Dogs are known to have a somewhat fraught relationship with delivery men and women, especially postal workers and UPS drivers. Though some workers manage to avoid our furry companions as much as possible, others enjoy interacting with dogs on their daily route.
Jason Hardesty, @jhardesty on Instagram, appreciates seeing his four-legged friends on his drive. The New Orleans, Louisiana, UPS worker, who has been working for the company for seven years, says he’s a "very easily entertained UPS driver," which is apparent on his IG page, where he posts hilarious selfies with his canine customers. He says he began taking selfies with neighborhood dogs when he was assigned a new route two years ago.
"There's a lot of dogs on my route. I came across a really cute one and took a picture with him," Hardesty, 30, told Mashable. "I posted it and got a lot of good feedback and realized people wanted more of that, so I started taking pics of the dogs I came across."
Hardesty takes selfies with dogs of all breeds and sizes, posing outside their home and addressing them by name in his captions. The pictures are proof that the UPS driver shares a special bond with the pups, who seem to appreciate the attention and enjoy the spotlight.
Jami Attenberg, a renowned author, who has written several novels including best-seller The Middlesteins, was the first to spread word of Hardesty's Instagram page on social media. The writer, who owns a puggle named Sid and has nearly 24,000 followers on Twitter, is one of the people who lives on Hardesty’s route. In her post, she wrote, "I have extremely important news and it is this: my sweet UPS guy has a hashtag of all the dogs in the neighborhood."
Hardesty posts all photos with the hashtag #PupsofJay and the results are impressive. Perhaps the UPS advertising department should take notice. "The area I work, all of the dogs are really friendly. Some of them I see regularly so they may already be familiar with me. But most of the time none of the dogs have issues taking pics with me," he said.
Despite all the cute pics, Hardesty doesn’t want people to think he spends his workday goofing around. He only takes selfies on Friday nights, and he also has a life, often sharing colorful shots of his hometown. He loves his dogs, but he doesn’t want his IG page “to be a dog account.”
He also wants to bring some joy to the world since he believes there’s too much “garbage” on the internet. He says we need to value the simple things in life and be aware of the impact we have on one another.
Thankfully, though, the UPS driver has single-handedly put an end to decades of animosity between cautious pets and frightened delivery men and women. Let’s hope his goodwill extends far beyond New Orleans.