When You Don’t Speak Up, It Is Your Fault Too

We all heard the news this week.  A dog died on a United Airlines flight after a flight attendant forced the family of the puppy to put him in an overhead bin for three hours.  Despite the family’s pleas, and later, the flight attendant’s denial that she knew a dog was in the carrier, this happened. This. Really. Happened.

After reading the story and watching the news, of course I was mad like everyone else.  But what was the first thought that I had?  Where were the other passengers on that flight? Not one passenger out of over a hundred spoke up? Spoke out? Said anything?

In the day of instant news, social media updates, and instant gratification, we have an instant means of complaining.  We have a way of commenting on posts, speaking our grievances, and making our points.  Oh, it is so easy to type away in the comfort of our own homes and with our phones in hand.  But passengers? Where were you March 13, 2018?  Were you sitting on that flight?  Were you more concerned about your beverage selection than speaking up?  Were you afraid that you would have to get off of the plane?  Did you think that someone else would speak up instead? What. Happened.

It seems to me that our realities in life are being confused and so are our priorities.  I wonder how many passengers saw what was going on in that plane and imagined the status updates that they would type later about it, instead of actually speaking up and standing up for what was right.  In my opinion, many people failed that innocent dog that day.  Not just one.  And we have to learn from this.


We can’t just get mad after something happens.  We can’t all of a sudden decide that we will stand up for someone or something that we believe in after we see something go wrong, or worse, someone die.  This dog needed someone then!  He is gone now.

To be an advocate for animals, we have to not only help those in need, but prevent other animals from being in need.  We have to apply that line of thinking to our every day life as well.  Don’t make doing what is right be an after thought.  Do what is right when you need to do what is right. And that is now!  We cannot assume that someone else will help. We cannot assume that someone else will step up.  That someone is you.

-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs

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5 thoughts on “When You Don’t Speak Up, It Is Your Fault Too

  1. Janet Schaeffer

    I personally would have taken my dog off the plain and spoke to a manager or at lest someone with more power.

  2. Jill Ledterman

    Hi Rachel, Thank you for your wonderful blog today! I was wondering how that could have happened too! Unfortunately,it happened because no one was paying attention to the puppy. I agree,it is the fault of everyone. Poor sweetheart! Sincerely, Jill Ledterman


  3. Margaret

    Most likely the passengers were afraid to complain given the way they have been treated lately. Or it’s like “hey, it’s none of my business”. But really, don’t blame the other passengers completely – the primary responsibility rests with the mom who let it happen, Whether she was afraid of being thrown off the plane or had a crying baby doesn’t matter. She should have said NO!

  4. Iris

    “Bless the beasts and the children – in this world they have no voice, they have no choice.”
    We have to be their voice.

  5. Eileen Geoghegan

    Girl Person you are Truly Gifted at philosophy. Your take on life and how you can tell it like it is, but in a kind and gentle but still direct way so the message isn’t lost is actually nothing short of amazing. You and Boy Person are so often a light in a dark world for me and I really hope you will always write the blog because people need your wisdom and you make a huge and great difference in the world on behalf of animals which is one of the greatest differences that can be made at all.

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