Dog and mail people don’t always go hand in hand – or depending on how you look at it, maybe too much hand in hand. Indeed, last year 6,755 postal workers were bitten by a dog, more than 200 higher than the previous year, according to the United States Postal Service. (Granted, now, more than ever, there are a lot more items being delivered by mail.)
But not all dog encounters are bad.
UPS driver Sean McCarren in fact, thinks just the opposite.
McCarren is the person behind UPS Dogs, a Facebook group featuring pictures and stories of dogs UPS drivers encounter on their route.
Launched in 2013, the 17-year UPS veteran McCarren was looking for an outlet to share his photos and tales of pups he encountered.
“After delivering many routes, I would snap a picture here and there,” he tells This Dog’s Life. “Eventually, I would have a bunch of pics in my phone, so I decide to create a page and get other drivers involved.”
Initially, the group took a little time to gain traction. “It was difficult at first, a couple people in my Hagerstown, Maryland center would text me pictures,” McCarren says. “Then I would meet other drivers through social media from different states and would give them access to post pictures.”
Now, with more than 850,000 followers, UPS Dogs shows that the relationship between dogs and delivery people can be pretty special.
While McCarren says he loves the “positive energy,” he does acknowledge sadness can come with the job. “If you deliver long enough on a certain route, you’ll most likely outlive your furry friends,” he says, adding he struggled with losing Belle, a German shepherd, on his route.
And what he wants people to get out of the group? “Dogs on route are like customers’ children, you need to treat them as such,” he says, adding, they “are awesome, too.”
Here are a few of our favorite recent stories and photos from the group.
Trick or Treat
“We have the best UPS guy who’s been giving our dog Buster treats for years. So, on Halloween, it was time for us to give back and give him a bag of treats to share out to all the doggies in the neighborhood on his route. Give those dog-loving UPS drivers a helping hand by giving them a bag of treats next time you see them! Buster sends you a high paw for doing so!” — in ￼Mount Baker, Seattle.
Take it all
“This is Charlie and Apollo. They get as many treats as they want. They weigh about 350 together!” — Joseph
They know the sound
“Snowball, Bain & Aldus, they hear the big brown truck & coming running for gravy milk bone treats!” — Medford OR
“My boy Diesel loves Danny and his big brown truck! They are like best friends. His whole body starts shaking when he hears the truck and that’s long before you see it. The saddest thing is when Danny is on vacation and the “fill in guy” doesn’t have any interest or treats.” — Donna
Needs something to put those treats in
“My dog Diesel loves everyone. And especially Bill, our regular UPS delivery man. He brought Bill his KONG for the photo.” -Naomi Ortega
“She always has to bring me a stick to play fetch and can’t get enough. No stick to big, no stick too small. The older one just wants the treats.” — North Iowa
There when you need a smile
“Sometimes it can be stressful to cover a new route, but other times it makes for a great day making new friends! This guy really made my day :D” — Preston, WA
Sometimes a little mess is okay
“I’m John, a driver from Glasgow, Scotland. Here is wee Charlie, a Blue Staffy who belongs to one of my daily customers. He is so friendly and always happy to see me. He is such a cool dog and has chewed the end of day paperwork more times than I can remember. Its always great to see him ”
More than treats
“Our dog Bo and his favorite UPS driver Candy!!! She delivers our packages on time and never forgets his treats and hugs. ❤️ ” — Crystal
Happy no matter where the drivers see them
“This is Riley (on the left) and Toby. They were out for a walk and saw me coming, so we just had to stop and have a visit. They know that I’ll leave cookies for them on the parcels when their owners aren’t home. .” — Odette Pepper.
Just saying hi
“My boy MOSES loves our UPS driver Mark. Treats are great but he just likes to climb in to say Hi.” Amy Britt, Iowa.
To check out more amazing stories, head over to UPS Dogs on Facebook.