Oblivious and situational awareness

Out and about on a rainy day.

It's raining, so Elsa and I head out to a strip mall where we walk sometimes so that she can say "hi" to lots of people.  She adores when people stop to talk to her.  When I am out anywhere with or without Elsa for that matter I am always very aware of my surroundings. Those times when I do have Elsa with me I am on the look out for stray dogs, people who can't or won't control their dogs and general dangers.  I don't like surprises.

It amazes me how many people go through their day to day, basically oblivious.  On our way home from our little walk today a really oblivious situation unfolded before us.  Driving down the street I saw two dogs on-leash with their owners.  A white German Shepherd and maybe a Rottie mix.  They were going off at a dog on the other side of the street.  The other dog was one that I see often; a very tall black doodle.  As I drove almost between them the doodle wandered out in front of my car on an extension leash; causing me to jam on the brakes.  The man startled when he saw me and waved pulling his dog in.  Really?
So, two things.  First he was just letting his dog wander over to the dogs on the other side of the street?  And two, he let his dog wander into the street?  OBLIVIOUS.  Don't even get me started on extension leashes.  I am to the point that I think they should be banned unless you are out in a field alone with your dog and don't want to let them loose.  

       Oblivious:  unmindful; unconscious; unaware.

When I do walk in areas where there are buildings, walls or barriers of some sort I always run into dogs coming around the corner far earlier than their owner.  When I see a dog come around a corner, I wait.  Sometimes I wait and wait until finally their owner catches up; attached to the other end of an extension leash.  I did not intend this blog to be a bash extensions exercise; but they surely go with the "oblivious" topic. 

We are dealing with a coyote problem in the local parks lately.  This calls for heightened alert and situational awareness.  Coyotes lurk; they have been around forever but a few have decided to step out of the shadows and chase dogs now.  So armed with pepper spray I am aware.  If I feel the need, I will take the pepper spray out and hold it in my hand.  

Everyone should always be situationally aware.  It is how many accidents can be avoided.  Don't walk through life in an oblivious state.  For those oblivious people who walk down a sidewalk with their dog on full extension (extension leash again!); open your freaking eyes.  Should people have to make a huge ark around you? Do I want your extension leash wrapped around my anklets or legs? NO.  

Don't let your dog jump out of the car ahead of you.  Don't let your dog walk around a corner without you.  Elsa is always behind me when we move around a blind corner.  Don't stand and chat to a friend; oblivious to what your dog is doing. Don't let your dog approach another dog without knowing FOR SURE if the dogs is friendly and ASKING FIRST! 

Be aware.  Sh*t happens in life and a lot of it can be avoided by being aware and not oblivious.  Honestly, it makes me crazy.