Dog is Good

From the book "Of Courage Undaunted" by James Daugherty

Once upon a time I was a meter reader for the Southern California Gas Company. This was in the late 1970s. The area was Orange County in Southern California. I don't know how it is now, but this is how it was then... at least for me! At the time, it was very important to read every gas meter once a month. If this did not happen the world as we know it would END! According to the gas company anyway. Orange County was fairly well built up. Solid houses everywhere but still a few rural areas on the edges. I spent about two years reading meters.

Click the Picture for the Full Size.
My Meter Book.

Click the Picture for the Full Size.
A Map of the streets
I read for that day.

We had a book in which we wrote the read from each meter. Each book contained individual pages for each meter. Each book was time studied as to how long it should take to read each meter in the book. They figured you could walk at two and a half miles an hour and measured how far it was between meters. Add to this so many seconds to read each meter and they could tell you how long it should take to read each book. Some books took ten hours and might have only 300 meters because it took so long to get to each meter. Others might have 500 meters yet, because the meters were so close together, only took six hours.

I would make a copy of the map for each day so I could see what I was in for the next day. I usually named the daily book for something that reminded me of that book. The rain book... it seemed to always rain when I read that book. The mountain book... lots of hills. You get the idea.

I normally read about 10,000 meters a month. I figured I walked about 12 to 18 miles each day. I have very weak ankles so I had to wear high top boots, otherwise I would quickly twist my ankle walking. I would wear out a new set of boots in three months. I had calluses so thick that I once stepped on a nail and continued to walk for several blocks before I noticed it!

I had mostly houses on my routes. I would conservatively estimate that one half to two thirds of those meters were in yards with dogs in them. That means I dealt with 5000 to 6000 dogs every month! That, my friends, is a lot of dogs.

I figured I performed the first act of a burglary every time I read a meter because I had to go into the back yard and right up to the house where the meter was located. I wore a nice, blue, Gas Company uniform so people could see I was not a real burglar, but the dogs didn't know. The company was real big on reading the meter once a month. That was because they wanted the meter to be physically inspected on a regular basis. Lots of times, especially after a rain storm, I would find a meter seeping just a tiny bit. Nothing dangerous but enough that it needed to be fixed. The actual read of the meter was also taken.

Now, I read every meter. I carried dog spray and cheap dog biscuits. One way or the other I was going to read that meter. I made every effort to make friends with the dog in each yard. You could read a meter much faster with a friendly dog then a mean dog, but when you signed up for gas you gave the company the right to access the gas meter during normal business hours, Monday through Friday. I came, I saw, I read.

Reading a meter quickly and accurately was very important. The Gas Company was very picky about accuracy. The average read error rate for my division was under one read error per one thousand meters. That is pretty good! Once we finished our book we could go home. That was nice.

Anyway, I dealt with a lot of dogs. Here are some true stories of my interactions with those dogs... my "Dog Tales"! There are three statements that I heard over and over in one form or another.

  1. "Don't worry, he doesn't bit." The customer usually said this to you just before their dog bits you.
  2. "Look out. He's attack trained." These are dogs you can stop worrying about. As soon as the owner is gone, the dog will crawl under the porch and not come out till you leave.
  3. The ever popular "I've never seen him do that before"! This covers a lot of strange and unusual things that, as a meter reader, you've seen a lot of.

Just in case anyone is interested, in the course of my meter reading career I was bitten a total of three times. Twice by German Shepherds with helpful owners distracting me. Both required stitches. Once by some little mutt dog that jumped up and bit me on the thigh. That one did not require stitches but there was an owner present who was trying to help.

Dogs are kinda like people. They can be incredibly smart and incredibly stupid. One thing to remember is this. A dog is a dog and a man is a man. If you walk in a yard as MACHO MAN or WOMAN (There are women meter readers you know!) that dog will give way. That's just the way things are. Yeah, I know, your dogs attack trained and won't let anyone in the yard. But your meter gets read every month, doesn't it.

