Jason is a New Orleans based UPS driver who befriends the pups he meets along his route. Using the hashtag #pUPSofjay, Jason posts his furry friends on Instagram each week. With dog accounts gaining more and more popularity (seriously, some even have over 9 million followers), it’s no surprise that Jason blew up as well.
However, Jami Attenberg, a writer who lives along Jason’s route, played a huge role in his claim to fame. When the writer and dog owner tweeted photos of Jason and some pups, his popularity surged. Ever since, social media users have flocked to Jason’s account for wholesome and adorable pictures!
Jason and Jami Attenberg’s dog, Sid
I got the chance to ask Jason some questions about how he put a fun twist on the job!
To anyone who comes across your Instagram, it’s clear that you have a strong love for dogs. Have you always been a dog lover or did you recently take a liking to dogs?
I always thought dogs were cute and fun. But over the years I’ve definitely grown to like them a lot more.
What are your thoughts on the common idea that mail carriers and dogs are rivals? Have you ever had an especially scary encounter with a dog?
I do believe that dogs and delivery people should proceed with caution with each other. I find that dogs are very protective of their families, especially ones with children and carriers are strangers to them. My area does not have a lot of kids so the dogs are less protective and more playful with strangers. It helps that I’ve built a rapport with them over the years.
Some people find being a cat person or a dog person to be mutually exclusive preferences, but this doesn’t have to be the case! How do you feel about cats?
Whenever I try to talk to cats they just stare at me. I prefer dogs because they interact and have more personality. We connect better. But cats are cool.
I know it can be hard to choose but, what is your favorite dog breed?
I like bulldogs. Their faces are cool and the dogs are funny.
If you could choose any name for a dog, what would you choose and why?
If I had a Bulldog, I’d name him Rufus. Rufus the Bulldog.
Are there any dogs or stories that have stood out to you in your experiences?
There was a house with Corgis Oy and Annabelle. Oy was always nice and playful with me and Annabelle didn’t like me so much. After 2 years being their delivery guy, they were about to move and just a couple of weeks before they left, Annabelle finally warmed up to me and let me pet her. It was a really nice going away gift for me.
Jason with Oy and Annabelle
It is very clear you’ve established a strong connection with so many dogs along your route, but how have you forged a connection with the people as well?
My route is a lot of businesses so I interact with a lot of people compared to residential areas where there aren’t many people home during the day. With seeing the same people every day, I’ve developed relationships and connections with the people on my route.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of playing with pups?
I work a lot during the week, so on the weekends I enjoy catching up with my friends. But my Saturdays are reserved for my niece, Lincoln.
I see you have a lot of pictures from earlier on with pizza on your Instagram under #jaylovespizza. In your opinion, what is the best pizza place in New Orleans? Do you have a favorite kind of pizza?
My favorite pizza place is Pizza Delicious in the Bywater on Piety St. My go-to pizza there is the margherita pizza with pepperoni.
Your route is through an extremely interesting area in New Orleans - the Marigny and Bywater - so I’m sure you see some great elements of the city each day. But, personally, what is your favorite thing about New Orleans?
My favorite thing about the city is that it’s a small big town and you can see anyone at any time. I also love the unique views and that everything is so photogenic.
To see more of Jason’s cute pup friends, follow him on Instagram at @jhardesty!
All images within this blog are property of Jason Hardesty unless otherwise noted. __________________________________________________
Emma Damato is a Marketing Associate with Freret & Napoleon. She was born and raised in New York City, but has recently come down to New Orleans. She loves travel, dogs, and music and is always ready to try new food. Keep up with her through instagram @emmadamato!