I find these activities very revealing. The participants might see a trip to the lot as just "walking the dog" or a chance to "go potty," but I'm seeing more.
Some of the people put their dogs at the center of this dog-time. They watch and wait as the careful sniffing proceeds, or use the time for a bit of leash-training, or bring a toy and play with the dog. I like these people, and smile at them in the elevator and on the street.
Others act as if they'd rather be anywhere else than walking the dog. They stand riveted to their phones, oblivious to Fido, or they tromp along, tugging the canine weight along. The poor dog can barely squat, let alone get the full aroma of a certain blade of grass. I don't think these people deserve dogs.
Yes, it's a prejudice, but I do judge people by how they treat other animals. I'm a little mistrustful of those who don't share their homes with even a fish (though I do give a pass to frequent travelers or those with severe allergies), and nothing puts me off faster than meanness to a pet or the gratuitous killing of an animal that's doing no harm, like a garden snake.
And I have to wonder about a killjoy religious leader who points out that the Bible makes no mention of animals at Christ's nativity. In fact, I have my doubts about all the religious people who seem to interpret the word "dominion" (as in "dominion over ... all the creatures") as license to destroy rather than stewardship.
I want to share my world with animals other than humans, because the non-humans are reminders that we are a merely part of the world, not the center of it. The presence of an ox and lamb might not suit a Biblical agenda, but it goes a long way toward helping define the word "humanity."