Man vs. beast

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Selma postman bitten by dog

By Victor Inge

The Selma Times-Journal

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It’s a classic rivalry, one as old as the institution itself – mailmen versus dogs.

Ever since mail carriers began to defy the rain, sleet and snow to deliver postage, they have had to be wary of man’s best friends.

Monday morning Barrio Johnson of the U.S. Postal Service in Selma found himself infringing on one dog’s turf. While delivering the mail to a home on Griffin Avenue, Johnson didn’t see one of the occupants – a brown, mixed breed dog.

The dog’s owner was not at home at the time, and the dog – known to Selma mail carriers – is usually heard, not felt.

According to police reports, the postal carrier was attempting to deliver the mail when he was bitten on his leg. A spokesperson from the Selma Post Office, who spoke providing anonymity, was delighted their co-worker wasn’t seriously injured.

“The dog is usually fenced in the backyard, but the gate was open,” the postal worker said. “He (the dog) was hidden under a bush. Just as he put the mail in the box the dog came out and got him.”

Johnson, 40, suffered an abrasion to his right calf and went on to Dr. Charles Lett’s office for treatment, according to police reports. No charges have been filed.

“It happens,” the anonymous postal worker said. “Every several years one of the carriers might get bitten.”

Johnson, who could not be reached for an interview, is believed to be recuperating. The dog may have won, but Johnson delivered the mail.