Mailman Builds A Ramp For His Favorite Elderly Dog

The silly rivalry between dogs and mailmen is practically as old as time.  However, there is not always bad blood between them. Here is the story of Colorado postal worker Jeff Kramer and his favorite route dog, Tashi.  Jeff noticed a sudden change in the black Labrador and knew he had to help his old pal and took matters into his own hands.

Jeff is a longtime employee of the United States Postal Service and has made many close friends along the way. But he gets no greater joy than when he sees Tashi while out delivering the mail for the day.

“You don’t check out a dog first,” he said in an interview. “You let it check you out, and you’re much better off that way.”

It was with caution in mind that Jeff first approached the home on Bluebell Avenue in South Boulder where he would meet his soon-to-be best pal, Tashi. It was clear to him right away that this dog was the friendliest he’d ever met.

“As fast as he could—which was not very fast—he ran up to me, tail wagging, first day I met him,” Jeff said of his initial meeting with Tashi. “He’s just a really friendly dog. I am a dog person, and they can tell.”

Jeff looked forward to seeing his favorite black Labrador every day during his route and the feeling was, of course, mutual. Tashi loved the attention and petting he’d get from his favorite postal worker!

“Tashi adores Jeff,” the dog’s owner, Karen Dimetrosky. “Tashi would hang outside and would always get so excited when Jeff came… He has always wagged his tail and pulled us over to his mail truck.”

Their relationship grew over the years but, Jeff couldn’t help but notice that Tashi seemed to be slowing down. Tashi was 14 years old, and began to gain a noticeable amount of extra weight, which prevented him from even being able to walk down the stairs to greet his friend.

Jeff was sad at this sudden change, and didn’t know exactly how bad Tashi’s condition had gotten. One day, while bringing their mail, he noticed that Tashi’s owners had to help him out of the house.

Tashi’s family carrying him in and out of the house was a common occurrence. “We were literally carrying him up and down the stairs,” Karen said about their beloved dog. “And he weighs about 70 pounds.”

“We didn’t realize how much trouble [Tashi] was having until I saw them actually carry him up the stairs,” Jeff said, recalling the events solemnly. “I remembered my dog having the same problem, and it’s sad.”

This daily sight of the aging Tashi reminded him of his own beloved dog, Odie. Odie had, sadly, passed away five years earlier, and Jeff couldn’t help but be reminded of the time when his dog entered his twilight years.

Determined to make a difference in Tashi’s life, Jeff developed a plan. One day, he arrived at the Dimetrosky’s home with a massive pile of wood, the remains of a ramp he’d once built to aid Odie.

Jeff brought the wood in hopes that Tashi’s family would build him a ramp, but the materials sat untouched for months. “We’re not very handy,” Karen admitted. “I’m handier than my husband, but I didn’t know how to put that together.”

That’s when Jeff decided to take matters into his own hands. He could no longer sit idly by and watch as Tashi lost the ability to come outside to greet him. So, one morning, he came to the Dimetrosky’s home and built the ramp all by himself!

Jeff built the ramp for Tashi out of the kindness of his heart, but remains humble about his more-than-generous actions. “I just noticed they needed it. I didn’t need it anymore and I hate throwing things away,” he said.

The Dimetrosky family was extremely thankful for everything that Jeff had done for Tashi. “He’s just amazing,” Karen said about her mailman’s generosity. “We’ve had the ramp for a few months and he’s saved us.”

Jeff also stood to regain the companionship of his beloved route dog! It wasn’t long before Tashi was greeting him at the front door. “It’s amazing,” Karen said. “Jeff will come knock on the door and Tashi will get up off his bed and walk out to greet him.”

Jeff building the ramp for Tashi had given the sweet dog a new lease on life. “The ramp has helped Tashi tremendously,” Karen added. “He can walk in and out of the front door and down to the yard independently.”

“[Jeff] potentially prolonged his life because my husband and I both pulled our back out by lifting Tashi on and off the porch,” she said. “[It has] given Tashi a sense of independence and dignity as an older dog. Jeff is just a compassionate letter carrier who possesses a love for animals.”

Jeff’s generosity shows that caring can go a long way, him and Tashi have such a loving friendship!


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