The meter book, that held the meter read slips for that day, had a real hard cover and was about five inches wide and nine inches long. When I walk in the yard and the dog jumps at me I just let him bit the meter book. Then he figures he's done his duty and he's outta here. Really, the biggest problem was getting in the yard without letting the dog out. Very bad to let them get out because it takes forever to get them back in again.

  • I came up to one gate and it was locked with two very ferocious dogs jumping and snapping at the gate. They are both barking and jumping and snapping at me. I wait till one jumps up with his mouth open and I toss a dog treat down his throat. He gags a bit, chews it up and promptly sits down and his tail starts to wag. I do the same to his buddy and now I got two wagging tails. I toss another dog biscuit down each one to be sure and then I jump over the fence. I read the meter, pass out some more treats so I get a good reception next month, and away I go. Happy meter reader and happy dogs!

  • Doesn't always work out that way. I walk up to the gate look over, no dog that I can see. No mark in my meter book indicating a dog. No barking so no dog, right? WRONG! I walk right in and read the meter. As I turn to go he stands up. He was on the hinge side of the gate, so the gate blocked my view and I didn't see him. He doesn't bark, he just looks at me like I'm easy pickins. A big error that.

    He's a good size, tanned colored mutt, and he starts to walk toward me. Then he charges. I stick the meter book in his mouth and let him bit it. That's his one freebee. He backs off and then comes on again. Most dogs give it one good bite and when that doesn't work, give up. Not this boy. As he comes again I nail him with a shot of dog spray across the eyes. He steps back and looks at me and then like a clear glass fills up with water, his eyes fill up with pain. He stands straight up, puts his head down and rams his head into the ground, making every effort to wipe that dog spray out of his eyes. While he roles around on the ground, I slowly walk out the gate. As I leave a window opens up on the house next door and the neighbor leans out and says "Look out. There's a dog in that yard"!

  • I look over the gate and there he is. In the sun, on his back and sound asleep. Ever so quietly I open the gate and softly walk to the meter. After reading it I run my hands over it leaving my scent everywhere. On my way out I stop at his dog house and touch it. His food bowel and ball also get a good dose of me too. As I walk out the gate I slam it good and loud. Bam, he's on his feet. Runs to the meter, then sniffs his dog house and Oh NO, not my food bowel too! Wow, was he mad. Woof, Woof, Woof. Called me some very impolite names he did. No biscuits for you dude! But for me... It was sweet!

  • Dogs do some strange things. I go in one yard and here's two dogs. One, a little friendly fellow and the other a big Great Dane. While I petted the little dog and gave him a biscuits the other would jump up and down. He would jump up maybe seven or eight feet and snap his jaws together. When I was in Jr. high school the gym coach had two 2x4s connected with a hinge. He would bang those 2x4s together to start a race. Wow, that sure made a loud bang. That dog sounded just like those 2x4s. Somewhat disconcerting. But I got used to it. He would never attack so I would leave him a biscuit each month but I never saw him eat it.

  • As I walk in this yard and read their meter I hear a Ker-Splash from the yard next door. This house has a pool and I usually read their meter with a little monocular that I carried. Not today because they had put a bunch of pool cleaning stuff in front of the meter. A good thing too, at least for their dog. He was barking at me. Calling me all kinds of dirty names in Dogease. A dog should not call anyone an SOB because it really does not make sense, coming from a dog. The Ker-Splash I heard was said dog falling into a pool or cement pond as the Beverly Hillbillies would say.

    After falling in he sort of forgot all about me, seeing how he was too busy trying to keep his worthless nose above water. I took my time walking out of the first yard and into the dog's yard. Took my time reading that meter too. By now that dog was getting real tired. I walked over to the edge of the pool and looked down at him. I guess he did not know about the steps at the shallow end. He was getting very tired. I told him if he would not bit me I would pull him out. I said this several times. Now some people who have never had a dog might say that a dog cannot understand a sentence like that but they would be wrong. They understand just fine.

    I grabbed his front legs and pulled him out. About a 50 pound dog, a fair hand full. He didn't look at me. He just ran around to the other side of the house. He didn't bit me so I was happy and he was out of that cement pond so he was happy. That's about all we can expect right?

