After being the butt of many comic strips and the bite of many dogs, Austrian letter carriers have had enough. Luckily, their bosses seemed to have come up with a delicious solution. One bag for mail and one bag for dog treats.
Although many of us find the thought of a dog chasing the carriers funny, it can be devastating and traumatic for the carriers themselves. Kurt Obermann, a spokesman for Austrian Post AG, said, “Our postmen and women often have to approach strange houses to do their jobs, and of course most dogs are wired to defend their territory.We want to protect our employees against any run-ins with dogs.”
After 47 carriers were bit last year the decision was made to arm Austria’s 9,000 carriers with dog treats. A local dog treat manufacturer has stepped up and made 10 tons of treats to be distributed.
Two weeks into the trial, there seems to be good results.
One carrier, Maria Stocker, said, “The dogs are now nice… I’m now known as the ‘treat lady’ and the dogs are always well behaved – even though they used to see me as a threat.”
The spokesman for the post office, Michael Homola, said that along with handing out brochures with information about how to deal with aggressive dogs, they are also offering special counseling and training for those carriers who are suffering from more serious fears of dogs.
“Every bite is one bite too many.”