SAGINAW (AP) – A Saginaw water-meter reader is back in action despite suffering the third dog bite of his 19-year career.

Dave Delgado’s latest canine run-in came Aug. 15 when a pit bull mixed-breed charged him. The 49-year-old was treated for the bite and returned to work.

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“Do I worry about dogs now more than before? Yeah, I do. But I can’t let it get to me. And I don’t. That’s the attitude I’ve got to have,” Delgado told The Saginaw News.

Delgado was first bitten a few years after he got the job.

“It didn’t break any skin,” he said. “I had some rubber boots that went about halfway up to my knee.”

The second dog attack, which came last year, was a bigger deal. Delgado was attacked by three dogs, earning him a trip to the hospital.

“That time was scary. It really made me think,” he said.

But as far as Delgado is concerned, the job is worth the risks. He says it’s almost worth it for the exercise alone. The diabetic walks 10 to 15 miles each day.

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“My exercise is my job,” he said. “I read meters because it keeps me in shape.”

The danger he faces goes beyond dogs.

Delgado says he has been threatened by people, too. And one time he was sprayed by a caged skunk.

Saginaw Public Services Director Phil Karwat says many city employees walk into uncertain and potentially dangerous situations all the time.

“Everybody carries a can of mace and has been trained on how to use it,” Karwat said.

The city is replacing the meter-reading system with an automatic, wireless system. About 6,000 such systems have been installed in homes and other city water customers, Karwat said.

That means nearly one-third of Saginaw’s about 19,000 customers are on the wireless system.

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