“My dog doesn’t bite”

14016_0203_05_2014 Tamara McEntee

Some dog owners have said “my dog doesn’t bite.” But the reality is that under the right circumstances, all dogs can bite.

There are many reasons why dogs bite. Dogs can be protective of their property, feeling the urge to attack in order to defend. This protection can extend around a yard, a favorite toy, or a human. A dog can be afraid, particularly around strangers, and may strike at someone out of that fear. Giving chase to prey is another reason dogs bite.  A dog’s natural pursuit and catch instinct can be triggered when it sees someone running or bicycling.

Here are a couple tips to follow that will help keep your dog and your local letter carrier safe this summer:

  • If a letter 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. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate-glass windows to get at strangers.
  • Dog owners should remind their children about the need to keep the family dog secured. Be sure to also tell children not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet as the dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a child as a threatening gesture.

The Postal Service places the safety of its employees as a top priority. If a letter carrier feels threatened by a vicious dog or if a dog is running loose, the owner may be asked to pick up the mail at the Post Office until the carrier is assured the pet has been restrained. If the dog is roaming the neighborhood, the pet owner’s neighbors may be asked to pick up their mail at the Post Office as well.

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Drone Carriers Could Expand Package Delivery Service

Drone carriers

Drones may not be filling the skies these days, but they might be in the not so distant future. Companies such as Amazon.com, UPS, and Alibaba (the Chinese e-commerce company) have tested the viability of drone delivery and continue to enhance the technology to expand cargo capacity and flight time. While the results are promising, the addition of another existing technology could enhance the efficiency of drones – airships.

Airship technology has existed in one form or another since the 1600s, though their development didn’t begin in earnest until the 1800s. While not typically used to transport people or equipment in the modern era, airships are still used to this day for such endeavors as advertising, research, and surveillance. Given their mobility and stability, the lighter-than-air vessels could also be used as drone carriers.

A shipping company could load an airship with packages scheduled for delivery within a given service area. Housed within a small hangar, a drone fleet could pick up and deliver packages to intended destinations and return to the hangar to pick up additional deliveries. When their power levels reach a certain minimum level, removable battery packs could be extracted from the drones and replaced with fresh ones.

While the technology to make drone carriers a modern reality currently exists, it is not yet legal for drones to operate for commercial use in most cases. In 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration may make the possibility a reality when it issues a ruling on the use of drones for commercial purposes. Until then, and if the ruling isn’t pushed back beyond 2017, the possibility of using airships as drone carriers is up in the air.

Take a Moment to Thank Your Carrier

Take the moment

As the quote from Herodotus goes, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Postal carriers are the embodiment of that description, as Missouri State Representative Patricia Pike recently expressed.

Pike communicated her appreciation to Butler City Carrier Randy Mathes for his commitment to service by presenting him with a Certificate of Recognition. Bearing the official seal of the Missouri House of Representatives, the certificate also displays a photo of Mathes.

In addition to a hand-written note of thanks, the certificate also reflects on how individuals “sit in…dry warm offices, homes, or vehicles” while others, such as Randy Mathes, “walk miles daily delivering letters, bills, magazines and notices to each individual mailbox.”

Employee Profile: Clarence Brown

Clarence Brown

Medford, OR, Building Equipment Mechanic Clarence Brown joined the Postal Service in 1973 as a Christmas casual after serving four years in the Coast Guard. He enjoyed his time with USPS, and when he was offered the opportunity to become a PTF clerk after his 90-day term, he jumped at the chance.

Brown spent one year in his new position until he decided to switch crafts to become a carrier where he remained for 27 years. In 2002, Brown opted to tackle new challenges and switched to a career path in maintenance by becoming an MPE. The lure of expanding his horizons later beckoned him to accept a position as an electronic technician. After many years of dedicated service, Brown eventually chose a position as a building equipment mechanic, the one he holds to this day.

With 45 years of service in the books, Brown recently received his 45-year service award. He looks forward to retiring later this year and spending time with his wife of 42 years and 10 grandchildren.

“I’m proud to have worked for the US Postal Service all these years and I appreciate all the opportunities and benefits it has provided me,” said Brown.

Albuquerque’s First Female Carrier Retires

Albuquerque carrierIn 1973, Carolyn Gustafson was the second female letter carrier hired at the Naperville, IL, Post Office. Though the position was challenging, she enjoyed the work and stayed in the same office for five years until she decided it was time to move to a warmer climate.

After an exploratory visit, Gustafson decided to make the transition to Albuquerque, NM, in 1978, and in doing so, became the first female letter carrier in the city. She was promoted to customer services supervisor 9 years later and served in other supervisory capacities before eventually becoming the Postmaster of Elephant Butte, NM. On March 3, Gustafson will finish her postal career with 41 years of service.

