Well, we got our wish last trip. We were all sitting outside Jake's one night when the Scooby character came walking by with his handler on their way off-duty. "Scooby" recognized another Dane right away :-) Here was our chance... but, of course, the camera was in the room!! Even though they were both tired and he wanted to get "Scooby" out of the heat, the handler graciously agreed to follow us back to our room so I could get the camera. He took the perfect shot of all three of us with our favorite cartoon dog.
We made sure to contact the character management office the next day to tell them how much we appreciated their employees going above and beyond to indulge two silly pet parents :-)
As far as Character Dining at Disneyland, we really enjoyed Goofy's Kitchen. The food was ok, but the characters and the overall atmosphere was great. We also have eaten at Ariel's Grotto. Once again the food was ok, but we scheduled the meal so our daughter could see all of the Princesses since only a few were actually available in the park. We would like to try some of the other character dining experiences the next time we travel to DL.
But...her mother and I had a ball watching it.