To my dog's previous owners,
I wish I could read my dog's brain, or see a movie of what his life was like before that day we found him, so I'd know exactly what he'd been through. Because I can't do that, I can only take the pieces of what I know about him from the day we found him to form a picture of what you were like.
I know you existed because he knew how to sit on command. He was friendly around humans, but terrified of us when he had accidents in the house.
He had no collar or microchip. He wasn't neutered. He had fleas and an eye infection...and he was young, energetic, and very needy.
We never saw posters of him saying he was lost, and nobody responded to the found report we did online through the city, so we assumed you abandoned him because he was too big or difficult to handle.
Why? What would possess you to leave such a young puppy alone in the street? Did you take him to our apartment complex, or did he find his own way there? Why couldn't you just take him to a shelter where he would be safe?
I ask these questions, and then I realize, that as awful and horrible I think it is to abandon a puppy, if you wouldn't have taken that course of action, he never would have been ours. We weren't looking to get a dog. But we found him and we shaped our lives around HIM. We changed our home and our lifestyle FOR HIM. We eventually moved to a new house JUST FOR HIM. We didn't get a dog on a whim and decide to get rid of him if he didn't fit our specifications.
But then again, what we did might be considered illegal in some interpretations of the law. I didn't realize until a few months after we kept Apple that we "stole" him. And if you came back looking for him, we might be expected to just hand him back to you. But we'd never give him up without a fight. (And I think the fact that we've had him for a year now, and put in a found report would put the law on our side.)
All in all, I might feel very angry about what might have happened to our dog, but in the end I almost have to be thankful that it happened the way it did. It seems sick and twisted to want to thank you for getting rid of him, but I have to. If any one little thing would have happened differently, we never would have gotten Apple. It was fate for us to have this dog, and your treatment of him was part of that plan. I am just so thankful that he found his way to our apartment and chose my husband to wander up to. I can't imagine if it would have happened any differently.
One year later, I don't know if Apple remembers anything about his previous life. I wish I could ask him. I hope that this never happens again, and that you take better care of any other dogs you might have...but for now, for today, I have to let go of what makes me angry and just revel in the happiness that everything worked out the way it did.
Apple is much better for it. So are we.