Barry’s note: Growing up, my family had a dog named “Chubby,” a beautiful tri-color collie mix. I did not name her “Chubby”; my parents did. They also named my sister “Elmer” but that is another story. This letter was sent by Chubby to “Dear Abby” and a copy was sent to our mail carrier, known in those pre-politically correct days as “the mailman.” Neither responded.
Ms. Abigail Van Buren
Post Office Box 69440
Los Angeles, California 90069
For a very long time now I have received no letters. Everyday, the mailman comes and delivers packages, mail and solicitations of every kind to the mailbox, but it is always for one of the other people living in my house. Because of this, I have developed a very deep-rooted anger towards the mailman which has affected my sleep. In my deepest dreams, I see him coming at me with a stick or can of pepper spray and now, when he comes to my house each day, I act in a very uncivilized manner, charging his truck as if I would chomp my fangs into his skinny calves. I bark ferociously as I do this, my tail bobbing up and down my legs as I chase his red, white, and blue mail truck. I stop each time, just short of his reach and proudly cock my head upwards and walk triumphantly back to the porch.
This has been going on now for some time, at least as long as last winter, and although I do not feel my behavior is especially abnormal, I have felt that sooner or later I will be confronted by the mailman at some social occasion and forced to respond to him in a civil manner as if nothing ever happened. We will be introduced and I will be expected to wag my tail, breathe heavily and perhaps even drool a bit as his calloused hand pats the top of my head or his bony fingers scratch the under part of my chin.
Although this probably does not seem like much to you, the thought of this eventual encounter has been plaguing my sleepless nights. Perhaps I should think twice about charging his truck each day, but I cannot seem to help myself as I feel an immense hostility towards him as a result of getting no mail. I know this is misplaced aggression and that my anger is misdirected. Perhaps I need professional help. What do you think?
Yelping for Help in Maryland,