Acts of Kindness
Owner films golden retriever's secret affair with garbageman
Joshua Byrne couldn't help but notice that his dog Shelby was extra excited on garbage day.
Danielle Majeika
07.24.20

The dog versus the mailman.

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It’s a famous duo destined to strike up a conversation. The very nature and energy of their relationship is a push and pull. Throughout history, and perhaps forever more, they will carry out their dance. While the mailman purportedly wants to do his job, so does the dog – which comes in the form of chasing him away!

One of the affairs of being a service worker is dealing with neighborhood pets – it comes with the job!

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When dogs encounter a stranger, not just a mailman, their natural instinct begins to overcome them. A dog assumes a duty to the house that it calls its own. The house is assumed as the dog’s territory, resulting in an indisputable defense mechanism.

Readers Digest interviewed a few experts on the phenomenon:

“The underlying factors in most expressions of aggression from animals are either fear or pain, according to Libby Brittain, an animal expert, and communicator. “Ruling out that your dog is in pain, it’s safe to assume that the aggression expressed toward the mailperson is out of fear,” Brittain says. This fear of the unknown, plus an invasion of personal space, are why dogs seem to hate mail carriers. Indoor pets often regard the entire home as their “territory,” adds Mark D. Freeman, DVM, an Assistant Professor at VA-MD College of Veterinary Medicine. ‘Dogs have an inherent need to defend their territory from intruders.'”

On the flip-side, if your dog determines a presence is nonthreatening, it only has love left to give. Who doesn’t love a good lick and a wag?

Such is the case for a garbageman and Shelby the Golden Retriever.

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YouTube/Short Clips

Shelby’s owner, Joshua Byrne, began to notice a trend in his dog’s behavior one day.

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YouTube/Short Clips

He noticed that whenever the garbageman came around that his dog would start acting strangely. His watchful eye over his pet led him to investigate her behavior a little further. Byrne anticipated that his dog was familiar with the routine of the garbageman at this point, causing him to raise an eyebrow at her excitement. He initially thought that maybe the sound of the garbage truck distressed Shelby, but soon realized her reaction wasn’t to the truck, but to the man inside of it.

Bryne decided to set up a candid camera in his front yard.

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YouTube/Short Clips

The camera did its due diligence, confirming with Byrne that his dog’s spontaneous outbursts were indeed connected to the garbageman. But it wasn’t a scene of malice, it was rather a heartwarming scene of newly-found friendship. The moment of truth had been revealed.

As soon as the garbageman enters the scene, the Golden Retriever approaches him with excitement and joy.

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YouTube/Short Clips

Byrne reported feeling his heart stop for a moment, anticipating the dog to attack the garbageman. But reality happened to be so much sweeter. The video features the garbageman stooping down to greet and pet the friendly dog – an act he participates in every week. Byrne, overcome with awe at the situation, takes the time to introduce himself and thank the garbageman for his kindness.

Dog petting breaks should be mandatory at every job!

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YouTube/Short Clips

Little did Byrne know of this blossoming friendship, but his camera could not lie. This relationship between service worker and pet is a touching one. Byrne revealed that Shelby is a rescue that his family found at a shelter, and that she is “making their days a bit better ever since she’s become part of their life.”

Check out this heartwarming encounter for yourself in the video below!

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By Danielle Majeika
hi@sbly.com
Danielle Majeika is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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