  • Usually you were pretty safe walking down the street but it always pays to keep your wits about you. He came boiling out from behind a clump of bushes. About 60 pounds in weight, some kind of long haired, tan dog. I parried him off with the meter book. The next time he charged I nailed him in the eyes with my dog spray and followed it up with shots down his nose and mouth. He stopped as the spray started to take effect and I ran a line of it down his back for good measure. I wanted to make sure he'd think twice before attacking someone else in the future.

    I read the rest of the street and as I came back by those bushes I saw Mr. Bad Dog. He was trying to get back into what I guess was the back fence of his yard. It looked like one of the boards of the fence was loose. The dog had pushed it out of the way to get out of his yard and it had popped back in place sort of like a one way reed valve. He couldn't get back in. The dog spray was really working good now and all he wanted to do was go home. I told him he'd better not try and bit me. I then pulled the board up and he squirmed back under. Never saw him again. Do you think he learned anything?

  • I was reading down this little Cul-de-sac street. Six or eight fairly big houses and no fences between the houses. About three houses away I see this tan dog, short haired, about 35 pounds, looking at me. He was hiding in some bushes. As I come up to where he is hiding I look at him and say "Hi dog". He doesn't like the fact that I "Made" him and takes off to the back of the house. It was pretty obvious he was waiting to ambush me. I pick up the pace, pass the next house, turn down the side of the house and jump between two clumps of bushes. If he really was stalking me he'll try again by running behind the house I'm passing and nail me as I pass by. He'll come right by where I'm hiding and attack me as I walk by the corner of the house.

    I wait and sure enough here he comes, sneaking like a cat, by where I'm hidden. He slows as he nears the edge of the house, intently watching for me to come by. His whole focus is on the spot he thinks I'm going to be when I pass the edge of the house. I step out behind him and put a good stream of dog spray down his back and yell "Gotcha". He takes off like a shot. I just keep walking and reading meters. Secure in the knowledge that he will be real busy trying to get that dog spray off his back for the rest of the afternoon and not looking to bit me.

  • I got a new book that I had never read before. I look over a gate and there is just about the biggest St Bernard I have ever seen. This fellow weighted more then I did. I tossed several dog biscuits down him and, taking a deep breath, went in. He was a very nice dog. We played for a while and I gave him a few more biscuits. He was so big I wanted to be sure he remembered me in a very good way!

    Next month I'm reading down the street and I get to his house and I look over the gate and there was only this little puppy of some kind. I called out but no big boy or so I thought. "Oh well, must be a different house" I think so in I go. The meter is in the back of the house and as I turn the corner ROAR... he hits me. I parry him off with my meter book and nail him in the eyes with the dog spray. It has absolutely NO effect. With another mighty ROAR he is on me again.

    I parry again but he almost gets me. I now start putting out dog spray in earnest. I spray the dog again in the eye and the nose and the mouth and my arm and the side of the building, man I spray everything! NO EFFECT! In he comes again pushing me back. I just barely parry him and things are becoming very serious. He is between me and the gate. I can't get out. I always carry a large folding knife in my pocket but he's pressing me so hard I can't pull it. I have never been pushed this hard by a dog. Things are not looking good.

    Before he can charge again I YELL at him "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR DOING". He stopped, stepped back and in his eyes, under all that dog spray, I saw recognition grow. The tail started to wag, I dropped to my knees exhausted. He ran up and started licking me, wiping dog spray all over me in the process.

    Wow, that was close. I put a bunch more dog biscuits down his rather large throat and made sure I remembered that house. I also made a point of not going in that yard until Mr. Monster dog came around, saw me and knew it was me. Only then would I go in. The dog spray bothered him not at all. I guess St. Bernards don't feel pain like normal dogs do. The spray was working good too. My arm hurt like it was on fire for hours afterward.

    A few months later I was coming out of that yard after a very enjoyable meeting with my St Bernard friend. I do believe he liked me even better then the dog biscuits I brought him. As I started to walk away the owner of the house ran out and called to me. He said "I just wanted to see what you look like because other then myself, NO ONE dares go in that yard other then you!".

