Why I Die A Little Inside When You Don’t Say Hello To My Dog

It is true. I admit it. I think that I have the two most amazing dogs in the world. To me, they have the cutest elbows, the prettiest fur, the cutest grins. Not everyone knows how they came into my world. But ask me just one question, and I will proudly tell you their rescue story, everything about them, and a lot of stuff you didn’t want to know, probably. So what happens when I pass people on the road or maybe on trails, and they don’t say hello to these two most perfect dogs in the world? I die a little inside. Every. Time. Why don’t you want to know them? Don’t you see how amazing they are too?


As a true introvert, let me just say that people are not my thing. But my dogs have taught me that it can be good to get outside…amongst, (gasp), people. When someone walks towards us on the trail, I imagine my dogs to be thinking, “Oh, someone new that will love us. Oh, someone that will give us a backrub. Oh, someone with a treat, or a friendly voice”. And yes, I have been writing a dog blog for over five years now. I think I know what they are thinking.


But it is a mystery to me why many of the people we pass don’t find it important to say hello back to me or even look at my dogs. I die a little inside. Every. Time. Sure, I have heard the rumors that not all people like dogs, which in fact I also find hard to believe. But when did the common courtesy of simply acknowledging another living being’s existence become obsolete? When it become acceptable to ignore someone’s greeting? And why does it hurt me when someone doesn’t say hello to my dogs, or when they jump off the trail to avoid us, or when they look in the opposite direction? Because I think that my dogs are amazing. And it hurts me that you don’t. It hurts me that you can’t see it too. And it hurts me that our world has gotten so distant, so rushed, that a simple hello is not important. Do I understand? No. Do my dogs understand? Definitely not. And although I may be able to hide the hurt, they can’t.


Some may think that dogs do not have feelings. But I am fully convinced that they crave adoration and appreciation, just like we do. Although I do understand if someone has had a bad experience in the past with dogs, that they may not want to pet them. But a hello takes only but a second and when my dogs receive that hello, they get a spring in their step. They prance a little more. What if people realized the affect that one word and one greeting could have for a person and a dog’s day?

For those on the roads or trails that turn the other way when you see us coming, I realize how we must look. Usually, Brickle is pulling me one way, Digby is pulling me the other. They are not the best behaved dogs based upon the standards of us persons. But they are the best dogs to me. Dogs love with their whole hearts, and they want to be with us. It is obvious that this world needs more love, more understanding and change. Could it start with “hello”? Try it.

-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person
2 Traveling Dogs
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11 thoughts on “Why I Die A Little Inside When You Don’t Say Hello To My Dog

  1. Irene Roberts

    I know what you mean. When someone passes us by and does not return my greeting, I say a little something under my breath (to heck with you), then I smile a contended smile and continue on.

  2. Sue Dodson

    I so agree, sometimes to the point of being rude to the people! I run a small nonprofit and we hosted a 5k run yesterday. Our work is with burn survivors, but our events are known for being very dog friendly. After reading this, I realized that in every single case yesterday, I went to the dog first to pet and greet them, then acknowledged their people! I don’t think too many of the runners were insulted! 😊 I really enjoy the perspectives and adventures you share.

  3. JMS

    My boy was so excited to meet people on our walks. If you were behind us, he would wait, if you were in front of us, he would run up to catch you. And he would really get down if anyone wouldn’t stop and pet him. I would have to console him by leaning over and petting him myself after the person walked by. H would immediately look back and then put his head down.

    I make it a point to meet and greet every dog – and person – when I am out and about. It does amaze me that people rarely acknowledge each other. It’s not like saying hello is going to prevent them from getting where they need to be.

  4. Karen Bond

    Dear Girl Person, I am right with you on the dogs are great, people…jury still out. If I saw you and your pups walking, it would be hard to notice you, as I would immediately ooo and aahh about your dogs! However, are you absolutely sure that they want that attention? I’m thinking The Sheriff would arrest me and Deputy Digby would hit me up for some pancakes! Love to you all!

  5. Jacqueline

    Mrs.Johnson, again, you nailed it. ALL if it. In fact, I’m of the notion that Dogs/Animals have more feelings at this stage in the game, than most Persons. I won’t expound on that matter, but for real. You can’t be a HUMAN and greet someone? I, and My Raging Anxiety (that I should probably stop acknowledging) will make a point to look that person in the eye and and nod and smile and converse, if they’re so inclined!!! How else do you get knowledge and interaction? And how good do you feel after that? Unbelievable, but by the same token, daily, most of us are dealing with this nonsense. But it’s the other Awesome Percent that can make the intolerable, bearable. Love you!!! xoxoxoxo <3 <3 <3 <3

  6. Carolyn Finch

    I can’t pass a dog without stopping to pet them. I love all dogs, all people not so much. I have been known to smile and wave to a dog in the back of a truck. I always recognize a dog and remember their name when I have met them before, but will totally not remember their owner or the owner’s name. Dogs rule.

  7. Sammie Messick

    I was walking my dogs last week, and passed a woman and three or four young children walking along. The kids we’re going crazy over the dogs – “HI, doggies.” “Hi, puppies.” “OH, they’re so cute (they are)”. Finally, one little boy looked up at me and said “Hi, person.”

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