Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Dog Ate... WHAT? Part II

Deker’s alternate title: My dog ate my......mail truck?

I said it last time, here it comes again… this is one of those, “you gotta see it to believe it” things…

In part one we had a brief introduction to Deker and Judge. Well, here is judge, isn’t he a handsome pup?

And here he is playing with deker’s other dog, Justice:

I’ll skip the picture of Deker, the dogs are more photogenic anyway, but how about a sample of their work (and there's 3 more just like it):

Yesterday I got a call from Deker about him leaving work, something about a mail truck stuck in his driveway. I just don’t know what else to say (every time I try I end up laughing)… just click on the link to see the whole story or I’ll copy the text here in case the link goes away:

Dogs hold mail carrier 'hostage'
Evening Sun Reporter
Article Launched: 02/28/2008 10:36:52 AM EST

Maybe the theory comes from cartoons, but it's generally believed that dogs and mailmen are archenemies.

That theory was tested Wednesday in West Manheim Township.

Police responded to 960 Grand Valley Road after rural-route letter carrier Robin Barton called from her cell phone, telling police she was trapped in her vehicle.

Barton, who usually does not cover that route, drove up the long, steep driveway to the Dekelbaum residence to deliver a package. As she turned around at the top of the hill near the house, a Rottweiler and a pit-bull mix attacked her Jeep Cherokee.

"Yes, I was frightened," she said later.

Barking and growling, the dogs ran around in a fury and attacked her tires. They snipped, bit and snarled and flattened three of them. The owners were not home to round up their dogs, and Barton was trapped.

The dogs, Judge and Justice, stayed in the yard, not letting her go.

An underground electronic "fence" kept them from leaving the yard, owner Stephanie Dekelbaum said later.

When West Manheim Police pulled up the driveway, the dogs charged the cruiser, barking and striking at one of the tires. Police pulled back down to the road so as not to get stuck there with Barton.

Police Chief Tim Hippensteel said he had never seen anything like it before.

Two police cruisers were parked at the bottom of the hill. Judge and Justice stood watch over the Jeep. The canines had the high ground, but were stuck there because of the electronic fence.

It was a standoff, and they had a hostage.

Police couldn't reach the homeowners. The only way to save Barton now was to bring in an expert, Hippensteel said. They called animal control officer Terry Hemler.

The plan, he said, was for Hemler to shoot tranquilizers at Judge and Justice. With the dogs unconscious, they could bring in a tow truck to haul out Barton's jeep, rescuing her and ensuring the 10 houses left on her route would get their parcels that day.

Tranquilizers were not needed, though. Dekelbaum drove her yellow Mustang down the road, and was surprised to see two police cruisers, with flashing lights, and an animal control truck outside her house.

She pulled up the driveway, got out of her car, and the dogs turned instantly from Cujos into happy, bounding puppies.

"They're generally sweethearts," she said, blaming a recently acquired tire toy for the attack on Barton's vehicle.

The dogs followed her into the house, frolicking and playing, glad their owner was home.

And Barton was free.

Despite being trapped for nearly two hours, she still likes dogs. In fact, this letter carrier breaks the stereotype about dogs and letter carriers. She raises beagles.

Dekelbaum apologized, and Barton left with acting postmaster Bobbi Pfaff to finish her route.