I used to be that person who saw a dog and walked across the street to avoid him. If I went to a gathering and there was a dog I’d move to a different room even if it meant not being with the people I had come to see.
I did not hate dogs. I wasn’t big on licking or jumping or barking or generally what I thought of as bad behavior.
Now I have a dog. Yes, my friends and relatives still think I am renting Coconut for Facebook photos because it’s not possible that I have a dog.
But guess what else? I am the kind of person who now says hi to dogs. I lean down and pet them once the owner gives me permission. I use that voice we use with new dogs, sort of like that voice we use with babies or toddlers.
I realize that dogs are awesome, better than a lot of people, okay, most people on any given day. But dogs don’t have the stress of life that causes them to act crazy. Dogs don’t have to deal with politics or taxes or messed up roads. Dogs just get to be dogs and show us how awesome they are.
Better than being the kind of person who says hi to dogs, our community is filled with people who rescue dogs! A community of superheroes. How cool is that?
We have lots of dogs who need a simple hi and they need rescuing. It seems a simple thing to say hi to a dog. But when I walk my dog and someone takes the time to walk over and says hi to him he’s the happiest dog on earth. And that makes me happy and it makes the greeter happy as well.
A really simple thing, but I bet the person who stopped was likely worrying about all we talked about that can make us unhappy. Maybe their mom just died or they lost a job. Maybe they broke up with the love of their life or they were just in a car crash. Life is so hard some days. A dog, your dog, can make it easier for someone willing to say hi to a dog.