, at which point he should have slowed way down, but did not. I don't know this driver very well, but from the couple of times I have spoken to him I already know that he is a grouchy old man- always complains about packages, or anything else that disrupts his routine.

    This is pure speculation on my part, but now I am wondering if maybe he didn't just think he would "teach the dogs a lesson" because they were barking at his vehicle. I can't be certain that he knew that he hit the Ridgeback, but he should have slowed down when he saw them approach the vehicle.

    This will probably upset DH, but I think I will go by the post office and file a complaint. In addition, I am going to post a "Slow down for blind dog" at the end of the drive-although we haven't had a problem with anyone else who has come on our property. always something!
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Formerly LisainN.Idaho Supporter

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    Maybe it's just my experience, but all the rural mail carriers we've ever had were not the most pleasant of people. And lazy too. I know that they are not postal employees, but contractors. Maybe they're perpetually mad because they aren't getting all the goodies that the postal employees get.
     
  6. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Whoa, maybe while you are at the post office, you should just rent a P.O. box. That way you won't have to worry about the Rural FREE Delivery carrier hitting your blind dog.
     
  7. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Bare, you are very entertaining and I always get a good laugh from your posts.

    Funny thing is, I never knew that RFD was FREE- I thought we were PAYING for it when we purchase postage stamps. silly me, thanks for clearing that up.

    My dog, btw, is blind in ONE eye, she can see well enough to get out of the way of a vehicle moving at a reasonable rate down our private drive- but NOT one that is driving at excess speeds.
     
  8. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    RFD really does stand for Rural Free Delivery. Purchase of postage entitles one to ship a letter or package from one post office to another, it doesn't automatically entitle us to delivery to our door. The post office can refuse to deliver directly to you for any number of reasons. Loose dogs is one of them. We had a carrier that refused to deliver to a neighbor because their dog was very friendly and jumped up for a scratch and lick every time the mail was delivered and scratched heck out of his new car.

    Our current delivery person won't deliver unless your mailbox is at a specific height and we have to change the height of our box twice a year to accommodate the different vehicles she uses winter and summer.

    Personally, I cut my mail lady a lot of slack because I value getting my mail without having to drive 30 miles to get it. She's even kind enough to almost always bring a package to the house without leaving me a little yellow card requiring that I drive 30 miles to pick up a package. I've lost a couple free range chickens over the years to the mail rig, but I figure if the chickens are that dumb, the mail lady was doing me a favor.
     
  9. ChickenHound

    ChickenHound Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'd be LIVID if I were you! I hope the dog is alright. I'd not only file a complaint, but I would go in there with a vet bill that they can pay too. In my experience, only when employees start costing a company money do managers pay attention to your complaints.

    BTW, I thought I was the only one with a crabby rural mail carrier. I wonder what it is about them! Mine gets SO worked up whenever he has to deliver a package ... God forbid a mailman has to deliver MAIL!
     
  10. tsdave

    tsdave Grand Marshal

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    My mailbox is at the end of my lane. About 2000 ft from my house.

    BTW i like my mail person. And if you dont like them comming to your
    house to deliver the mail, you should go and get it from them everyday.
     
  11. longshadowfarms

    longshadowfarms Well-Known Member

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    Guess you're incredibly unlucky. Ours have all been wonderful. We've had mostly women delivering to the house. They put all larger packages in the barn and never try to go past the dogs to the house. The only one I've ever had a problem with was a guy who worked right at the post office. Slow, miserable and befuddled by anything other than buying stamps. He didn't last too long.

    Bear Creek, how about facilities near the mail box for any packages? It just needs to be dry for inclement weather. The post office can tell you dimensions of what size they carry up to.
     
  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    1. I was a rural mail carrier for four and a half years. I was a government employee for the USPS, not a contractor, but I must have missed out on the goodies! I didn't even have health insurance.

    2. I was always polite and definitely not lazy when I was working what is not an easy job. Try it sometime. You won't like it.

    3. Our mail lady hit our Tom back in January. We live a 1/2 mile up the road and she knew the dogs might be out (although I tried to keep them in around the time she usually ran). She ran early that day and was flying up the drive. She ran completely over Tom, rolling him over and over under her car.

    Seven surgeries later and several thousand dollars Tom is finally back to being a happy dog. He'll always be slightly crippled. The Post Office refuses to take any responsibility for what happened and it looks like we will have to sue. They actually have a policy in place for such things and the lawyer said it's very simple. Seems it is USPS policy to deny responsibility and then settle out of court should the victim sue.

    4. The mail lady no longer comes up our driveway. In fact, we put a chain across the driveway with a "KEEP OUT" sign on it. UPS, FEDEX, or anyone else thinking about coming up our driveway are not welcome. We put a delivery box next to the chain gate for UPS/FEDEX and I pick my packages up at the post office. It was the only thing we could think of to protect the dogs.

    My dogs never get in the road, so we assumed they were safe in their on front yard a half mile from the road. We were wrong. We made amends. The dogs are a little safer now.

    I hope your dog is okay. I would strongly suggest you do something like put up a gate, pick packages up at the Post Office or put a delivery box next to your mailbox for package delivery.
     
  13. Michael W. Smith

    Michael W. Smith Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I would go in to the post office and talk to the manager of that branch. Luckily we have had nice mail people and haven't had any problems. We don't have a driveway as our house is maybe 30' off of a state road (which is a back road so not a whole lot of traffic).

    My free range chickens do get hit from time to time, and just lastnight we saw our neighbor come up past the house (he is a constable) and ended up running over one of our cats. (Luckily I had a bon fire going, so kitty got cremated.) We are really only attached to one or two of our cats, so it wasn't any big loss, but I would have thought he would have stopped and let us know. :mad: I know that living close to a road is dangerous, but when you hit a pet, I would hope most people would stop and at least tell you "I'm sorry, but I just hit & killed your dog/cat."

