One of the interesting issues in Thailand is the discrepancy between what is always described as Thainess or core Thai values and what is reality. Starting by Buddhism, what is in practise largely animistic practise, over to Thai food that is a mix of regional and even oversea contents (Papaya and Chili are from South-America) to ethics: Money and consumption is as important as appearance and status here, and status symbols are iphones, cars and sadly toy dogs.
In our compound we have a lot of toy dog owners. I call them toy dog because they are treated as toys, not as animals. Sadly, the owners call them toy dog as well, because they actually think they are toys. With very few exceptions they don't go out for a dog walk, many are not even allowed to leave the house. Contact with others dogs? Nope. The get immediately lifted up when we arrive with our friendly pack of street dogs.
The way you treat dogs and pet animals in general shows a lot about the state of development of a society and how civilised people actually are. At Paradise Park, the same Soi Dog Foundation that is looking for homes for dogs from the dog meat trade, will support an exihibition of animals like owls and wild cats in a shopping mall. It shows that even charities like the Soi Dog Foundation forget their own standards when it comes to money.
Defining yourself by status symbols is silly and shows your lack of self confidence, but that is your problem as long as it doesn't harm anyone (although annoying people with showing off is kind of harm as well). But don't use animals for your selfish purpose.
Thai street dogs are smarter than most Pomeranians, Chiwawas and Pugs, more healthy and genetically better equipped. Owning a street dog shows that you are smart, self confident, intelligent, caring and taking responsibility.
(I know that in the West people own toy dogs as well, and I condemn that. But I live in Thailand, and the majority of dog owners are Thai here, of course).