It apparently doesn't matter whether the dog's happy about it or not...
"And our little girl Tricia, the 6-year-old named it Checkers. And you know, the kids, like all kids, love the dog and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna keep it."
In Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, a kid's comic featuring Spider-Man in the present day universe, old Spidey uses this trope as part of a Batman Gambit to get J.J.J. to use a picture that he took instead of a rival's.
In Watchmen, Adrian describes how important it is to him to always show how much he cares about people, asking them about their family and health. About half a page later, it's subtly revealed that it's one of his main manipulative tactics, designed to make him look good.
Parodied in Dave Barry Hits Below The Beltway, where two opposing candidates use the same dog in their campaign ads.
The official MST3K book had individual photos of all the principal personnel at the end, all wearing the same tweed jacket, and all posing with the same Golden Retriever.
Willie Stark has an actual Photo Op With The Dog in All the King's Men—apparently it doesn't matter that the dog is dead.
Shogun Tokugawa Tsunayoshi of the Sano Ichiro series was born in the Year of the Dog, which he takes as a sign he should protect all dogs by passing laws preventing any one from harming them. However, he has no qualms about ordering Off with His Head! to any person who even slightly opposes him, he deems dangerous, or that his manipulative council convinces him into executing. His Real Life counterpart acted in a similar fashion.
Lex Luthor presented Superman with the key to the city (which previously belonged to him) on Lois and Clark. Luthor was so irritated, he immediately flew to the Everglades to hunt alligators.
On Angel, Wolfram & Hart (a parody of monolithic law firm Jacoby & Meyers) threw a fund-raider gala to raise money for a youth shelter. Naturally, it was a scam, but Angel managed to swindle all of the cash out from under them. ("Blood Money")
In Gargoyles, after Xanatos was released from prison, he donated one of his ancient relics to a museum as a gesture of making up for prior misdeeds (then stole it back when disguised in his gargoyle-shaped Powered Armour).
In The Simpsons episode "Two Cars in Every Garage, Three Eyes on Every Fish", Mr. Burns' campaign for governor has him trying to spin the side effects of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's pollution by suggesting that "Blinky", the mutated fish that started the controversy, could be a "superfish" that would be hardier and tastier than ordinary fish. Later, he and his campaign staff arrange for him to have dinner with a typical nuclear family — namely, that of one of his employees, Homer — and have it broadcast live on TV. Marge is supporting Burns' opponent and decides to undercut Burns' ploy by cooking and serving Blinky as the main course. Unable to refuse this without losing face, Burns winds up spitting out the single bite he tastes. This completely ruins his campaign.
The page quote comes from Richard Nixon's famous "Checkers speech". In 1952, Nixon was the Junior Senator from California, and was being accused of impropriety regarding funding and political gifts. In the nationally-televised speech, Nixon denied having accepted anything (except of course the dog Checkers) and laid out the details of his family's finances. The speech led to an outpouring of public sympathy and support, and spared Nixon from being dropped as Dwight D. Eisenhower's running mate in that year's Presidential election.
Back in December 2011 during a campaign stop in New Hampshire, Republican candidate Mitt Romney decided to drop by Vietnam War veteran Bob Garon's breakfast table for a quick photo-op. What Romney didn't realize is that Garon was sitting with his husband, whom he had married just a few months earlier.
Michael Jackson did a lot of photo ops and press conferences over the years hyping his charitable work in an effort to counteract how strange his public persona and behavior became. Music critic David Browne's review of the album HIStory for Entertainment Weekly in 1995, which arrived after Jackson was first accused of child molestation, includes an analysis of its lengthy booklet:
"Liz Taylor and Steven Spielberg offer testimonials that read like character witnesses at a trial; pages and pages are devoted to listing Jackson's sales figures and awards. The intent is obvious: to equate financial success with quality, celebrity friends with goodness. What kind of earthly demons would actually believe those child-abuse allegations, given that Jackson is so beloved and even visits preteen burn victims? (Yes, the booklet features a shot of such a scene, along with many photos of Jackson cavorting with kids.)"
Not long after he invaded Kuwait, Saddam Hussein tried to gain international sympathy and ease tensions by having a brief televised interview with a young boy named Stewart Lockwood, patting him on the back◊ and asking if he was "still getting his milk". Young Stewart was one of several Westerners held in Iraqi-ocupied Kuwait as hostages by Hussein, who more or less paraded them in front of a camera to prevent Western intervention in the war. The event had the exact opposite effect. If anything, it galvanized Western public opinions against the occupation. Whoopsie.