    Sadly, we have had several cats killed, and nobody stops. I have had some people stop to tell me they hit a chicken, though most of the time those are hit and runs too.
     
  14. okgoatgal2

    okgoatgal2 Well-Known Member

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    some of you have had some horrid RCA's (rural carrier associate). i was one for 2 yrs. it is a hard, miserable job, but the pay is actually pretty good. i always slowed down in driveways, too many stray dogs around and too many dogs running loose (and most of the driveways are horrid trails, anyway), and i gave service with a smile, no matter how tired and miserable i was-that was my job. i'll thank you not to group us all as cranky horrid people. my carrier is a pleasant lady-maybe b/c i used to work w/her, but, still, she was pleasant before i worked for the po. he should have slowed down, in your driveway. you should talk to him in front of his postmaster. likely, nothing will be done, at the very least, common decency should make him apologize and offer to pay for any damages, but, we all know how rare common decency is in this country.
    i did refuse to deliver packages to a few houses-they had dogs that WOULD NOT behave when i tried to get out, and they were never home, so they got a notice in their box that they had a package. it's a catch 22-if you deliver and the dogs eat the package, you're in trouble. if you take it back to the po, you're in trouble. i took the safe road, and explained that since i didn't know their dogs, i thought it best not to risk leaving the pkg where the dogs could get it.
     
  15. TimandPatti

    TimandPatti Texas

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    From what I read, the Mail carrier hit the poor dog on purpose. No excuse for that!
     
  16. BearCreekFarm

    BearCreekFarm Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Oxankle, we depend upon our dogs to announce the arrival of strangers. We are frequently back in a barn or equipment shed and don't hear the vehicle coming down the driveway. We do not allow them to get aggressive, however, and they are not left outside when we are not at home, so there is no danger of them running around chasing the mail truck while we are away. I don't expect the mail carrier to treat my dogs like babies, but I DO expect him to exercise caution when he is on our property. The guy was driving too fast, period. He saw the dogs and he did not slow down, period. This has nothing to do with us not wanting our mail, but we don't want him hitting our dogs and I don't see why that seems strange to you.
     
  17. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    Rural carriers are not required to drop packages off. If it doesn't fit in your box, you have to go get it. However, the driver assumed responsibility for his actions when he went up your drive. He is responsible...I would complain! Just don't be surprised when you don't get deliveries or pickups anymore.

    I love my two carriers. They love my livestock - I'm a rare 'free range' breed around here, and although they are used to chickens and dogs, they think the goats are a blast, and have been here ocassionally when I'm letting my mare graze the yard...we're over 500 feet from the road, on our own drive. They'll even call me when I get hatching eggs in to see if I'd like to pick them up or if they'll be ok in the car for the day...

    One thing I would do, is make sure all your animals meet your carrier. First thing I did when I got my Giant Schnauzer was introduce, and tell the carrier she'll be lose on a wireless fencing system.

    And if you have free ranging chickens - a doz eggs here and there always gives them a smile ;-)

    I'm debating putting a box at the road fork so they can drop off there and turn around, as some of the new contract FedEx guys are really wacky about being approached by animals. The guineas chased him off last week I about died ROFL...

    Totally totally complain...and arrange pickup ;-)

    Hope the doggie is ok.

    Andrea
     
  18. jessepona

    jessepona Food Not Lawns :p

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    If he tried to hit the dog on purpose that is totally unacceptable. There's just no excuse. There's also no excuse for being discourtious. If he knew he it the dog, he should have appologised and made arrangements to only leave mail at the box or at least slow down. I'm sorry but I worked at McDonalds when I was 17 and it was a terrible job. But I NEVER never never ever was rude to any of our customers. Even when a guy threw a shake on me because it was the wrong flavor I never said anything. I chose the job. I was paid to do that job and to deal with the customers. The pay wasn't worth it so I got another job. If he hates his job, he should get another one. I know it isn't easy to find jobs in this economy but he shouldn't take it out on you and your dogs in the meantime. It may be Rural free delivery, but the guy does get paid right? And who pays him, taxpayers?

    I would complain. Your dogs have a right to be on your property and you have a right to expect they won't become dog pancakes.
     
  19. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    In contrast, my rural deliverers were WONDERFUL - always went out of their way to bring us our packages (which I don't think they are REQUIRED to do)

    Also, when our dog was lost, the mailman offered to take a copy of my poster with him in his car & keep his eye open for our dog!

    BearCreek,
    If I were you, I wouldn't jump to conclusions that the mailman PURPOSELY hit your dog - that's a pretty big leap, in my opinion. If you feel THIS UPSET about it, YOU should talk to the guy, not leave it up to your dh.

    posting the 'WATCH OUT FOR BLIND DOG' sign is a GOOD IDEA

    Just my 2 cents -
     
  20. texican

    texican Well-Known Member

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    I'd be mad too.

    Having said that, it might be time to give your dogs some vehicle aversion therapy. Dogs naturally want to approach strangers either walking or driving up to your house. It's your job, as owner/alpha pack member, to let your dogs know that it's dangerous to approach vehicles. I use every aversive therapy imagined when I get a new pup...I'd rather them be frightened of an approaching car/truck, than get run over. I know I would (and sure you would also) feel terrible if your pet got run over and killed. I've got a weener dog, he's been aversively trained, and of course, getting even bumped could be fatal.

    Do you have a gate? If not, call your postmaster, and ask to have all deliveries made to your mailbox...if oversized, or a signature is required, have them leave a notice, and you can go in to town and take care of it... like someone else said, most carriers dislike having to go out of their way, and the carrier'd probably rather pop one of those little slips in your box anyway.