A barking dog never bites, except when it does

Does your toy poodle have a Napoleon complex preventing you from winning $7,000 per-week-for-life from Publishers Clearing House?

Is your neighbors barking beagle the reason your mail service is erratic? Is your town literally going to the dogs (no offense Houston, LA or St. Louis)?

A dog latching on to the seat of a child’s pants is funny in cartoon land, but not in real life.

Dog bites are a serious, ever present problem in the country, and nowhere more so than in the U.S. Postal Service. USPS is the giant whose employees are in contact, six days a week, with customers from the concrete canyons of New York City to remote villages in Alaska.

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The USPS tracks dog bites because so many of its employees have them, or will get one this year or next. It is a major financial as well as medical and production problem. The good news is that thanks to technology, which alerts letter carriers to dangerous addresses, USPS reported that “only” 6,244 employees were bitten by dogs last year. It was considered “good” because the number was more 500 higher in 2016.

Lest you think it is not that big of a deal, postal officials said that most of their employees who are nipped or seriously injured are bitten by dogs who, according to their owners, “have never done this before.” That unlucky bite was, uh, the first offense. And it is expensive. State Farm said it paid about $132 million in claims last year and that the average cost per claim was $36,573. That would buy a lot of chew toys.

Which city has gone to the dogs? According to USPS, the most bites took place in Houston. It was followed by Los Angeles, St. Louis, Cleveland, San Diego and our Charm City neighbor to the north, Baltimore.

Washington, D.C., which probably had the most politically-correct, doggie finishing school graduates anywhere, did not even make the top 30, which included places like Seattle and Portland where you would think, dogs would know better.

So where does your town rank on the dog-bites-postal worker hall of shame? Check it out:

 

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Amelia Brust

Switching from dim to bright light, especially sunlight, can cause a phenomenon called “photic sneeze reflex”, or reflexive sneezing, in about 18 to 35 percent of people.  The number of sneezes is typically two to three and cannot be counteracted with filtering lenses.

Source: (Scientific American)

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