  • The concrete driveway came in from the street, past the back porch and ended in a garage. Beside the porch was a small dog house but he was usually on the porch. "He" was the world's meanest dog and he hated my guts more then anything else. I did not mind because "He" was a five pound Chihuahua, paralyzed from the waist down. He was also toothless. I would walk in the yard and up to the gas meter which was by his dog house. He would start calling me just awful names in Dogease. He would then charge, or rather roll, off the porch and down the steps. I would walk away very slowly so he could catch me. He would bit my ankle as hard as he could but he had no teeth so it did not hurt. After he finished biting me I would walk on. It made him so happy to chase me off. I really liked that dog. He had courage and did his job to the very best of his ability!

  • I walk through this gate. The house is to my left and a cinderblock wall is to my right. the house is about fifty feet long. at the far end is a gas meter and chained to it is some kind of Spaniel type of dog. He's barking at me. Dogs are so MACHO as long as there is no risk. I look at the dog with my best "I will slowly skin you alive" look. I then start walking toward the dog with slow measured steps.

    As I walk toward him the dog's bark starts to change. It goes from "I can take on anything" to "Come in here and I'll bit you to "Just please stay away" to "Don't come any closer" to "Please don't hurt me" to "Mercy, mercy, NOOOOOO" as I walk up to the meter. The dog is pulling back as far as his chain will let him and absolutely whimpering and crying as if I were killing him. I have not touched that dog and, other then looking at him, I have made no threatening moves toward him either.

    I bend over and read the meter, turn and walk away. I could actually hear the sigh of relief the dog made. I walked out in complete silence. I guess the dog was not going to take any chance that I would come back if he barked at me again.

  • Another gate and I walk in. To the right is a cinderblock wall about four feet tall and on top of it is a six foot chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. To the left is the house. At the very rear of the house is a cinderblock wall maybe eight feet tall with a wall of old railroad ties going up another two feet or so. The sort of three sided tunnel is about six foot wide. The meter is almost at the end of this tunnel at the back of the house.

    As I come in the gate there is a cat sitting there. He takes off running with catly confidence and make a graceful leap up the wall in back. He misjudges it completely, falls back down, lands on his feet and looks at me somewhat embarrassed. I look at him with my best "I will slowly skin you alive cat look" which is very similar to my dog look only for cats! He doesn't seem to care and takes another try at the wall. This time it's a mighty leap and still about two foot short. He drops back down and things are not so good. He backs up and gets a running start and gives it all he has. A great and powerful leap, unfortunately, it is still about one inch short. Thing are now getting desperate.

    He hits the ground and bounces back and forth from one side to the other. The MONSTER MAN is almost on him. Me? I'm just walking slowly toward the meter. I'm making no menacing moves or nothin'. I'm just looking at him. With death at his heels, or so he thought, he makes one last desperate jump. He catches one claw on the top and scrambling with everything he has, POP, over the top he goes. I read the meter and that's that.

  • The cinderblock fence ran from the front edge of the house out about six feet and on around the rest of the house. It was about six feet high and looked very strong. A good thing too. For within this yard lived the WORLDS BIGGEST DOG. This thing was a Great Dane and it was absolutely huge. He had another Great Dane friend in there with him who looked to be over twenty five inches high at the shoulder and this guy made him look small. He would hang one leg over that fence and lean over and howl and snap at me. His head was just monstrous.

    I just could not get the read on that meter. I left notes every month but no one ever got back to me. I started to go in the yard by the gate but that's when I found out about his friend. I tried to be nice and make friends but had no luck. I finally decided this month I was going to read that meter no matter what. I knocked on the door but, as usual no one was home. OK, I thought, taking out my nice new can of dog spray, time to get nasty. I walk up to the fence and he's there hanging over it and snapping. I show him the can of dog spray but I don't use it. His eyes get big and bam, he's gone!

    I think Hey, is this a trick? I'm not sure what to do. Is he waiting for me to look over so he can bit my head off. Believe me, he could do it easy. I take my hat off, jump up and wiggle the hat over the wall. Nothing. I get brave and jump up on the wall, look over and jump back. Good. No dog. I jump up and hang on the wall and look over again. Way down at the back of the house, looking around the corner is monster dog. I guess he knows all about dog spray and wants non of it. Kind of like the way I feel about good old army CS Tear Gas. From then on I just show him the can of dog spray, he runs away, I read the meter. Hey, works for me!

