Houston, you’ve got a problem!

For the second year in a row, Houston leads the nation in dog-bites-man (as in mailman or woman letter carrier) statistics. Last year, there were 77 dog attacks on postal workers in that huge, sprawling Texas city. The year before, there were 63 reported attacks but many more run-ins with the four-legged critters. San Diego, Cleveland, Chicago and Dallas were runners up in that order. But not even close to Houston’s bite rate.

Washington,...

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For the second year in a row, Houston leads the nation in dog-bites-man (as in mailman or woman letter carrier) statistics. Last year, there were 77 dog attacks on postal workers in that huge, sprawling Texas city. The year before, there were 63 reported attacks but many more run-ins with the four-legged critters. San Diego, Cleveland, Chicago and Dallas were runners up in that order. But not even close to Houston’s bite rate.

Washington, D.C., fortunately, didn’t make the list of dog bite towns. Richmond, Virginia, tied with Salt Lake City for 2015 dog attacks. Go figure.

All in all, 51 cities made the U.S. Postal Service’s bite list.

Dogs nipping at people are sometimes funny in cartoons. In real life, not so much. Some letter carriers have been maimed, for life, by dog bites. At one time, the U.S. Postal Service had a higher on-the-job disability rating that of the peacetime U.S. Marine Corps. Its factory-like working conditions, lots of time behind the wheel and dog bites make it a tough place to work.

When it comes to traffic, bad manners, percentage of lawyers, shrinks and narcissists per square mile, Washington is usually ranked one, two or three. So why not in dog bites?

Federal News Radio is situated in a very nice part of D.C. The neighborhood has a Starbucks frequented by many of the area’s dogs. There is also a doggie boutique across the street that has excellent (and expensive) items that Wal-Mart doesn’t carry.

Most of the neighborhood dogs are of the expensive variety. Many probably cost more than your first car. Most are also of the petite variety. They are mostly too well-bred, too tiny and too helicoptered by their owners to take a chunk out of anybody. The last time I saw a loose dog in this neighborhood was never. We’ve had several unescorted deer, but no dogs.

When I asked a former official of the National Association of Letter Carriers union what, if anything, the dog attacks had in common, he replied instantly:

“The owners nearly always say their dog never bit anyone before.”

That’s helpful. But it doesn’t explain why Houston has this problem.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

Joey Chestnut of San Jose, California, holds the world’s record for hot dog eating. On July 4, 2015, Chestnut consumed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, which helped him to win his seventh straight Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York.

Source: USA Today