The sad fact is that there are many people who have dogs that aren't cared for. Their humans say they love them and in some aspect they probably do. Love is more than saying three words though. If actions don't follow, the words mean nothing.
It takes more than feeding and watering to constitute love, though those are certainly important. It takes knowing that loading them in the car to see the vet will result in drool and hair all over your car. Maybe worse if they are nervous riders. You still do it though. It means taking the time out of your day for a game of ball or shaking hands, even though you're exhausted. It means caring enough to keep them safe, warm and healthy. What you would do for your kids, you should do for your dog.
Your dog loves you no matter how bad you fail them. If breakfast is late, it's okay. He'll still tell you good morning with a wag of his tail and that shining look of adoration in his eyes. If you forget to water him, he doesn't care. You showed up eventually and all is forgiven. Whatever you do, if he ultimately knows he's loved, your dog will put up with anything from you. The sad fact is some dogs put up with way too much.
It's that depth of love that makes me so ill when I see animals who have been abused, abandoned, starved, and just in general allowed to go downhill. I literally cannot watch a lot of the Animal Planet shows because the ones that involve Animal Cops and such make me cry. People are so cruel!
It's not just the starving and abused ones either. It's the dog who has been nothing but loyal and kind who has been allowed to have 10 litters of puppies. All of which ended up "dumped in a nice neighborhood so they can be adopted". That just pisses me off to no end. If you can't at least go get your dog spayed or neutered, don't get one. If you are too damn cheap to have that done, but just have to have a dog, then don't make the babies someone else's problem. You aren't being kind by dumping a helpless animal in a "nice neighborhood". What you're doing is dropping an innocent animal off, leaving it terrified and not knowing what to do, where to go or how to get by. It's more likely to be hit by a car suffering a terrible death, being picked up by the pound to be euthanized or being shot by a property owner than it is that it will be adopted. It's a sick SICK SICK thing to do and I think that anyone caught doing it should be banned from having any animals ever again. Especially people who are known to do it over and over again.
The sad fact is that it happens all the time. People say "I can't afford the spay/neuter fee". They can afford cigarette's though. They can afford sodas. They can afford to blow money in a thousand ways that doesn't even help themselves, but they can't find $40-60 to make sure their dog doesn't bring unwanted puppies into the world.
I actually know people who have gone and dumped a litter of puppies off and then a few months later turn around and go get a new puppy from somewhere for a child's birthday. All I can ever think to say is WTF??? What was wrong with the 10 you dumped off?? Wrong color? They were YOUR responsibility and you couldn't hack it, but a new one will get a better fate?? My guess is probably not.
We have 4 dogs currently. A chihuahua we've had for 13 years, A lab/boxer mix we rescued from irresponsible idiots that is 5 now, a PeekaPoo that supposedly turned up at the egg donors house that we took pity on, we have no idea how old she is, and one of my sisters dogs that we are babysitting. It's not easy keeping them in food, flea preventative, heartworm preventatives or bath products. It's harder still making sure they can see the vet if they need to, but we make sure it happens. The way I see it, I made a promise when I brought them home. I promised they'd have a forever home and part of that is that it's a GOOD home. In the case of my sister's dog, this is not her forever home, but I protect her as I do my own because my nieces and nephews love her. They provide what she needs but we provide the daily care.
I understand vet bills are expensive. I get that sometimes there's just not enough money to go around. That's why you should do everything you can to make sure you don't get a pet if you can't take care of it. I'm really not trying to be preachy. I'm not on a soap box. I just saw a dog get hit by a car this morning after seeing someone drop it off. I tried to get the license plate number but didn't get out there in time. The neighbor across the street got the puppy from the road and he buried it so at least that much was done, but it still makes me ill. I truly truly hope that the person who dropped it off suffers something as horrible as that innocent puppy suffered this morning at some time in their life. I know it's not a Christian way to think. I'll have to work on that when I am not seeing that baby being hit and killed in my head like some horrible movie. People just SUCK sometimes!