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Mail Must Go Through - But Not Without 'Dusty'

Mail Must Go Through - But Not Without 'Dusty' image
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DUSTY DELIVERS THE MAIL: Ann Arbor Postman C. H. (Jack) Crippen has a constant companion on his daily mail delivery rounds. It's "Dusty," a yellow cocker spaniel shown starting out on the daily 4 1/2 - mile walk. Dusty, owned by Diane Ottosen of 311 N. Main St., comes to the Post Office at 7 a.m. daily and waits until Crippen sorts the mail and leaves with him about 8:30.

CAN'T LOSE DUSTY: Dusty follows Crippen wherever he goes, not only on the route in the N. Main St. area but into the Post Office and home if Crippen did not shut him in the Ottosen home after work. "You can't lose him," Crippen says. Once, for fun, he sneaked out the back door of a business place to try to fool Dusty, but he'd gone only a few steps before Dusty was with him.

SHORT SIESTA: Dusty, who has been helping postmen for the past four years, snatches a moment's rest in the shade of a car as Crippen rearranges his mail. Known by practically everybody around the Post Office and along the route, Dusty probably is Ann Arbor's best-known dog. Until a year ago, he followed Postman Kenny Friskey until Friskey moved to Arizona. Then the dog was lost until Crippen started giving him lots of attention. Crippen, who usually has some pieces of dog candy in his pocket for the dog, says Dusty lightens the day's work and "keeps me from talking to myself."

TREATS ALONG THE WAY: Dusty knows all the mail stops, especially the ones where he gets cookies, candies or other treats - and there are several of them, including the County Jail. Above, Ted Hoppe, gasoline station operator at W. Huron and First Sts., feeds Dusty a cookie. Meat markets are the only place Dusty isn't allowed to go in.