Turns out our mailman, Ron, loves dogs. Every day around 5 p.m., Ivy watches Ron park his mail truck on the adjacent street and closely monitors his movement from house to house, mailbox to mailbox, until eventually, Ron reaches our front walk. Ivy spins around and around like a top, full of anticipatory excitement. When the door finally opens, Ivy sits obediently, and Ron offers her a biscuit, hand to mouth.
Crazy, right?! I’m sure our mailman is breaking many United States postal carrier oaths and policies with his nightly “breaking and entering” and random dog treat offerings. Ron never asked permission to do either. The presumptuousness of his daily ritual made Dan and I a little uncomfortable at first, but Ivy’s love of Ron and his biscuits changed our opinion of him.
A few weeks ago, a discussion thread appeared on our neighborhood list-serve announcing Ron’s retirement within the week. Messages of love and appreciation for Ron extended through scroll after scroll of posts. His fanbase was passionate.
On Ron’s last day, Dan took a picture of Ivy, added a lovely thank you note, and taped it to our door. Our neighborhood looked like the weekend before a political election. Handmade yard signs honoring Ron’s 32 years of service were staked in yards up and down the streets. Notes of appreciation and pictures of dogs were heartfelt and moving. Despite his quirkiness, Ron was beloved by human and canine alike.
Ron parked his mail track in his usual spot, but because many neighbors and their dogs stepped out onto their porches to share final goodbyes, thank you’s and well wishes, Ivy had to wait longer than usual for Ron’s visit. Eventually we heard Ron’s high-pitched, squeaky voice as he approached our front steps.
“Ooh. That’s so nice. Thank you!” he said after reading the note. Then, he handed Ivy one last biscuit, and Dan peeled the photocopy off the door giving it to Ron. He seemed genuinely overwhelmed by the outpouring of gratitude.
When we asked him what he planned to do during retirement, Ron shared that he would be volunteering at the local dog rescue organization. Perfect.
Ron is old school. He loves dogs, UNC basketball, and serving others.
I’m grateful our paths crossed, our intersection based more on fate than fateful.