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I Am A Pizza Delivery Guy: Dog Tales

As far as household pets on four legs go, I am a dog person. I always have been. By and large, I love dogs unless they're yappy little creatures more suited for teacups and nestled within the carry-on bags and arms of Hollywood starlets or Mickey Rourke or Chicago Bears he-man Steve McMichael.

Maybe it's just me, but there's something fundamentally wrong with those people.

I show up on peoples' front porches with pizza and sandwiches. It's what I do to keep the lights on. Consequently, I often run into dog owners, and usually owners of rather large dogs. I work with other pizza-deliverin' guys whose bane of their entire existence is dogs. Not saying I'm more enlightened or anything than they are, but I actually like the dogs I run across in my pizza-deliverin' travels.

Unlike US Postal Service delivery guys, I don't carry a big can of Mace thinking I might run into a big dog. I do carry a weapon in my back pocket that could easily tear open a dog's throat if necessary, but even that's been largely unnecessary, functioning more as a big-ass door knocker than anything. When you've been on the job as long as I have, you get to know what to expect out of certain addresses you've been delivering to for several months, both in terms of household pets and the general behavior of the people coming to the door. So you adjust.

For instance, there's one particular regular customer with a pit bull who could scare the sandals off Jesus Christ. But I have to deliver regularly to this house guarded by drooling, bloodthirsty guardian-jaws of death. No problem. I call the house and whoever answers the phone comes out and meets me outside the fence. Transaction completed and life goes on. No worries, no problem. They're more likely to get eaten in their sleep than I ever will.

Yet, for the most part, I have come to view dogs as no more troublesome or threatening or annoyed with their lives than those of their owners. Dogs seem to instinctively know who's who and what's what, and apparently I pass the sniff test. I've walked into walled-in yards only to be met by a drooling bull mastiff taller than me at the shoulders with no harm whatsoever. I have, however, shared the inopportune moment in time where I was greeted at the door by a human couple in the midst of a knock-down drag-out fight to the death because they hate each other.

To their credit - especially since my pizza joint delivers really really fast - dog owners often go out of their way to hold their dogs back, like I'm an unexpected too-early repo man standing on their front porch. I can understand this, generally speaking. Shit happens. But a lot of times, the dog runs onto the front porch for a taste of freedom until a split-second later when it smells food and it doesn't know exactly what to do. Fight or flight and all that. "Stranger? Food! Stranger? Food!" So most times, I end up with a dog jumping all over me just happy to be something, being a dog. So what happens is, the customer ends up apologizing nine ways 'til Sunday for his dog just being a big lug of a dog. So I just say, "It's okay. I'm a dog person. We're all good." And I pet the hell out of the dog because, well, that's a really fine-lookin' dog there. Like, seriously. Life all good for everybody.

But still, the whole thing behind everything is the basic fact that a dog won't attack someone standing at the door holding a bunch of food. Nature knows its switches. People food is one of them. One of my favorite sayings on the front porch is - especially if a dog is getting all crazy - "Dogs always think the pizza is for them."

It's true, but it's also a good ice-breaker.

None of this, however, extends to chihuahuas. Because chihuahuas are all just born evil.

If anyone could characterize chihuahuas intos four words or less, it would boil down to "alley rat on meth." Simply put, a wild chimp tearing off your face and genitals would be a chihuahua's prison bitch. Dachsunds seem to share the same trait hear told, but having been exposed to those dogs, I tend to disagree, since every one of those dogs tend to belong to old people and have become either too fat or too slow to care about chewing anything apart. In fact, most of them seem quite content to just get a scratch behind the ears. Conversely, every chihuahua house I've encountered has a chihuahua frothing at the mouth even in its sleep, content in its dreams to let the entire bull terrier breed take the rap.

Basically, I'm thankful for dogs. They make my job easier because two out of three of everyone's doorbells don't fucking work in the first place and nobody knows I've been standing there freezing my ass off at the door until I bang on the storm door and some dog barks.

So yay, dogs. You're all okay with me. Try getting this with some stupid cat.


Guy Essenfahr is our pseudononymous man on the pizza delivery beat. He welcomes your comments. And for more tales of working life, see our Life At Work archive.


Posted on February 27, 2013

MUSIC - Chief Keef Changed The Industry.
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SPORTS - More McCaskey Malpractice.

BOOKS - All About Poop.


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