Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Is It About Postal Workers and Dogs?

Please do not oppress my love.
Pit Bull sad eyesI had the dogs out for a potty break. This is the only time I use retractable leashes. I live in a psuedo-apartment complex, which is actually a neo-Victorian home transformed into apartments. There is a partially fenced in front yard. Since other neighbors have dogs, I always leash my dogs. And since I cannot fathom having to follow six feet from two pooping dogs, I use retractable leashes. Please do not hate me too much.

The postal person arrived.You know how I knew the postal employee was going to arrive? A full 45 seconds before the postal worker came into view, Mina was all POSTAL EMPLOYEE APPROACHING, high alert, high alert! I thought it was another dog approaching, but then sighed heavily when I saw the mailman.

Celeste is unsure of postal employees. She's curious enough, but a little nervous when they pet her. Mina LOVES postal workers. It's an intense sort of love that almost borders on obsession. She once tried to jump into a postal worker's vehicle, just to say hi. The postal worker was polite enough not to hit her over the head with his satchel. He even pet her. This just reinforced her generally one-sided love obsession.

I'm not sure how this mail man is going to react to the dogs. I start heading up the stairs, but Mina is DO NOT DRAG ME FROM THE LOVE OF MY LIFE and Celeste is totally oblivious. I am glad 50% of my dogs are acting normally. The other 50% is embarrassing enough. I'm talking about you, Mina. Finally, I just give up and ask the guy if he is okay with dogs.

He's all, I love dogs! Which is good, because Mina is barreling towards him and can't stop in time, so she head-butts him in the leg. This is all very acceptable behavior, according to the postal worker. He pets Celeste who is slowly wagging her tail and looking concerned. And he pets Mina who ducks and expresses her desire for a back scratch, not a head pat.

Then he tells me how a Pit Bull once tried to attack him. He had to use his satchel for protection, which was good. I felt bad and embarrassed (come on, people, don't let your dog eat the mail!) (Or the mail person). To allay his fears, I tell him Mina only latches on to stuffed animals, not satchels or body parts. He said, he could tell she was a good dog. Ha! I could not disagree, even if I wanted to and I sort of did.

My neighbor, an 11-yr-old girl who loves Mina (her Pit Bull is named Nina!) and whose younger brother calls me the pit bull lady, even though only 50% of my dogs are Pit Bulls...oh my god, where was I going with that sentence? Geez. Anyways, she randomly leaps in to pat Mina on the head (Mina is all that is not how you do it) and tell her GOOD DOG before chasing her brother down in an intense, full-contact game of hide-and-seek. That is not how I used to play that game.

So while other dogs may have a strong dislike of mail deliverers in uniform, Mina has an obsessive fascination with them. To be clear, if you saw Mina when she sees the postal employees, you would think OH MY GOD, THAT DOG IS CRAZY. Not because she is slobbering or growling or barking or indicating a desire to eat anyone, but because she looks like a stalking, staring, creepy dog. She's like a Border Collie with The Eye, except the sheep are postal employees and, well, yeah she's a Pit Bull. Nevermind that she just really likes postal employees (and UPS staff too!), *I* still find it disturbing. I do not want my dog to be that intense about greeting someone.

How do your dogs react to mail persons?


Luci's Mama said...

Luci LOVES postal workers...when we lived in Hawaii, she would jump in the postal workers car and make herself home. It was funny...and thank god the postal worker loved her right back :)

KG said...

Mina is just too hilarious. She cracks me up, and I love her commitment to being contrary and not falling into the Usual Dog Stereotypes. Your posts about Mina and Celeste are my fave, and I'm obsessed with your photos of them. I got a digital cam for Christmas and recently started taking 6 billion photos per day of the dog (or dogs, when I'm home with both) and I haven't mastered the way you manage to frame your photos so that they turn out friggin' awesometastic. And I love the vivid color you get and the adorkable poses.

(Speaking of colors: Are all the photos you post taken with your digital SLR? I thought you mentioned having one. I have a "regular" SLR and a litle Nikon digital, and there are such dis/advantages to each that neither can make up for. Urgh. If you've ever used a small dig, is there a particular color or light setting that you liked for, say, indoor doggy photos?)

