When you think of mailmen and dogs, the first idea that comes to mind is usually that the two are mortal enemies. But Jeff Kramer, a postman from Boulder, Colorado is a self described "dog person" who looks forward to greeting the 30 or so dogs on his route that are friendly.
He doesn't even mind the 3 or 4 that he says "enthusiastically want to eat him."
But Tashi, a 14-year-old black lab, has a special place in his heart. Karen Dimetrosky, Tashi's owner, says that he waits to see Kramer every morning, even though he can't run down the porch steps any longer.
To make sure his special friend could still see him every morning, Kramer went the extra mile, building him a ramp on his day off.
Kramer fondly remembers the first time he met Tashi. "As fast as he could — which was not very fast — he ran up to me tail wagging, first day I met him," Kramer told the Daily Camera. "He's just a really friendly dog. And I am a dog person, and they can tell."
Since then, Tashi and Kramer have been good friends. Dimetrosky says her dog would even pull her towards the mail truck when she saw it coming.
Kramer would help Tashi on and off his porch, but he also offered leftover materials for a doggy ramp. Break out the tissues, this is where the story gets sad. Kramer's own elderly dog, Odie, had passed away five years ago, before he could build his ramp.
Since then, the materials had been sitting unused. Kramer gave them to the Dimetrosky family for free, and later offered to build the ramp himself.
"I can't imagine not having the ramp now," Dimetrosky says, "it's the only way he gets in and out." She's grateful to Kramer for doing so much to help her dog live a better life - and theirs too, since they don't have to pick Tashi up all the time.
"He's just amazing. We've had the ramp for a few months and she's saved us," she said.
But Kramer is humble about his act of kindness. "I just noticed they needed it," Kramer said. "I didn't need it anymore and I hate throwing things away."
Even if he doesn't want any extra credit, we think he deserves to be recognized for everything he's done for Tashi.