Yes, you read it correctly. I said: walking your dog COULD be Hazardous.
No I have not changed my position on taking your dog for regular walks. I just want to make you aware of a few hazards that you may come across while you are out on a walk.
I was recently sitting on my front porch (with Patchs) enjoying a nice quiet evening at home. While relaxing, I noticed that a lady was walking her dog down the other side of my street. She was walking her dog, listening to her MP3 player and appeared to be texting someone on her phone all at the same time. (Distracted Walking)
The city had recently repaired a water main leak in the yard across from me and the yard had a 6′ x 10′ area of fresh dirt where it had been back-filled after the repair. Needless to say, she found it. With luck, she was not hurt.
I can’t count the amount of time that I have had near misses while walking. The biggest problems are pot holes in the street, cracks in side walks; stray or loose dogs, and even a stray car or two. I’ve even encountered wild critters. But last night I had one of my CLOSEST calls yet.
It was about 10pm. Patchs and I were walking in a quiet neighborhood on a route we walk about 4 times per week. There aren’t very many street lights on this street, but Patchs alerted on sometime crossing the street about 30 yards ahead. I strained to see it, but it looked like a raccoon or a big cat. It crossed right to left in front of us and then stopped at the curb. It then moved back into the street in front of us.
By this time we were about 20 feet away so I could see it’s outline much better. All at once the critter turned its back to us and I saw it raise it’s tail. Without hesitation, I jurked the leash and made a 180 degree course change. I ran as fast I could (dog in tow) and avoided being sprayed by a skunk.
Had I NOT been paying attention we would both be taking tomato juice baths today. So please … leave all of the “stuff” behind when you walk your dog. Turn off, gear down, unplug and enjoy a nice relaxing walk with your dog. It may even save you a trip to the hospital or doctor’s office.