Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Into the Fire

# of mail trucks (parked): 1
# of mail trucks (in motion): 1
# of mail carriers (on foot): 1
# of UPS trucks (parked): 1
# of UPS delivery folk (on foot): 1
Fatalities or injuries: 0



# of mail trucks (parked): 1
# of mail trucks (in motion): 2
# of mail carriers (on foot): 2
# of FedEX trucks (in motion): 1
# of UPS trucks (in motion): 1
Fatalities or injuries: 0

# of mail trucks (parked): 1
# of mail carriers (on foot): 1
# of FedEx trucks (in motion): 1
Fatalities or injuries: 0

You see I have a new grading system for our walks.

We have been walking directly into the fire. Not once have we made evasive maneuvers. If a mail carrier is walking toward us from up the block, forward we go.

On Monday, the show we put on as we passed a parked mail truck and walked toward a mail carrier (who, upon seeing us, immediately reversed direction, got out her cell phone, and made a call while walking rapidly away) was so impressive that the two teams of middle-schoolers who were playing basketball across the street stopped the game to watch. Even the P.E. teacher stopped to watch for a second before he blew his whistle and yelled at them to get back to it. The gardener who was cleaning off the sidewalk of the church actually stopped the leaf blower and stood and watched.

The great thing? The show didn't last long. The more practice we have of My Good Dog reacting to the evil presence of mail delivery personnel and vehicles and my intervening, the less dramatic it gets.

This morning, as we passed the trailer park on Telegraph, My Good Dog fixed her attention on the mail carrier truck and on the mail carrier on foot beyond the truck, and I kept walking. She reared back a bit, tried a lunge to the right, and I gave a quick snap to the leashes (to ensure the safety of mail delivery personnel, I've been using two leashes in case one breaks or somehow gets free of me), told her no, and kept walking. Although My Good Dog continued to display an unseemly interest in the mail truck until we were half a block away, she did keep walking, and we walking the rest of the way home with My Good Dog trotted sedately at my side.

We've all heard the adage to face our fears a million times. The thinking part of my brain always nods and agrees Yes! Let's face our fears! Let's be bold and brave and daring! while the part of my brain that controls my actions sticks her fingers in her ears and ducks under the covers to hide until the thinking part of my brain gets distracted and wanders away. But the stakes are too high to do that now.

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