Um, yeah, if you kick my Shih Tzu, we're probably not going to be friends anymore. But if you let me know, politely, that you have issues with dogs, I'd put her in the other room while you visit. I don't take kindly to people being contemptuous about my dog, because I love her. I'm not going to not take that personally. With a little give and take, though, we can respect each other's wishes.
Dogs are one of the few things in life that inspire pure delight and altruism in me. People can be real jerks, but dogs are so naturally loving and trusting that I can't help but love them. When I do charitable things, it usually involves caring for animals. They depend entirely on us for their well-being, and that kind of makes me gooey inside. Cats are too self-sufficient and quirky and unpredictable for me to truly love, though I do like all animals.