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The change in relationships with dogs is the central theme in the book "The New Work of Dogs" by Jon Katz, and I have heard him speak several times.

And it would be interesting to hear about the divide within religous traditions relative to the spirituality of dogs/animals and the "do dogs go to heaven?" thought. I have attended a church where the Pastor's terrier has greeted parishoners in the pews, and relaxed behind the altar, with complete acceptance from everyone there, but I have also heard people being appalled by this. Death and afterife is an interesting approach as well - almost all rescue sites I have seen have a link to or reference to "The Rainbow Bridge" where our pets wait for us to cross. I sense a strong need for pet owners to believe in an afterlife, to know that the pets we will inevitably outlive have gone "to a better place" and that we will see them again. Perhaps that also is what is behind the growing field of animal communicators (pet psychics).

I can't wait to hear this program when it's on.
Good Luck.