BALDWIN (KDKA) — Elijah Jordan, known to the neighborhood as “E.J.” was a handsome guy, but the 4-year-old Collie meant the most to Pam Grace.

“He was my life,” said Grace. “He was my baby. And he’s not with me anymore.”

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Last Tuesday afternoon, about 4:30 p.m., a new mail carrier who’d only only been on the job for a month, was delivering letters off her customary route on Willett Road in Baldwin.

“And she came through the neighbor’s driveway and came through my yard,” Grace said.

E.J. was on a leash bolted to the ground. Grace’s mailbox is curbside. There was no need to come into the yard or a need, Grace says, for what happened next.

“And she got her mailbag and hit him very hard in the face and on the side,” she said.

Pam admits that E.J. nipped the woman, but only after she hit him.

But U.S. Postal Service spokesman, Tad Kelley says, “It lunged off its hind legs and bit into her thigh, piercing her jeans.”

Two very different stories. The mail carrier told her manager she never hit the dog, nor was she in the yard.

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Anytime E.J. was out in the yard he was tethered to this leash, which it only goes so far. If the mail carrier was not in the yard – how could she have been threatened by E.J.?

In a letter written by Grace’s neighbor, Rita Hagen corroborates her version.

It says, “The mail girl swung her mail bag and hit him. When she came on my porch I asked her to show me where he ‘bit’ her … There was a tooth mark on her jeans but it did not go all the way through to her skin.”

E.J. collapsed at home on Friday.

“They just said he had a heart attack,” says Grace.

“It’s regretful that a dog did pass away,” said Kelley. “We’re sorry about that. But it’s not necessarily true. We don’t know the facts about what was responsible for the dog’s death.”

E.J. will be sorely missed.

“E.J. was the neighborhood dog,” Grace said. “There’s nobody in this neighborhood that did not love and know that dog.”

Neighbors are trying to raise money to get a new Collie for Grace.

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