First let me say that for some reason, our Siberian Husky Halo simply refuses to use the toilet. There must be something about climbing up on the seat, and balancing her big furry body properly, doing her duty, and flushing that is a bit too difficult for her to master. I was told she was very smart, but apparently, not smart enough to be able to do this one simple thing. Therefore, it becomes her humans’ responsibility to take her for a walk twice daily (note to family members that may be reading this: I did not REALLY try to make her use the toilet; don’t worry; no dogs were harmed in the writing of this blog).
So what does this have to do with shoulders?
Well, the only place I can walk her from my home is on our road, which has 2 to 3 foot wide paved shoulders. In fact, I take MYSELF for a walk or jog every few days (for a totally different reason though) and I have to use the same shoulders. Two to three feet is definitely room enough to stay off the road, and because there is also lots of grass, woods, etc., next to the road, there is plenty of room for Halo to be safe as well.
But we are not safe
Every single time Halo gets walked, and every single time I get walked, we take our lives into our hands. Why? Because the 30mph to 50mph speed limits are often ignored. Sure, there are times when drivers will slow down slightly or will pull towards the middle of the road when they see a pedestrian or dog walker, but most times, I swear they speed up and come even closer. Doing 70mph in a 40mph speed zone is not only unsafe, it’s downright dangerous and scary. Three times this morning while out for my jog, I had cars speed by me with inches to spare. Not only do I need to pay attention to my own pace and breathing when jogging, or make sure Halo doesn’t chase a rodent while walking her, I need to be constantly on the alert in the event I have to run into the woods to escape a crazy driver.
I understand why some people rarely leave their homes
It can be a dangerous place out there. But I’m not going to let those scary shoulders scare me. I’m going to just do my best to wake those drivers up. I’ve been known to stand right beneath the sign that clearly states 30mph and point at it while someone flies by at nearly double that speed. Sometimes they slow down, sometimes they don’t. I’ve also been known on very rare occasion to yell at them, which I know is dumb, but sometimes those words (“you stupid a$$hole, this is a 30mph speed limit”) rip from my lips before I can stop them.
Drivers, pay attention! If there are homes along the road, people live there; people with dogs to walk and calories to burn and people with children at play. People who are NOT running on the road; they are on the shoulders, where they should be safe. Stay off your phones, keep your itchy texting fingers on the wheel, and keep that big ole’ shoe of yours from tromping down on the pedal. The life you save could be mine. Or Halo’s. Or maybe even yours.