Man’s Best Friend – Situational Awareness For Everyone
Modern life has its luxuries, but danger can be lurking just beyond our everyday liberty and comfort. Sometimes being at the wrong place at the wrong time can lead to a potential disaster.
George Dyson’s day off started well enough. He exited his apartment, taking his gray white pitbull mix, Max, for a walk. Max’s face was sweet and lovable, a puppyish body language played over the marvelous creature as it wagged its but excitedly. There was nothing Max liked better than a brisk walk with his owner. The sites and smells enticed him to wander and explore, but George handled the leash well enough and was able to keep him from getting into mischief.
George power-walked down the sidewalk with Max trotting along at his side, the two of them sharing a vibe, drinking in the clear blue sky and copious sunlight. People yelled down the street, a car sped by with skidding tires, and a fire truck tore through a traffic light intersection at just about the halfway point of their typical route. As they rounded a corner George and Max unknowingly moved into a construction zone.
Be Prepared – It’s A Doggy-Dog World.
The seven foot tall temporary fencing which normally surrounded such sites had been shoddily placed, allowing for almost anyone to blunder into the work zone. George listened to music on his smartphone’s music app, not to mention checking Facebook when his eyes could spare to look. A burst bag of garbage drew Max’s attention, so George hauled him back into line, not taking in the reanimating construction site.
Eddy Bowman, the backhoe operator, sipped more coffee as he energized the construction vehicle and threw it into gear. The voice of his coworker calling caused him to slam on the brake, forcing him to put the thing back into park while he clarified what the foreman wanted him to do. It didn’t take long for the issue to get worked out, so Eddy was back in gear and ready to go. As he backed up, the loader he operated sounded the typical backup claxon which was meant to warn his fellow workers of the large vehicle’s movements.
Ever Have the Feeling You’re in the Danger Zone?
Unfortunately, George and Max were already far into the danger zone, both being distracted by the good times they were having. The huge tire of the loader narrowly missed Max, finally drawing the attention of George who only just yanked his dog out of harm’s way. George’s ear buds were removed in haste, bringing into focus Max’s frenzied barking as well as the beeping backhoe. George did some barking of his own.
“Yo! Watch where you’re going buddy!”
As he said this, all of his effort was devoted to rebalancing himself, since Max wished to attack the loader’s tire. The dog was instinctively triggered by the near miss and his owner’s yelling upset, so he wanted to bite the tire really really badly.
The foreman, flag man, and cement crew suddenly became aware of what was going on, only to see Max drag his owner and then make a break for it. George couldn’t maintain his grip on the dog, who bolted toward the newly poured slab they had been smoothing out. The crew scattered in all directions as Max bounded into the cement, dashing here and there, tracking through it, rolling in it as though it were mud. George had a hell of a time cleaning him up.
This kind of thing could happen to anyone. That’s why a little situational awareness goes a long way. Minimize distractions, focus on the task at hand, and always mind where you are walking. Studying the program’s valuable lessons will help keep you and your pets safe from harm.