Walk about much? Crocodile Dundee was well known for going on a walkabout; some lasting years. Of course, wandering in the Australian outback poses a unique set of predatory precautions such as…deadly spiders, killer birds and of course, Dundee’s namesake the jaw-crushing crocodile seen attacking Sue in the movie “Crocodile Dundee.”

Although some of the world’s deadliest creatures inhabit Australia there is only one throughout the planet which tops the list as the deadliest on Earth…humans. Thus it’s logical to grasp how the leading hazard (deadlier than a sea wasp box jelly fish, the most venomous creature alive) facing a pedestrian is the motorists who’s either completely callous or isn’t paying attention.

Amazing how we, an intelligent and civilized society, have constructed sidewalks, painted crosswalks, installed traffic lights and stop signs to aid in the safety of persons taking a walkabout within close proximity of traffic believing these safeguards would suffice. However, even with these precautions nearly 5,000 pedestrians were struck and killed in 2013. Horrifically, that equates to one death every two hours.

Case in point, the woman (and dog she was walking) recently struck and killed in a marked crosswalk in the small, picturesque town of Davidson at an intersection where a new traffic light had been installed to ensure the safety of pedestrians. How does this happen? It’s shocking, appalling and downright disheartening to hear of such a travesty. Certainly, this beloved dog walker will be sadly missed by family, friends and her four children. Will you remember the name Janet McFadden the next time you encounter someone walking along the road?

If so, then meet Pam, an avid walker, walking up to 10 miles or more on some of her excursions to Wally World and other places in the area.

Wowzer, “Go Pam!” I’ve known Pam for years and during that time she’s shared with me on more than one occasion the absolute indifference of certain drivers who ignore stop signs; don’t use their turn signal; blare music too loudly; won’t move over as they might (should) for a bicyclist or moped when walkers are roadside due to lack of sidewalks. Unfortunately, some drivers simply don’t seem to notice, or care and that makes them deadly.

Friends, tons of people walk simply for exercise which is becoming increasingly common; especially as the weather warms up. I’m a fair weather walker myself, although the dogs and I have gotten caught in a pop-up shower or two over the years. Yikes, arriving home with two wet canines is a rather odoriferous affair. What is it about ‘wet dog’ smell? Phew!

Come to think of it, I didn’t walk the dogs at all last year because of the new pup. Mud Puppy needed to learn to stay in the yard. Unlike when I first got her and one day the dog catcher and a police car brought her home. “No, no…bad doggy!” However, she now knows the boundaries of the back yard and stays put even if the gate is open and my other two wander to the front yard. Meaning, I’ll be taking my older Border Collies walking again downtown for short three mile excursions. Dickens, they’ve missed it. So have I…and so have my squishy parts!

Pam on the other hand, walks all the time, everywhere. You may see her walking briskly along happily doing her thing as her ponytail dances across her shoulders. Obviously, numerous challenges face Pam, or anyone, enjoying a healthy stroll outdoors such as weather, bugs, stepping over the occasional road kill. So when, not if, but when, you encounter someone walking along the road, slow down or give another human being some space. Be courteous to those who choose to walk. They deserve the same respect you’d want drivers to show you if you found yourself walking along a busy road. Remember, if you’re behind the wheel of a moving vehicle you’re responsible for your actions. Don’t be the deadliest creature on Earth. Instead, be good and kind to one another.

Can you imagine…a beautiful day and a long walk? Smile when you walk, it’s great exercise!

Photo: Pam, walking about

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