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Going to the Dogs

by Scott Rochat07/19/2019 3:26 PM
Updated: 07/04/2020

If you’ve read my work elsewhere, you may be familiar with Big Blake.

Big black dog photo for meter reading blogBig Blake is our lovable English Labrador who has a way of making his presence known. If items are on low tables, his tail will knock them off. If food is unattended, he’ll help himself. If a family member is lying down, he will park all 85 pounds of canine on top of their feet.

In short, he’s like the old Douglas Adams line – “Mostly Harmless.”

At least, until strangers approach.

What they get to see is a loudly barking, muscular dog on full alert just beyond the threshold. They don’t know if he’s greeting them, warning them, or counting down to blastoff – they just know he is THERE, and that it might be a good idea if they WEREN’T.

I’m sure many of you are nodding right now, remembering your own pets. Whether it’s a Chihuahua or a mastiff, dogs know their turf. And they want to keep it safe.

That’s great for random unwanted visitors.

It’s not so good for the meter reader.

A City meter reader visits more than 70,000 electric and water meters a month. Most of the time, it’s pretty uneventful. Either the meter is out front, or a backyard meter has been left easy to get at.

But if a dog’s waiting in the backyard, the meter reader’s in the same position as a salesman facing Big Blake: “I don’t know this dog, he doesn’t want me here, I’d better listen.”

When that happens, your meter doesn’t get read that month. And that means we have to estimate your usage instead for your utility bill. That’s not the best answer for either of us.

So please, if you have a dog, keep it indoors unless it needs a bathroom run. (Which is a good idea anyway in a hot Colorado summer!) If your pup does need to be left outside for a while, make sure they’re secured in an area that’s away from the meter, so that our folks can come and go quickly without disturbing the dog. Or better yet, call us about a remotely read meter, so that we can keep away from their yard and door.

They’ll be happier. You’ll be happier. Your dog’ll be happier.

Take it from Blake. Doing anything else would be a dog-gone shame.


  1. Updated: 07/04/2020
  2. Updated: 07/22/2019
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