When Cynthia Wakelin arrived home to a UPS slip on her front door, she presumably believed she’d simply missed her delivery. However, as she started reading the note, she couldn’t comprehend how heartless her driver had been.
Wakelin’s life was pretty idyllic. She lived in a remote part of Bellingham, Washington, where she had four acres of land on which her two dogs could roam. And Wakelin loved the serenity her surroundings brought her.
Describing her lifestyle, in 2017 Wakelin told the Daily Mail, “I live on a mountain. I moved there for a reason. [My dogs] roam or go down the back to the lake. Full freedom… most of the time they sit on the porch.”
Aside from her dogs, Wakelin’s other great passion in life was her shoes. On her Instagram page, the mother-of-two posts image after image of high heels of any variety. And given that she lived so rurally, she relied on drivers to deliver her footwear fix.
As a result, Wakelin was pretty familiar with one UPS driver that delivered to her property quite often. “He comes all the time,” she explained. “If you see my Instagram, I have all these Louboutin shoes and he delivers them.”
In April 2017 Wakelin was expecting another delivery – this time a swimming costume for a forthcoming vacation to Hawaii. However, when she arrived home with her kids and a friend in tow, all she found was a heartless note from her UPS driver.
The note on her front door made it clear that Wakelin had missed the delivery while she was out. However, when she picked it up her stomach dropped. “All I saw on the note was ‘Tobey’ and ‘he’s dead’ and I just started screaming,” she said.
Toby was the family’s beloved sharpei-terrier mix. The 14-year-old pet had been Wakelin’s first ever dog. As such, he had a very special place in her heart. Now, all she had in his place was a hastily compiled note written on a “missed package” slip.
The straightforward letter simply read, “Sorry. I backed over Tobey. He’s dead over by where I turn around. I didn’t see him behind me. Sorry.” And frankly, it shook a heartbroken Wakelin to her core.
“I told my girl friend to get my kids in the house,” Wakelin revealed in her interview with the Daily Mail. “My son was asking what was wrong and I said I needed to find Toby. I guess I didn’t believe it was true.”
After much searching, Wakelin found Toby’s body hidden behind a log on her property. And what greeted her there was a gruesome sight. “When I found him he was split down the center,” Wakelin revealed.
As Wakelin struggled to come to terms with the tragic loss of her pet, one thing troubled her more than anything. She couldn’t understand why the driver hadn’t called her using the number on Toby’s collar and the package he was delivering. “If he would have called me, it would have lightened the blow a little bit,” Wakelin explained.
However, little did Wakelin know that the driver was simply following company protocol. In 2017 UPS later told King 5 News that it was policy to “knock on the door and if no one is home to leave a note” in such cases.
Nevertheless, Wakelin was devastated. The next day she called UPS for some kind of explanation. However, she did not find any sympathy. “The supervisor told me, ‘At least he had the heart to leave a note and didn’t just leave your dog dead on your driveway,’” Wakelin told the Daily Mail.
Later that day, another UPS supervisor came out to visit Wakelin. “He was really upset that it was handled this way,” the grieving pet owner told King 5 News. “He felt really bad because he is a dog owner too.”
While the supervisor was there, the driver who ran Toby over attempted to redeliver his package. He also hoped to apologize to Wakelin in person. However, his manager decided that that wouldn’t be appropriate.
Wakelin was so upset by what had happened that she decided to post about Toby’s death on her Instagram page. And as news of her sickening story began to spread, UPS issued a statement revealing the company had “disciplined” the driver in question.
The statement, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, read, “UPS apologized to the customer for this unfortunate incident. Our local manager personally visited the customer and gave our condolences. The driver involved has been disciplined and the company will make a goodwill payment to the customer.”
But for Wakelin, an apology and disciplinary action was not enough. “I just want UPS to make it a point to tell their drivers that they need to care about the people they are delivering these packages to. And if their pets get hurt – even if they don’t care – they should act like they care.”
For Wakelin, it was too late to save her beloved Toby. However, if she could get UPS to listen, perhaps she’d be able to spare other families the pain hers was in. “I can’t even have any deliveries. It’s, like, crippled us as a family,” she revealed.