Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Mail Call

Beau always responded when people came calling.  When we came home, he was there, tail wagging and panting, ready to jump up and greet us.  When company came, or the Bible study group came around he followed them everywhere, anxious to be part of the proceedings.  When the mailman came, the enthusiasm was the same, but the reaction was different.

            We first made the discovery one morning when Elizabeth was, unusually, home alone during the day. The mailman came and left our mail in the letterbox at the side of the house. Elizabeth was in the kitchen and opened the door to retrieve the mail. As she reached for the mail Beau was out of the house like a rocket in pursuit of the mailman.  The mailman claimed later that Beau attacked and bit him.  No evidence of biting was evident, but there could be no denial that Beau had pursued the mailman somewhat aggressively.

            The postman filed his complaint and Canada Post sent an official to investigate. Barbara, our neighbour, testified that there was no way that Beau could have attacked the postman – he was too nice a dog to do that.  He talked to Elizabeth and went into the backyard to interview the suspect.  Beau lay there serene, as the official talked to him and rubbed him.  It was the perfect life as far as Beau was concerned.  The official observed to Elizabeth that it seemed difficult to believe that Beau could be vicious.

            No sooner were the words out of his mouth than the mailman arrived.  Beau was off like a shot – teeth bared and growling.  The chain holding him grew taut as he pulled to get loose and show that postman once and for all that he was not welcome on our turf.  Needless to say, the Canada Post official was a little bit less certain that Beau was innocent in the case before him.

            We never did figure it out.  Beau was not by nature vicious or aggressive, but he sure went nuts with postmen.  Twice after he moved to Montreal he went after postmen.   In fact, Elizabeth finally received a notice from Canada Post that if he were to attack another postman it would be necessary to have him put down.

            My theory was that the postman must have threatened the dog to provoke such fear.  I could not help but notice a peculiar phenomenon one morning when I was at home. The persistent barking of a dog in the distance interrupted the silence of the usually tranquil neighbourhood.  Other dogs joined the chorus progressively and finally Beau also became part of the chorus as the postman arrived outside our door.  As the postman continued on his way quiet gradually returned to the neighbourhood as dogs dropped out of the barking chorus.  Was there communication in the canine community to warn of the malevolent postman on his rounds?

            The facts were never clearly established but we were certain that Beau was innocent.  Could the postman’s be at fault?  One of life’s unsolved mysteries.  

Word Guild Award
Word Guild Award

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