I grew up without a dog in the family. Dogs to me as a kid were things that went psycho as I tried to deliver the paper. Many people used dogs to guard their property and some let them run wild in the neighborhood. I liked the dogs that were friendly but was afraid of most. I learned to relate to dogs better after we got one for our daughter.
Many people walking on the trails have the dogs on leash. I find myself looking and smiling at the dogs from a distance. Somehow after looking at the left side of peoples faces I tend to relate to the dogs better. I see them as individuals with distinct personalities instead of just a dog. Smiling at other people's dog often engages the people walking them. It goes unsaid but somehow a revelation to me the almost unconscious signals that I send other people influences how they relate to me.