“I have been blessed with a wonderful career and have come to realize that it is time for me to go,” said Gustafson. ”I have made many friends and will miss everyone.”

Above and Beyond: Colorado Springs Carrier Saves Life

City Carrier William Searuggs. Photo by: Linda Neill.

City Carrier William Searuggs. Photo by: Linda Neill.

City Carrier William Searuggs was delivering his Colorado Springs route on a cool January morning when he noticed a pool of blood on the porch near the mailbox. At the same time, he heard a cry from inside. “Help me. Please open the door and come in. Help me.”

Opening the door to the home and entering the residence, he first noticed blood on the wall, and then found his 86-year old customer on the floor, unable to get up, bleeding from the back of his head.

To reduce the flow of blood, Searuggs elevated the customer’s head, using a towel to stem the bleeding. He called 911 and stayed until first responders arrived.

According to family members, the customer had fallen on the porch, striking his head on the cement. He also suffered several broken ribs. The customer was able to walk inside, but grew dizzy and fell again.

Extensive local media coverage followed.

The daughter of the customer credits the carrier for saving her father’s life. “He was on blood thinners and probably didn’t have much longer to live,” she said.

Idaho Carrier Honored by Audio Book Service

Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young with Station Manager Les Miller.

Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young with Station Manager Les Miller. Photo courtesy of Idaho Talking Book Service.

Talking Book Service (TBS) is an audio book and magazine lending service offered free of charge by the Idaho Commission for Libraries to individuals with physical limitations. Each year, TBS customers have the opportunity to nominate why their carrier deserves the organization’s coveted Postal Carrier of the Year Award in the delivery of TBS material.

For the 2013 award, nearly 90 carriers were recognized throughout the state of Idaho by customers impressed with their carrier’s dedication to service. Only one individual is awarded the special recognition, and for 2013, that individual was Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young.

Young is a 20 year veteran of the Postal Service, and is no stranger to praise from customers. Her consistently high level of customer satisfaction was also recognized in the spring edition of the Western Area Update.

The award presentation, recently held at the Boise Overland Trail Station, was attended by TBS members as well Station Manager Les Miller, Boise Postmaster Daniel Corral, and Salt Lake City District Manager Jimmy Wolf.

“Gretchen has always had a very positive personality and can-do attitude,” said Miller. “I’m proud of her terrific customer service efforts that allowed her to receive this award.”

Labor of love

Labor of love

Walking her route each and every workday is nothing new for Mitchell, SD, City Carrier Shawn Patton. Doing so until the day before she gave birth was a labor of love.

Patton normally walks her nearly 12 mile route carrying the weight of her satchel and the bundles of joy contained inside. For the past nine months, she added her own bundle of joy to the mix, carrying her unborn child with her along her route.

While her pregnancy didn’t impact her ability to do her job, she did have her concerns.

“I was a little nervous that my water would break while I was on my route,” said Patton. “But that never happened.”

After caring for both her customer’s mail and her own unborn child throughout her pregnancy, Patton finally gave birth to Gwenivere Rose Patton early in the morning on Jun 14.

Patton will spend the next two months with her newborn daughter to enjoy quality bonding time. After that, she looks forward to returning to her route and loyal customers.

“I am excited to go back because I do like my job,” said Patton.

Dedication to service

City carrier assistants

Becoming a career employee with the Postal Service is a position many aspire to. It takes dedication and hard work to meet customer expectations, and for those that exceed the challenges of their positions comes the possibility of a bright career path on the road ahead.

On April 25, 12 city carrier assistants were converted to career city carriers in Scottsdale, AZ.

Scottsdale Postmaster Bill Schwartz swore in the new career carriers during the ceremony. “It was a great experience to recognize them as their career continues with the Postal Service,” said Schwartz. “It was also rewarding for their colleagues to see the bright future ahead.”

Smiles Fly from Family Surprise

John Tate million mile 1

When Grantsville, UT, Rural Carrier John Tate was awarded his million mile plaque earlier this month, he received more than a trophy to commemorate the occasion.

Postmaster Ronald Dalton wanted to make the special event one to remember, so he secretly invited Tate’s family to the station to be a part of the ceremony. When Tate turned the corner in the office and saw most of his family standing before him, the look on his face was enough to show how much he appreciated the gesture.

“I could tell it meant a lot to him to have his whole family there,” said Dalton.

Tate’s son Travis, a rural carrier for the same station, was also presented with a 12 year safe driving award during the celebration.

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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