Friday, November 13, 2009

CAN CODY COME OUT TO PLAY ???

FIRST I WANT TO THANK EVERYONE FOR YOUR KIND AND CARING COMMENTS ON MY LAST POST. I AM SO GRATEFUL THAT YOU ALL ARE TAKING THE WARNING TO HEART. THIS IS A VERY PREVENTABLE PROBLEM AND I WOULD LIKE TO BE THE LAST INFECTED WITH ROSE THORN DISEASE WITHIN THE SCOPE OF MY KEYBOARD.
THANK YOU FOR CARING, YOU ALL ARE THE BEST.




I think I have given a bad impression of the job of meter reader. Yes, it was hot, strenuous, often dangerous work, but there were more times when it was the best job ever. Hard to believe huh? I refused accepting an inside job to work for 6 years. Only when I was afraid they would quit asking me did I finally take an inside job and that was because it was only a "partially" inside job. I loved the freedom.


I had no boss over my shoulder. I worked out doors, my favorite place to be. I was in the best condition of my life. I met really nice people who made me forget the not so nice ones. Sure I was attacked and bitten but then there were the "Cody" types.


From the first day I arrived, I had heard the story of Cody. He was a very large German Shepard and the meter reader's friend. This was unusual for a good number of dogs considered us, mail carriers, and UPS as "game" to be chased and chewed on.


Cody lived in a middle income area that was plagued with chain link fences. Fences are not the meter reader's friend. Fences actually were the bane of our existence. They had to be one hand hurdled, well the guys hurdled. Being a shorty, I climbed up and dropped over in a three step move. We were very careful not to damage the fence for that could really get us in trouble. Instead, we climbed at the support posts and passed through the yards with out a trace. Ninety eight percent of the people who were home at the time, never saw or heard us.


Some routes were so heavily fenced that we felt very rabbit like at the finish line. Cody's route contained about 50% fences. I had been with the company for almost a year before I drew his route. When it finally came up, I was really excited. I was going to meet a legend.


We had small maps of each area and his route started right at his house. I parked in front of his home, went to the door and rang the bell. I could hear a large dog barking inside and heard him slam against the door and the clicking of large claws. For a second, I was afraid I had been 'punked' and that Cody was really a monster dog who loved meter readers---to eat.

The door opened as far as the security chain would let it and a lady asked what I wanted.

"I'm Patti the meter reader," I informed her, "Can Cody come out to play?"


She laughed and told me he had been waiting all morning for me. It seems he knew when read day came and was up with the birds in anticipation. With that, she let the very large and beautiful Shepherd out and he was all over me in a good way.



Not my picture but the sweet eyes are perfect.

"Have a good day." She ordered Cody and I , then shut the door trusting us both completely.

I wasn't sure how this worked so I started off with Cody prancing at my side. The first fence I came to, I didn't know what to do with him. Afraid to let him in, I pet his head and squeezed through the gate leaving him outside. The next three yards were fenced so I climbed out of one into the next.


In the last yard I used the gate and there sat Cody with a tongue out grin. I had no need to worry. He had done the route so often that he knew just where I would be coming out. He had memorized the path taken to each of the 250 houses. The joy he would greet me with was heart warming. Till that day, he had never seen me, but on that day, I was his best friend.

This went on the whole day and I had a wonderful time with my quiet friend. He walked in a perfect 'heel,' glued to my side unless I had to leave him for a fenced yard. I made sure he got water when I did and he never showed any sign of boredom.

I really felt badly when the day was over and I had to take him back home. I gratefully thanked the lady for the loan of her dog and she thanked me for giving Cody a grand day. I was sad when I got in my car to go back to the office. I was convinced that every route needed a Cody. He was a boon companion for a solitary job.

It was about a year later that we got the sad news. Cody was not doing well and could no longer go with the meter readers. He was suffering from age and arthritis. It was just too painful for him to walk all day with us. We were about 20 in number and most of us had enjoyed the pleasure of Cody's company as he had performed this ritual this for years. He was going to be really missed. Even the most devout dog hater among us was saddened.

We took up a collection and had a bronze plaque made that had the face of a Shepherd embossed and the wording,

CODY

THE FINEST DOG IN PALM BEACH COUNTY

FROM YOUR GRATEFUL FRIENDS

It was a smart looking plaque set on a wooden base which we all signed. We also got him a huge sirloin steak and we made an appointment to see him as a group.

When we went for the presentation, Cody was obviously lame and though he got up slowly, he wagged his tail big time seeing all his friends in one room. Dogs do grin by the way and he about split his face grinning that day.

The plaque really pleased his owner but Cody had his eye on the large, great smelling package. She promised he would get every bit of the steak. His owner cried that day and so did most of us, especially the girls. It was hugs all around.

We no longer knocked on the door to see if Cody could come out to play. His owner said it upset him too much and he would whine and cry the whole day whenever he heard us in his yard. We let her read her own meter from then on so he couldn't hear us.

Cody eventually passed but his legend was being told to each new reader long after he was gone. Wouldn't be a bit surprised if the meter readers from that office today also know the story of a dog named Cody.

29 comments :

  1. Cody was a very special dog, for sure. A heartwarming story, thanks for sharing.
    Sunny

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  2. Cody looked so much like my first German Shepherd which we acquired in Morocco. However, she was small in fact the runt of the litter. Greatly loved, she lived 10 years but developed a brain tumor. Being European she never developed hip disease or arthitis like my subsequent two Shepherds which were American bred.

    Lovely story. My 1st and 3rd G.S. I'd have trusted like Cody.

    We had a neighbor in Baltimore with a similar G.S. that had a gravy train route. I'll have tell that story some day.

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  3. Great story!! Thank you so much for sharing.