  • Some days I just didn't feel macho. Today is one of those days. The first house has a gate and behind that gate are three little dogs. An aggressive one and two chickens. I walk in very un-macho and that mangy little dog grabs my meter book out of my hand and runs away with it. Man, that woke me up! When he grabbed it this two chicken buddies just went crazy like a cheerleading squad when their team makes a touch down. He started to run off and I started chasing him and he dropped the book. I got the book and I got the read I guess I should be happy.

  • I go in this yard and there are two dogs. A friendly big one and a small, old, Chihuahua type dog. I give the big dog a biscuit and start petting him. The little one does not seem to like me and keeps trying to zip in and bit me on the ankle. I keep pushing the little dog back with the meter book and finally I give him a real good push. Not a smack or a hit but a PUSH. Well, he trips and falls down and starts going into all kinds of convolutions. He then arches his back and stiffens up like a board. He then lets out his breath slowly and goes limp.

    Oh great, now what. I don't know what to do for the mutt. I am not going to give him CPR, sorry. Hey, he was trying to bit me... remember? I read the meter and walk back to the dog. He sure looked dead. Eyes open and dull, just laying there. Then he blinks his eyes and slowly gets up and walks away, getting stronger and stronger with each step. Well good, at least now no one will blame me for killing their dog!

  • I had one house with two big Pit Bulls. A little old lady lived in the house and would pull the dogs in if I asked her to but getting in the yard was not a problem. Both dogs loved me! The only problem was that they were very jealous of each other. They did not want to share me. I would walk in and they would just push up against me so happy to see me. Then one would lunge and snap at the other who would lunge and snap back. These were big dogs and all of a sudden it occurs to me that if one of them missed and hit me and the smell of blood hit the air I would go down in a hail of friendly fangs. Both dogs would pull me into two big bloody pieces to keep for themselves because they really did like me.

    I always wondered about all the things you read about Pit Bulls. I never had any trouble with them but now everyone seems to have problems with them.

  • One meter, in a book I had, was a St Bernard kennel. The meter was in the puppy pen. I would walk in to a waist high sea of puppy slobber. There probably weren't more then ten or fifteen puppies but a St Bernard puppy was a VERY big dog so it seemed like a hundred. I would bend over to read the meter and Slobber, Slobber one of those puppies would lick and drool on me. Yuck. If I tripped and fell I would be slobbered to death. Fortunately, I only had to read that book once.

  • I had doggie friends in all the different breeds but only one or two were German Shepherds. Something is just wrong with Shepherds. I'd make friends with one, or so I thought. Then, out of the blue, they would try to bit me. Maybe it's all the inbreeding. It seemed like every time I looked over a fence and saw a dog running round and round in a circle, grinding a path into the ground, that dog was a German Shepherd. The other breeds run around but not in a fixed circle. I developed a real dislike for German Shepherds.

    I just don't see why people have vicious, mean dogs. They are just useless. If you have them to keep people out of a yard and a burgler wants in he simply takes a big ball-peen hammer whacks the dog on the head when he attacks and in he goes. If it's some kid, dog chews kid, you get sued. To top that off they usually will bit you too.

    If you want real protection get two or three, small to medium sized dogs. Look for loud, cowards. They will run away where no one can get to them and howl their heads off.

  • Each month I had one house with big walls and a tall locked gate. I could not read the meter unless I went in the gate. If the owners were home they would catch the rather big, worthless, German Shepherd they had and let me in to read the meter. Several times the dog bit the owner. I absolutely hated that dog. One time I almost caught him out side his yard where he was fair game.

    He was out on the street about four or five houses away from me. I saw half of a broken brick in the gutter and casually picked it up. If he attacked me I was going to let him have it. He must of saw me because he disappeared. Next time I thought. Next time. I really hated that dog.

