Americans have an ever evolving relationship with the animals around them. While a deep attachment has been part of the human experience with working animals for hundreds of years, I know plenty of people for whom this has become something more akin to a human family member.
I met this very patient chihuahua on my flight from Seattle to Houston, and yes, not only are her nails painted, she's wearing a skirt.
They also are a ubiquitous presence in the roads and alongside highways. Strays are everywhere because neutering and spaying seems to be a foreign concept. It was only here that I realized that dogs get saggy after breastfeeding their children like every other animal.
Sometimes they’re lucky and have a good home, sometimes they're not. But it’s all really pretty simple, just like the people, they have to fend for themselves.