Barney the dog at center of mail-delivery brouhaha

March 18, 1995|By Seattle Times

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. -- Either rent a post-office box or move your mailbox to the curb -- we're not coming to your house anymore.

That's what Postal Service officials wrote in a letter sent Thursday to Mickie Burk in the latest round of a delivery dispute that has involved her neighbors, the local postmaster and the City Council.

At the center of the dispute is a 3-year-old golden retriever-chow mix named Barney.

The Lynnwood, Wash., post office cut off mail delivery to Ms. Burk's home Jan. 13 after Barney reportedly charged a letter carrier's truck. Postal officials say Ms. Burk hasn't done enough to restrain Barney.

"It's the worst dog on my route," said letter carrier Thurman Riggan, who has pepper-sprayed Barney twice. "He's a dangerous dog."

The brouhaha ballooned last month when the post office notified residents in Ms. Burk's neighborhood that it was considering stopping door-to-door mail service.

Ms. Burk's neighbors protested. As a result, the post office has softened its stance, limiting delivery changes to Ms. Burk, officials said.

Although no carriers have been bitten, Lynnwood Postmaster Edward Schierberl said Barney has snipped at carriers, thrown himself against the fence and charged a mail vehicle. "Barney is perfectly safe," Ms. Burk said. "My girlfriend's 7-month-old baby comes over, and they play."

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