Dog Traffic Control

Gray_bike racka_2012-08-03

2015-05-05 – I am writing this from seat 29F on an American Airlines flight from Chicago to Raleigh-Durham, NC. I like to look out the window once in a while when I fly and try to guess where I am. Squares mean we’re in the Midwest. Brown in the West. Rolling green in the East.

Today when I looked out, I saw another plane zoom by. It was pretty close. I doubt that it was a half a block away, maybe a block tops. I’m guessing it was a United flight by its colors, but I was startled to see it, so I didn’t thinks to try to read it. It was going the opposite direction, so it was moving pretty fast relative to us, and it was gone in a couple of seconds.

Kit and I were talking just yesterday about air traffic control. We were out walking Lefty and were startled to see that another dog had gotten uncomfortably close. When I’m walking Lefty, I usually like to spot other dogs before Lefty does so that I can take evasive action, if needed. Usually, I’m only surprised when we encounter a dog after passing a building or turning a corner. If it’s an open field I usually see the other dog before Lefty does. If not, anything can happen. Yesterday I said to Kit that I wished that there were dog traffic controllers that would maintain spacing between dogs.

I did acknowledge, however, that it’s probably easier for air traffic controllers, since airplanes operate in three dimensions and dog walkers operate in only two.

The plane we just passed was flying pretty much at the same altitude as us.

The other thing that would make dog traffic control difficult is that many dog walkers like to encounter other dogs.

Airplanes universally try to avoid other airplanes. You never hear one pilot radio to another, “Oh, what a cute airplane! What’s its name? Is it okay if I pet it?”

You never hear me say the same thing about a dog. In fact, if another dog owner says that to me, I tell that owner that Lefty is vicious (even though he’s not) and they better stay the heck away . . .

Well, the pilot just announce that we are beginning our descent into Raleigh-Durham. I’ve got to put my seat-back tray away and turn off my iPad.

I won’t be walking Lefty until I return to Chicago.

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