    The next month the owner caught the dog and his wife let me in and then she closed the gate. All of a sudden the man called out "Look out, he's loose!" The wife said to me, in a very scared voice "I'll try to protect you!" I, somewhat roughly, shouldered her out of the way and said " I don't need any help."

    The dog came around the corner of the house and charged at me in a full run. This was a dream come true. I was two hundred pounds in weight and I walked twelve to eighteen miles a day. I waited for him to jump and as he did I extended the meter book like a fencing foil and lunged. The dog weighted about one hundred pounds and was at a full run. The meter book hit him full in the back of his wide open jaws. There was a beautiful crunching sound as the dog bounced off the meter book and landed back on his haunches. I didn't move at all. I'm not sure how many pounds of force was there at the tip of my meter book but it must have been a lot.

    With his mouth gapping open he got back on his feet and turned and staggered back toward the rear of the house. All the while making a very satisfying gagging noise. He bounced off the side of the house, over to the wall and back to the house again. He did this all the way to the back of the house, turned the corner and disappeared. I turned smartly, snapped the meter book open and read the meter.

    The wife looked at me and said " I guess you don't need any help do you."

    I never saw that dog again.

  • The yard has a Doberman Pincer dog. For all their reputation they are really no big deal. I could read two meters from this yard so I'm going in Doby or not and I usually have no problems with this dog. The only trouble was the lady of the house came out to "Help" me. This was no help at all to me because she could not control her dog and now the dog thinks he has to bite me to prove his worth. Add to that the fact that the lady is distracting my attention from some reasonably big teeth!

    The dog is in real close. I usually hold my dog spray can with two fingers under the meter book. She can't see the can. The dog opens his mouth and I pop a short stream of dog spray down his throat. He breaks off the attack and walks to the back of the house and out of sight. I read the meters and here he comes again, only he's just walking around going baak, baaak, baaaaak. The lady looks at me and says "I wonder what's wrong with him?" I say "You know dogs. They are always eating something nasty," and she says "Yes, your right!"

  • I walk in and quickly shut the gate behind me. I quickly get down in a defensive posture, dog spray at the ready. I had already double checked to make sure I had a full can of dog spray. I look up and here he comes. A rather small dog actually. About twenty five pounds in weight. I would parry him off with the meter book and when he charged in again I hit him in the eyes and nose with dog spray. While he snaps and bits at the book I push him toward the open garage side door. Once he is in the door I push him real hard to get him back from the door and I shut it. OK, now I can read the meter. He never gave up and he never backed down.

    While smallish this dog was as mean as they come and he had teeth to back it up. The owner told me that he bit virtually everyone. (Except the owner. That was to his credit) No relatives would come to their house because he had bitten every one of them. The mailman would not deliver mail to their house. The dog had bitten him one too many times. Her husband was a fireman. They had his Fire Chief over for dinner... dog bit him. None of their friends would come to their house. The dog had bitten them all.

    I actually kind of liked that dog. He was a game fighter. I came in one month and waited for the usual attack. The owner leaned out a window and said I didn't have to worry any more. She said they had put him to sleep. I shed a tear for that dog. I told her she should have told me and I would have brought a hammer and dog and I would have had it out. He was a true warrior. He deserved, and he would have preferred, to go down fighting. Not be taken out with a needle. Who knows, he might of been able to nail me in the fight.

  • Same old drill, in the yard I go and I find two dogs. One is small and one is tiny. The tiny one loves me even though I have never read this house before. The other, bigger dog wants to bit me. The little dog stands right in front of the bigger dog and barks loudly right in his face. He backs down. Little dog come back over to me and I pet him and give him a biscuit. Any time the other dog comes at me little dog defends me. I give him more biscuits before I leave. I like this dog!

  • The yard held two, identical, brown, Labrador Retrievers. A good one and a bad one. I would give a biscuit to the good one and wave the bad one off with my meter book. He really was not that bad (Not very brave) but he would have bitten me if he could have. Well, I'm readin' the meter and out comes the owner. Instantly, both dogs commence acting good and start swirling around me. I can't tell them apart.

