Update: A reader alerts us that we weren't the only ones who saw the sign. And it opened up their mind.
Sometimes, stories are difficult to unearth and require insider sources and knowledge. Other times, they present themselves in screaming red and yellow letters on somebody's front lawn.
Daily RFT was taking a jaunt through north county when, just on the outskirts of University City, we happened upon the sign you see in the picture at right. It was strung up on a clothesline with letters as large as five feet tall: "UPS KILLED MY DOG."
What else could we do but pull over and attempt to learn more?
First of all, let's see that upclose:
Now here's a person to give a sense of scale:[image-3]
We attempted to knock on the front door of the house, but were held back by a chained gate and a "NO TRESSPASSING" sign. After hearing movement and barking dogs inside, we yelled, "HELLO. WE UNDERSTAND UPS KILLED YOUR DOG."
We left a note and a business card, and vowed not to give up.
We contacted all the surrounding police precincts to ask if there'd been any calls for service in regard to a homicidal UPS truck -- a spokesperson for St. Louis County Police says there's been no calls from that address in recent history. We even called UPS corporate headquarters. Surely, they must track incidents of canineicide...right?
"I have no idea what's going on with this one," confessed Dan McMackin, a spokesperson for UPS out of Atlanta.
But he was able to sketch out UPS' general response to unfortunate incidents of premature doggy deaths.
"If they're off the leash, then that's basically considered the fault of the owner," McMackin explained, whereas if the dog was killed on its owner's property, "we tend to have some sort of settlement with the dog owner. It's obviously a very unfortunate thing, and very often dogs aren't seen...they run under tires."
McMackin vowed to make some calls and get back to us once he knew more. We've yet to hear back.
Which leaves us with maddeningly little information other than that which was presented on the gigantic sign, which -- at last check -- is still up. There was once a dog. He was killed.
If anyone out there knows more, please throw us a bone.
Update: The ever-helpful @stljv had this to share:
@lussenpop RE: UPS killed my dog... strangely incorporated into a sermon newnorthsidechristianedu.blogspot.com/2013/04/great-...— Jim (@stljv) April 26, 2013
While we found a reporter's conundrum in the screaming sign, others were able to find higher meaning. Here's an excerpt from Deborah C. Davis at the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church:
A relative and I were on our way to Wednesday night Bible study when we saw a most-surprising sight in a yard on a main thoroughfare. The resident(s) of the home had placed giant black lettering over different colored background on material over 6 feet tall in the yard. The highlighted message, "UPS KILLED MY DOG", made me wonder why the resident(s) had taken their grief to this excessive level. They were surely suffering and could not figure out another way to voice their grief. I questioned whether the dog had a soul and would be able to meet its resident in heaven?
Click here to read Ms. Davis' conclusion on the fate of our mystery dog's soul.