Of course, no one knows, exactly, what dogs think. That dog whisperer guy on TV probably has a better idea than most, but nobody knows exactly. They are a different species. It is inevitable that in some ways they think differently than us.
One thing is, they have not had the ‘human experience’ in life. When you dress a dog up in a costume and put it on YouTube, lots of people may think it’s funny and cute, but the best you can say about your dog is that they put up with it. Dogs have never heard of YouTube, they could care less how many likes you got. A ‘like’ is not meat.
Do police dogs understand that they are police dogs? I doubt it, they are just trained to recognize the smell of drugs (quite possibly by being given drugs). I imagine they are aware they are doing a job, and they probably love their handlers and seek their approval, same as dogs who herd sheep or pull sleds. But I doubt if they have a great concept of the role their owners play in society.
And I’ll bet that celebrity’s dogs do not realize their owners are celebrities. Johnny Depp’s dogs are not aware that Johnny Depp is Johnny Depp.
They also are not likely to be impressed with going on a faraway vacation. A regular human being, whose home is in Los Angeles, might be very excited about a trip to Australia. They might be looking forward to seeing kangaroos, and hearing Australian accents all around them, visiting well known sites like the opera house and Bondi Beach, and uploading lots of pictures to make their friends jealous.
Dogs don’t give a shit about all that. They’re looking at several hours in a dark, cramped space. Although they might miss their owners a bit, they’d probably prefer to be left at home. It’s not hard to find dogsitters.
Especially not if you’re Johnny Depp. So, as much as I enjoy his movies, I’ve got to side with the Australian government on this one. They have laws against bringing dogs into the country. Depp (more specifically his wife, Amber Heard, but I’m sure he knew about it and don’t quite understand why they haven’t both been charged) needs to pay the fine, and shut up about it with the small exception perhaps, of apologizing to the Australian nation, which has very good reasons for not allowing people to bring dogs into the country, and apologizing to his dogs.