I haven't managed most of those things, but I'm workin' on it, and you continue to provide inspiration.

Unknown said...

@KG: Mina is pretty awesome. :)

Oh gosh, I take 6 billion photos a day too!

I'm very picky with my photos (not always, but usually). I probably discard photos other people would fine pleasant to look at. I'm hard on myself.

All the photos I post here are taken with one of two cameras, same brand and line, just different years made. I have a Canon EOS 20D and 40D.

I love natural light. So when I shoot indoors, I always capture the dogs by the window (it's right next to the bed, hence why so many of my indoor dog shots feature the same bedspread, heh). I have to bump the iso up, but since I'm not reprinting these off-line, I don't mind the extra pixelation.

What kind of digi do you have? If you can adjust some of the settings, you might be able to access some of the features you like. Alternatively, you can work wonders w/ Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, adjusting levels and such.

There are photographers who are way better than me and far more knowledgeable about cameras and settings and what does and doesn't work. I sort of just fumble my way through it, heh. :)

Unknown said...

One more thing, re framing.

Look at pictures you really like. Generally they follow the "rule of thirds". If you drew three lines vertical and horizontal across your picture, a good "main subject" spot is where lines intersect. Many visually appealing photos have the subject off center. Framing can be fun. Try different angles. :) Have fun, mostly. :)

KG said...

Oooh, good advice, thanks! I definitely prefer natural light photos, but it's been pretty gloomy in Chicago, and I also live in a ground floor apartment, so unfortunately I don't get tons of light.

I have a Nikon "Coolpix" (I'm so embarrassed about its silly name...), the one I got for Christmas and just started using. It actually does take lovely photos. I'm just accustomed to my Canon SLR (EOS, I guess they're called?) and I can't remember the model. It takes such beautiful photos, but it's not digital, which makes it expensive to use since I can't pick which photos I want to print. I should learn to develop myself, but I'm motivation-disabled when it comes to learning new skills.

Are your Canons digital?

I love to get my Canon SLR in a dig model, but I can't afford it right now. The Nikon isn't too bad, actually. I took it outside today because of the beautiful weather and I'm home in WI with a nice backyard, so I tried some different angles and framing experiments. Some of them turned out quite nicely. I think these pics might be my impetus to finally make me'self a blog.

I also need to read the user manual more carefully (er, at all, actually) and figure out how to properly use the ISO, color, and exposure settings on this Nikon.

Thanks again for the suggestions about framing, that's excellent advice.

Unknown said...

@KG: I think Nikon makes good "pocket" digis. I also have a Canon PowerShot, but I prefer the Coolpix.

You could get your photos put on a cd.

I like Canon a lot. I am a Canon snob, in fact. :)

Both my Canons are the digital EOS. I imagine they are very similar to your EOS but digital.

I think you should make a blog!

User manuals are the most under appreciated photography tool, I think!

ennuideluxe said...


My dogs do the MAIL-MAIL-MAIL-MAIL-I'M-SO-HAPPY-MAIL-MAIL thing too. ALL of them do it. They actually wrestle and "fight" (no not really, but you know what I mean. It's the doggy equivalent of bickering) while running full speed to see who gets to greet the mailman first.

Mailman #1, our primary mailman, loves this and is thrilled by how happy they are to see him. I am less happy, because he usually brings me a handful of bills. The dogs ignore this fact and still are ecstatic that he comes to visit almost every day. Judases.

Mailman #2 is deathly afraid of dogs, and pulled his pepper spray out and was going to start swinging his satchel before I could round up the 200+ combined pounds of furry welcome wagon.

Mailman #1 now warns us when he's going on vacation, so we can keep the peace with Mailman #2.

I wish Mailman #2 would like my dogs even a fraction of the amount that they like him, but it's simply not going to happen. He told me that he's been bitten and is afraid of ALL dogs now, even little ones.

Of course, I'm sure a single chihuahua greeting him is a little easier to deal with than a crazy blue -eyed Aussie, a golden retriever/German shepherd mix, and a pit/mastiff (size of a mastiff, muscled like a pit) fighting with each other on the doorstep to determine who gets the right to say hello first.