Do not be deceived by appearances. He is a lunatic.
There are aspects of Virgil that are lovely and sweet, and aspects that haven’t changed since the day he first arrived in our home, put his head in my boot, and peed. Let’s just say that he has his quirks, and one of them is a hatred for any and all mail carriers that is – and I mean this with zero exaggeration – completely insane and utterly pathological.
I don’t understand it. He sees the SAME. PERSON. EVERY. DAY. And yet every day (EVERY DAY!!!) he reacts to the sight of our mail carrier like she is one of the horsemen of the apocalypse, and has just arrived on our doorstep with the intention of making him into a throw rug. He somehow grows six sizes larger and turns into a horrifying attack creature, snarling and spitting and clawing at the window, absolutely desperate to do something to her that definitely involves her death. I even know when she rounds the corner at the very end of our block, because he has a very special bark that he reserves only for her, and what that bark means is I WILL END YOU, LADY, IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO.
Now, all of this would be kind of embarrassing generally speaking, because she is the nicest human being on the planet, and really does not deserve to be hated by anyone, human or canine. It is also annoying, because if a child is napping when the mail arrives, guess what?! Not napping anymore. But oh my god, it is so much worse than that, because another thing Virgil does it take any and all opportunities to streak out of the house like a laser-bomb and physically go after this nice, nice woman who is just trying to deliver some goddamn mail and go home and have a beer or something. And? I CAN’T KEEP HIM FROM DOING THIS.
I can’t do it. I’m serious. It happens almost every day.
I’m not a wholly inept person. I haven’t burned any houses down (yet). I remember to check the stove and lock the windows before I leave. There is gas in my car practically always! But this? This I cannot get a handle on. Either he escapes when I open the door and I don’t notice and he lies in wait for her, or I accidentally open the door to get something from the car at the exact (and seemingly unpredictable) moment that she arrives on our block and BOOM, he’s pushed past me and launched himself at her, or the guys working on our house leave the side gate unlocked and he worms his way through…whatever it is, he keeps getting out and I cannot stop this from happening and my mail carrier is going to kill me.
Suffice it to say that our nice, nice mail lady is significantly less nice to me lately.
She HATES ME, you guys. And I don’t blame her, because WTF is wrong with me that I cannot keep my dog inside our house and/or train him not to follow her for blocks (BLOCKS!!!) trying to eat her feet?
Help me. What do I do, seriously? Clearly we have not done a good job with the training situation; maybe there’s some method I don’t know about? Do I set up some sort of bat signal with this lady where she texts me when she’s approaching, so I know to staple Virgil’s tail to the floor or something? (Kidding! Sort of.)
Help me help me help me. Because the next thing that is going to happen is that my bills are going to start suspiciously disappearing into the ether, and then I will have no electricity and thus no lights and I will have to use candles, and then I really may burn down my house.
Help me not burn down my house.
Photo credit: Sue Hudelson.