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  4. It's certainly hard typing through tears. What a beautiful story. Now that's one you should send in to Reader's Digest.

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  5. A great story for a great dog. Our Max is a border collie and he has won the heart of many a deliveryman,and meter reader. Even the ones that don't have to get out of their truck, do to spend a moment with him. He is getting old & lame but still greets them all.

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  6. I know dogs do smile! You might know I lost my German Shepherd in September and I decided not to have anymore because the breed has been ruined and is prone to hip dysplasia, arthritis and many other conditions that those poor poor dogs suffer terribly; and their owners of course. I hope that one day gifted breeders will have been able to eradicate these widespread problems. In the meantime I have another type of smiling moggy, and I enjoyed learning about Cody a lot.

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  7. What a wonderful dog, and a beautiful and touching story. Some dogs just have so much heart and soul.

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  8. Again a beautiful story about a dog! He looks like the dog my Dutch daughter had. He has a very sweet face!
    Thanks for sharing.

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  9. What a sweet story. The intelligence of so-called "dumb animals" never ceases to amaze and delight me.

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  10. Very sweet story! Everyone should have a friend like Cody. : )

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  11. Awww, what a great story. You know I live in Palm Beach County. Are you here or in Arkansas?

    We used to have a German Shepard named Kodi (Kodiak). The absolute BEST dog ever. :-)

    Must be the name.

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  12. Sunny
    Thank you. He was very special. He was much loved.

    Nitwit,
    I know that breed has a ton of hip problems. I do believe careless breeding is the cause though each breed has its own medical problems.
    Can't wait to read the gravy train story. Sounds neat.

    turquoisemoon,
    Thanks so much for stopping by again. It was a warm, fun story to live.

    Patty,
    Aw, he had us all in tears that day. Thanks for the faith in my stories.

    Brighid,
    I know your dog is the bright spot in the day of the strangers in your yard. It was such a pleasant surprise to find a sweet dog, we always made time for them.
    Thank you and on the behalf of delivery men, thank you Max.

    LiZZie,
    You are right. Surely with selective breeding, healthy dogs could be produced. It is those darn puppy mills that only want a product on the market that destroy the breed. Maybe someday. Thank you.

    robin,
    So glad you liked the story as it was a dear time in my life to go through. The very special always stay with us.

    Reader wil,
    Thank you. That breed can look positively fearsome or completely winning. I'm sure your daughter had one of the sweet ones.

    Olga,
    Thank you. Cody was very bright for he had quite an area to memorize with all sorts of variables. He was a dandy.

    jewels,
    Ah, but I think you do in Brandy. She also has those sweet eyes though she is the only dog I have heard of that could carry on a conversation. You are both lucky.

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  13. What a neat story, Patti... That dog brought so much joy to all of you ---and you all brought joy to him. Dogs can just be so darn special!!!!! Love the story... Thanks for sharing.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  14. As always your stories are so colorful and descriptive. I love them all. I've never had a German Shepherd but my brother had one as a canine partner while on the LAPD. I had great respect for that dog.

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  15. What a dog, friend and companion.

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  16. Amanda,
    He was all that. A real dandy. He made a lot of people happy.

    oklhdan
    They are the quintessential police dogs. I hope he got to take his home with him. I hear off duty, they make grand pets.

    Betsy,
    Glad you liked the story and him. He was a real highlight.

    SMB
    I knew you lived in Fl, did not know you lived in Palm Beach County. Who knows, if you lived there 30 years ago when you were an "infant", I was probably in your yard at one time.
    I lived in Florida until 2004 when we got nailed by 3 hurricanes in a row. I live in Arkansas now and justlove it.

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  17. the sweet eyes are perfect

    there was a Shepherd who lived across the street from me many years ago. after hid Dad died he didn't get to go on car rides anymore since his Mom did not drive so I started taking him.
    He would wait at the end of the drive and jump in when I opened the door
    He was the highlight of my day and a good friend

    I loved this story Patti :)

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  18. Cody was undoubtedly a wonderful dog and all the meter readers were so nice to give the plaque and steak. You have led a very interesting life!

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  19. Dianne,
    Aw, that is so cool what you did for that dog. I know he made your day but boy did you make his.
    They ask so little don't they?

    kenju,
    Thank you Judy. I don't know how interesting it was but I do have a sticky memory and sweet things usually stick.

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  20. This was a beautiful story. Reader's Digest would love to publish. Send it there and made Cody famous.

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  21. I have never heard a story like that - very interesting and well told. I am pretty sure Cody was a one of a kind. I love your stories!

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  22. Abe,
    You and Patty had the same idea. It would need a lot of work before I could do that but thank you for thinking so.

    GQ
    Thanks so much. I actually had a little beagle in a route that was a Cody wanta be. The only problem was that he was very aggressive and I spent too much time defending him from the big dogs he felt obliged to sass. He would pick me up in the middle of the route, get tired and I would have to drive him back home.
    Cody was one of a kind.

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  23. Great story. I'm originally from central Arkansas.

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  24. JOAT
    Thank you so much for stopping by TNS and commenting. I will check out your blog now.

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  25. Hi Patti! Thanks for your visit and much appreciated comment. You used an expression I didn't understand, though I am sure it was very kind. It is: "It would be hard for stress to get a toe hold there".. Could you tell me please what it means? I love new expressions!

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  26. Reader wil,
    I went to your site to explain. I love new expressions also.

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  27. Thank you Patti! Isn't it strange that the word "toe hold"does not appear in my dictionary!?

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  28. Aweeee that was such a wonderful story you share..thank you.

    This is my first visit to your blog..


    Dorothy from grammology
    grammology.com

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  29. Dorothy,
    Thank you so much for stopping by TNS and leaving both nice comments. Welcome-- and I do hope you come back.

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