I take exception . . .
to your last sentence, "and you can't do a damned thing about it". Little provocation my ass.
It's the old adage, "Walk in my shoes". As a former police officer, and retired from an outside telecom job, you never know what a dog is going to do. I've been bitten three times by "friendly" dogs. "He won't bite" say the owners. Not true. When you approach a dog's territory the first thing he is going to do is protect it. In a split second confrontation, you protect yourself. Period. That officer had no idea whether the dog was running up to give him kisses or try to bite him. I've been there!
There is no greater dog lover than me, I have four. In 2001 when my little female mini-Schnauzer died of brain tumors it took me five years to get over it. I grieved more for her than when my parents died!! So don't think I don't care about dogs or pets. When the moment hits, and you have a split second to respond, you protect yourself.