The list of dogs that people no long want is never-ending. The excuses are also never-ending. The dog is too big, is too energetic, sheds too much, barks too much, isn't house-trained, has health issues. Or the owner isn't allowed to have dogs in his apartment (?), is moving and can't take the dog, doesn't have room for the dog, doesn't have time for the dog, can't afford the dog, is allergic to the dog, is having a baby and no long wants the dog.
It makes me want to puke.
Mrs. Cynical and I wanted a dog for years. But because of our careers, which kept us moving from place to place every few years, we waited. When we finally settled down where we thought would be our permanent home, we bought a pup. He has never been away from us, other than during our work hours, in his 13+ years. About a year later, Mrs. Cynical found a stray wandering in a rain storm. We located the owner, and she didn't want the dog anymore and gave her to us. We still have her. Later still, after we began regularly fostering dogs as part of what we do for the rescue, we twice adopted fosters (only 1 survives).
I cannot imagine any circumstance under which I'd give up any of them. I'd live in my car and eat from dumpsters first. Why? Never mind how much we love them. More to the point, we made a commitment to each of these animals that we would care for them to the best of our abilities, and for the rest of their (or our) lives.
I once coined the phrase "pets as furniture". It's my take on the type of person that likes the idea of how a dog looks in their home, but has no intention of caring for it properly. It was great as a puppy, but now that it's grown, not so much. It's fed the cheapest food on the market, and never visits the vet. It's kept in the basement or chained up in the backyard. These vermin have my utter and everlasting disdain.
I look at my dogs and realize they've given their lives to us. They live only in the moment, wanting to please us, have fun, and be content. How can I do anything else but make that life the best I can?
I look at my dogs and think: this is one way I know there is a God.