Harper and I head to the Chicago Public Radio studios on Navy Pier tomorrow to record an essay about his early retirement. Plenty of CTA buses go from our neighborhood to Navy Pier, but ever since my Seeing Eye dog was clipped by a car last Spring, he’s afraid to take me across the street to the bus stop. We’ll be taking a cab.
An organization called Transportation for America reports that a pedestrian in America is hit by a vehicle every seven minutes. Our friend Dean Fischer was one of those statistics – he suffered a major shoulder injury after getting hit from behind while crossing at Jackson in downtown Chicago. Staff at Northwestern’s emergency room told Dean that they take care of seven or eight people a day who’ve been hit by cars.
Cell phones weren’t around back in the dark ages (hmm, in my case I probably oughta refer to them as “light” ages…!) when I was still able to get behind the wheel. I can only imagine how tempting it must be to send a quick text or answer a phone call while on the road. I’m hoping that Harper’s story might encourage drivers to think twice about that, though.
Harper moves to his retirement home this weekend. I dread saying goodbye to him, so I focus instead on the trips we’re taking during our last few days together. We’ll have fun in the Chicago Public Radio studio tomorrow, and if any good can come of my gentle sweet two-year-old Yellow Lab’s early retirement, maybe it will be to convince radio listeners who hear it to put their phones away, keep their eyes on the road and prevent one more two-footed or four-footed creature from getting hurt.