Since my favorite UPS driver Kevin retired last fall, life just hasn’t been the same. I was making some headway with Craig, his replacement, thanks in large part to Mike giving him a box of dog biscuits on two separate occasions so he didn’t think I was just a beggar without redeeming value. Then Craig suddenly disappeared, and the succession of drivers who followed for the next several months did nothing to engage me or the other dogs on the West Magnolia route. (I heard all about these share complaints while hanging out in the canine chat room around the Dravus water cooler, I mean water tower.)
Finally, one day I heard the brown truck roll up our block, and I barked insistently enough that Mike got me leashed up and out the front door while the truck was still parked in front of the driveway next door to us. This time a smiling woman driver came bounding out of the truck with a big hello. There was no one else around, so I realized that she was saying hi to me! And before I even had a chance to squeal and writhe at her feet on the pavement, she reached into her brown shirt pocket and handed me a treat. Not thrown on the ground like Kevin did, but real my mouth-to-her hand contact. After Mike asked her if she would be the regular driver on this route, and she said she would be, she told us that Craig had left UPS to drive huge semi tucks on long-distance trips. Compared to the quiet streets of Magnolia, doesn’t seem a step up to me, but maybe Craig craved a more open road. Then Mike and I exchanged names with the new driver, and Donna gave me another treat. I didn’t even have to ask.
What’s more, the next two times I saw Donna went even better: She remembered my name! Kevin, bless him, always called me Killer, but I’m sure he said that to all the dogs. Donna remembers my name and says that I’m “so cute.” That’s a direct quote.
I do have some quibbles, of course. First, she seems to have a lot of days off. I frequently see other UPS drivers make deliveries on our street, and none of those drivers know me and don’t seem to want to make any eye contact. Frankly, I’d like Donna to have a heavier workload, although I figure she’ll be a lot more regular in the run-up to the year-end holidays.
I also have to point out the size of the treats she’s giving out is on the small size. They are similar to the mini, bone-shaped treats that Heather sometimes brings me from Pet Pros in Magnolia Village. It would take about 10 of them to equal one of the giant Milk Bones that Kevin would toss me from his truck. Mike gave Donna a bag of the good Science Diet baked bones biscuits the other day, so I expect the menu to improve at my favorite brown food truck.
And hey, Donna has a great attitude and high potential. I just hope I get longer to groom her than I got with Craig.