I used to live with a wonderful canine friend. She was quiet and shy. But once she had warmed up to the duck and me we actually became best friends. Another person who wanted to win her friendship was the mailman. Every time he delivered a parcel he would ask for her by her name and give her a treat. Even if she was too scared to come up to him and instead observed the two weird humans standing at the front door from a safe distance, the friendly mailman would leave a treat for her. After a while, another dog had moved in, a dog who didn’t hesitate whenever the occasion for a snack arose. The first time the mailman encountered our new housemate he had been planning to give our quiet friend her treat, but she was too shy to come up to him. Instead, her new friend ran up to the door (and almost out of it) to snag the treat. As the mailman attempted anew to get a snack to our quiet friend, it went to the wrong dog again. So, instead, he gave me two snacks (how fair!) to give her later, when she’d be alone and could eat them in peace. Sometimes, if he didn’t see our quiet friend because she was taking a nap, the friendly mailman would ask us where she was and leave four snacks behind (two per dog). If I were a dog, it would feel like Christmas each time Santa Claus came to town disguised as a parcel deliverer. The parcels might have been paid for in advance, but the dog treats came out of his personal secret Santa bag. Sure, befriending all the dogs in the neighborhood is a smart move if you are a mailman because that can make your work exponentially easier (if you believe the cliche), but I also think that a lot of pure altruism came into learning the name of every dog that friendly mailman would encounter on his daily route. When I grow up, I want to be just as cool and kind as my favorite mailman!