I think accepting that a disparate standard for 'average' pet owners is the reality of life is horribly depressing but essential.
I'm not sure I'd be willing to go quite
that far. I know where you're coming from, and I don't necessarily think you're wrong, but I do have a little more optimism about the power of good examples to change norms and expectations over time.
I've posted about it before, but I often practice with my dogs in public areas, and we're really nothing special performance-wise, but we do get questions and comments from passersby who are just amazed that dogs can work off-leash without immediately running buck wild down the street. Often they ask what we're doing, and then I get to give my 30-second elevator pitch about dog sports and how dog sports are great for enhancing a bond and exercising your pet mentally and physically, etc. etc.
I also used to teach basic classes through our dog park for whoever wanted to show up and try something new with their dogs, which I might go back to doing again when the weather is nicer and I've finished Pongu's ARCHMX. Again, it's just a little thing -- basic stuff, simple tricks, no huge time commitment -- but it shows people what is possible,
and helps them get started with their own pet dogs. And I've been told by some of those people that it really made a positive difference in their relationships with their dogs.
None of this is going to change the world in any huge dramatic way. But it does change things a little bit for a few owners and a few dogs. And some of them go on to change things for a few other owners and their dogs. I can see the ripple effect spreading out across my Facebook page -- I've seen some of my friends get into dog sports or fostering because I post about it constantly, and then they start posting about it, and then their friends get interested, and usually after that I lose track of them because it goes beyond the degrees-of-association I have on FB, but I like to think
the ripple keeps moving past what I can see.
You just have to be open to the possibility of change, and offer what you know if people are interested in it, and don't push it on them if they aren't.