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I’m writing this on the off-chance that the person whose dog “just wants to say hi” will read it. Unfortunately, as these things go, there’s a better chance that readers of this piece will feel the same way I do. So, to you I say, please feel free to share on your Facebook/Twitter/WHEREVER, in the hopes that the right eyes might fall on it. Also, you could just skip to the end, where I have a special section just for you–the Person Who Just Wants to Be Left Alone.

Photo: Patrick Wiita

Dear Person Whose Dog “Just Wants to Say Hi,”

Please ask first. Just a simple, “can my dog say hi?” That’s all I ask.

Nothing ruins a walk with my dog Chance more than another owner who lets their dog march right up to my dog.

Why?? you might be thinking. My dog is super friendly!!! HE JUST WANTS TO SAY HI!!!


Here’s the thing–there are many people that will be happy to let your dog say hi. And when you ask, “can my dog say hi?”, those people will smile and brightly say, “sure!”

But not me. Please, please, please give us the opportunity to say “no.”

I don’t want your dog to meet my dog. It’s nothing personal! But when I’m walking Chance, I would like us to be left alone to focus on our walk.

There are a lot of reasons for this, and I’ll get into them just in case you’re curious, but the truth is, it shouldn’t matter what my reasons are. I hope it’s enough for you to hear that you’re making a lot of lives miserable, and there’s a very simple fix.

Because for a long time I’ve assumed you just had no idea, and that once I told you, “hey, when you let your dog invade my dog’s space like that, it sorta ruins my day,” you would say, “Oh no, really?? I’m so sorry. Come back here, Fido. Leave the strange lady and her dog alone. In the future, I’ll ask first.”

But when I recently raised this issue (i.e. posted a status-update rant) on Facebook, and at least 13 friends chimed in with various versions of “YAAASSSSSSS” and “AMEN” and “THIS HAPPENS ALL THE TIME,” two of my friends dissented. As in, they firmly believe they DO NOT need to ask anyone’s permission to let their dog approach other dogs. The onus, they say, is on other owners to preemptively announce that their dog is “not friendly.” Even after much…ahem…healthy debate, they still believed there was nothing wrong with allowing their dog to approach others uninvited.

There are SO many things wrong with this. I’m hoping YOU, dear reader, will be interested in understanding why.

Source: Dear Person Whose Dog “Just Wants to Say Hi” — Patchwork Dogs