Jay Hardesty has made a name for himself after his UPS route dog photos went viral
I think it’s safe to say we all need a brief respite from the hellhole that is 2020 and thanks to UPS driver Jason Hardesty, I just spent the last 10 minutes looking at pictures of him posing with all the adorable pups he meets along his route.
The UPS driver — who most people call Jay — delivers packages along his New Orleans neighborhood route and whenever he meets a willing pup, he snaps a cheerful picture with them and the result is nothing short of magical.
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Oct 16, 2020 at 4:16pm PDT
“Every time I see a dog, I definitely get more excited than I used to,” the 11-year UPS veteran told Good Morning America. Jay started posting the pics on social media two years ago with the hashtag #pupsofjay, and things quickly spiraled from there.
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Aug 26, 2020 at 9:17am PDT
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Sep 25, 2020 at 4:10pm PDT
“I picked up a dog, just goofing around on a Friday. I took a photo with him, posted it on my Instagram and he got me more likes than I’ve ever seen. So every Friday, I try to keep up with that,” he said.
His Instagram page is full of adorable pics of himself with one cute dog after another and his page description reads: “A very easily entertained UPS driver.”
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Oct 23, 2020 at 4:26pm PDT
Since his photos began going viral, he’s garnered a bit of a reputation around his route. “Owners are pretty cool when I ask to take a photo with their dogs because they’re like…’You’re going to make my dog famous!'”
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Jul 10, 2020 at 4:19pm PDT
Jay says he’s just happy to be able to cheer people up. “This year has been horrible and the fact that I can make someone smile for even a second means a lot to me,” Jay added.
Oh, and his employer is pretty jazzed about what he does as well. “He wasn’t trying to make a big deal about it, that’s just part of who he is and what he does,” said UPS spokesperson Matthew O’Connor. “We’ve never seen one take off like this.”
“UPS drivers develop special relationships with our customers, and sometimes that includes relationships with our customers’ pets,” O’Connor added. “Building strong, engaging relationships is part of what UPS stands for as a company. When drivers like Jay go above and beyond because of who they are, not because of what the company asks of them, it’s even more special.”
A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on Jun 12, 2020 at 4:24pm PDT
“People used to call me ‘the dog guy’ but now it’s just ‘Hey Jay!'” he tells Scary Mommy.
With everything that’s going on around us, it’s nice to see such a pure interaction. It’s clear how much Jay loves his job and the dogs don’t seem to mind their new-found fame too much either.