BOULDER (AP) – Many dogs are trained to fetch their owners’ newspapers. But one Boulder canine has separated himself from the pack by helping deliver papers to an entire neighborhood.
For 11 years, Quincy the golden retriever has worked his own paper route, going to about a dozen houses on Simmons Drive in east Boulder, dutifully picking up neighbors’ newspapers from their driveways and plopping them onto their doorsteps.
“He loves to have a job,” said Quincy’s owner, Paul Goldan. “He’s very anxious to do his job. It’s just something that he thinks of as a game.”
Just before 7 a.m. on a chilly Tuesday morning, Quincy started his route by first delivering the Goldans’ Daily Camera. But while that would have been it for most dogs, Quincy was just getting started.
Goldan outfitted Quincy with a dog harness equipped with two bike lights – Goldan’s wife has told him to patent the creation, but Goldan said, “I made it, so people can make their own” – and the two set off down Simmons Drive.
As Goldan walked along the street, Quincy zig-zagged across the neighborhood until they came across a bagged-up newspaper sitting just off the side of the road, about 10 yards from the house.
“Get the paper,” Goldan yelled, and Quincy quickly picked it up and ran off in the direction of the house, depositing it on the doorstep before going back to Goldan, who was waiting with a treat.
Quincy repeated the process – with a few bathroom breaks and rolls in the grass mixed in – until the street was free of newspapers.
The unusual routine started with Goldan’s first dog, another golden retriever named Riley. Goldan’s wife, Mary, was the first to try to see whether Riley would be amenable to fetching the paper while he was still a puppy.
“I figured he would fetch a ball if I threw it, so we’ll see if he would get the paper,” Mary Goldan said. “And he brought back the paper and Paul took it over from there.”
Added Paul Goldan, “I said fine, if he can do our paper, he can do everybody’s paper.”
Goldan said it took him about a month to train Riley, who delivered papers until he died about 12 years ago. When the Goldans got Quincy as a puppy, they trained him to do the same thing.
“He was only about the size of his head now when he started coming with me,” Paul Goldan said. “He couldn’t do the Sunday papers because they were too big for him then, but he still came along.”
Between Riley and Quincy, the residents of Simmons Drive haven’t had to worry about going out to the road to fetch their newspapers for about 22 years.
“It’s the sweetest thing,” neighbor Leah Bradley said as she came to the door to pick up the paper Quincy had put on her doorstep. “Everybody loves it.”
Bradley has lived on Simmons Drive for about 25 years, so she has seen both Riley and Quincy deliver papers. She said she isn’t sure how or when she even realized Riley was responsible for her newspapers suddenly appearing on her doorstep.
“I thought it was a newspaper fairy,” Bradley said.
Mary Goldan said that one of their former newspaper delivery women didn’t know about Quincy either, until one day when she happened to double back on her route.
“She said, ‘Oh my God, that’s what’s happening. I get these big tips from this neighborhood and nobody else,’” Mary Goldan recounted. “So she started leaving a dog treat in our paper every day for Quincy.”
In fact, Quincy is so reliable that when neighbors go on vacation and put their newspapers on hold, they make sure to let the Goldans know Quincy can skip their houses.
Mary Goldan said one neighbor sent a postcard to the dog from Paris letting Quincy know he didn’t need to worry about delivering to that house.
The Goldans’ house was damaged in the 2013 floods, and they had to temporarily relocate – Quincy delivered papers at that address as well – while they rebuilt. But other than that period and a few sick days every now and then, Paul Goldan and his two dogs have been as much a part of the neighborhood’s morning routine as reading the newspaper.
“At some houses, the children will go to the window and wait and say, ‘There’s the newspaper dog!’” Paul Goldan said.