Life continued on until about 11am on Wednesday, June 11 (happy 75th birthday, Dad).
|Honest to god, he's a small, cute dog. Look at that face!|
I got a text from my neighbor saying that Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) was looking for me. Wait, what? Why? She said she didn't know but it didn't seem like the MACC officer knew my name.
I was perplexed. The only thing I could think was that it must have something to do with the encounter with SP, the temporary mail carrier, from the previous day.
I immediately call Minneapolis Animal Care & Control (MACC) and let them know I'd just heard someone was looking for me. I explain who I am, etc. and they tell me that a USPS mail carrier has accused my dog of biting her. My brain sort of flat-lined at this point. I think I said some things like:
"I'm dumbfounded ... I don't even ..."
"Could there be some kind of mistake?"
The person I was speaking to said MACC needed to meet with Nano and me to take a statement. We settled on that evening. But, I also recounted the event (yes, including that the leash malfunctioned because I'm a stupidly honest person).
I do remember saying, "I hope we can get this all straightened out because there must be some mistake or reasonable explanation." <<< That statement right there another moment that makes me think, "Oh Alicia, get it together, so naive."
I then called my friend, KC, who knows pretty much everything there is to know about animals, especially dogs. She also cuts my hair and brings me Key Lime pie during times of crisis and celebration. Essentially, she is my life partner even though her boyfriend doesn't know it. <<< Surprise, Jeremy!
She suggested I call the USPS and talk to a manager at my local station. This station happens to share a name with a park where there is a huge May Day celebration every year and rhymes with ChowderCorn.
So, I did. Naive, trusting, reasonable me. I called and found myself in the center of a cyclone full of flying razor blades and a deep hatred ... for me.
This phone call ranks in the Top Three Most Upsetting Calls of My Life. The other two involve learning about the death of a loved one. I'm not kidding, this was a rough call. I sure wish I'd had the presence of mind to record it, but I didn't because the previous call with MACC had already shorted out my brain.
I reached a manager, Mr. PH, right away. Identified myself and said I was very confused. I'd just spoken to MACC and they said a mail carrier had reported my dog for biting her. I said I wanted to get things straightened out because I thought there had been some kind of mistake.
That was when the tirade began. I was yelled at for accusing his mail carrier of lying (I actually hadn't said that, I was still thinking this was an honest mistake). I was yelled at for being a liar.
I was informed, in no uncertain terms, that my dog was a "vicious animal" and that Animal Control was going to take him away and "destroy him immediately".
Mr. PH said that the USPS was stopping mail service to the entire building where I live, effective immediately.
When I said, "You can do that?!" Mr. PH said, "I can do anything I want to protect my people from vicious dog attacks like my carrier endured yesterday."
PH said the only way he would resume mail service was when MACC provided their report and recommendations, which would be to kill my vicious dog. MACC would also need to confirm I was in compliance with their requirements. <<< This is a key point. After the USPS saw the report, they didn't like it. It was fairly mild. This doesn't support the USPS version of events and also doesn't support the severity of the event they are trying to prove. If they successfully prove a traumatic/violent event, the mail carrier can get a big pay out, or so I've been told by some mail carrier friends.
At one point, I said that during the incident, SP hadn't given any indication of pain or fear. Not even a flinch.
I realized this conversation wasn't going to get any better. I let Mr. PH know I was meeting with MACC that evening and I was hopeful we'd get things sorted out.
I got off the phone and immediately started bawling my eyes out.
I couldn't make sense of how I'd been treated or spoken to - like a criminal, like a piece of trash, like a lying scumbag. I felt like I'd stepped into a surreal nightmare.
And, that, right there, was probably the most prescient moment I've had in the last 2+ weeks. I would continue to be treated (and feel) that way.
My work/fun day with my friend was ruined. I was a basket case and just wanted to get home to Nano and apologize to him for whatever I did to get us into this fiasco. Nano, being a thinking woman's spaz-a-matazz, forgave me instantly. God love him, he's a brilliant and loving little fellow.
|A reflective moment as Nano realizes he is smarter than me.|