    The lady sees my agitation and calls the dogs over to her and they actually obey her. Wow, that's a first! I tell her one is good and one tries to bit me. She says no, no, they are both good, sweet and kind doggies. I tell her watch. I turn my back and the bad one just can't resist. He makes a charge for me. I turn quickly and parry him off with the sacred meter book. She looks at me and says those familiar words "I've never seen him do that before."!

  • I'm reading down a street just a few blocks from DisneyLand. That's when I started to hear it. Faint at first, it gets louder and louder as I get nearer. Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap Yap... well, you get the picture or rather you hear it. As I read down a street with a lot of apartment buildings I come to an alley. On each side of the alley are banks of meters. About twenty meters each on each bank. At the end of the alley between the meter banks is a wood slat fence for one of the apartments. There is a knot hole and out of that knot hole sticks a dog nose from a small yappy dog. Wow, does that dog have a set of lungs.

    I pity the poor people who live in those apartments. This dog never stops. Not even to breath. It's very irritating. I am so glad I don't live here. Well, I read this place for several months and it's always the same. You can hear this dog from three blocks away. So I read it one month and I have a splitting headache. I'm reading these meters and all you hear is YAP, YAP, YAP. You know what? I've had enough. I take my dog spray and get right up close to that dog nose and let him have it right up that noisy snout. I know, I shouldn't have but I did. So there, I did it. My bad.

    The nose disappears and I hear a lot of thrashing around noise. I can't really see anything. After a moment it gets very quite. Oh, the joy of silence! Maybe the dog learned to be quite? Not hardly. Next month, three blocks away I hear it Yap, Yap, Yap. He did learn one thing though. He never put his nose through that knot hole again!

    A question. How can dogs bark so much and never get hoarse??? I mean the dog could not possibly hear me coming three blocks away. He didn't know what day of the month I read the meter. He must have been barking eight or ten hours a day. Maybe more, every single day. How do they do that?

  • To get to this meter I have to walk all the way around the back of the house and back up the side. All along the chain-link fence on that side there are thick bushes. I can't see through them but if I lay down on the ground I find that the bushes don't get thick till they are twelve inches or so off the ground. I can see the meter next door real easy.

    This month, when I come up to the bushes, I find some guy on the other side. he is trimming the bushes on his side of the fence but the bushes are still so thick he can't see me. He also has a short dog. The dog can see me lying there just fine. Dog starts to bark at me. Guy tells dog to shut up. I make a face at the dog and he barks louder. Guy starts to beat dog yelling "Stupid dog, SHUT UP". I make more faces. Dog barks more, using terrible words in Dogease. Guy beats dog. What fun! But it gets old so I quietly crawl away.

  • The yard is a big one but it's been a while since anyone did much gardening work in it. The dog is a black Cocker Spaniely type who loves to play chase the ball. He was a big, matted, pile of hair with a gooey mouth. I could not get out of that yard without throwing that ball over and over again. Nice dog who really loved playing chase the ball. He would bring it back and put it right on my boot. this went on for many months. It was fun!

    I come in the yard and everything looked trimmed and nice. There is a new dog all looking pretty with bow in his hair and everything. The new dog loves to chase the ball just like the old one. The lady of the house comes out and says that's the same dog only trimmed up and looking good. She says she has seen me each month playing with her dog. She said the dog really looked forward to my visits. I never saw her even though I always look around very intently. You never know what might be lurking in the bushes, sharpening it's fangs.

    Something for not just meter readers but everyone to remember. Someone is ALWAYS watching!

  • No dog here. I walk up and the meter is on the side of the house and there is a big lattice of beans around the meter. There is also an old man working intently on those beans. I walk up behind him and I read the meter. I then realize that if I say "Hi There" the old man will probably have a heart attack. So I just quietly back up and walk away.

    I always wondered if he knew that I was supposed to read that meter that day and if he thought "I was out there all day and they never read my meter!"

  • I've always had dogs and I have two big dogs now. I like good dogs. Being a meter reader can really be an education about dogs. Some dogs are great. Sometimes I'd be walking along and up would run a friendly dog who would flop down on his or her back and want a tummy rub. You just got to live that. Others try very hard to do their jobs and protect their families. Then there are dogs that are just bums who need to be shot. Just like people.

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