As most of you know, I am not exaggerating.
My own Benno was one of those dogs given "as a present" to a
girlfriend, for Valentine's Day, of all things. Both young people were
working and neither really had much time to look after the dog; he was left alone for days on end and never learned to play or socialise properly.
Benno, who was then called by a different name, is a labrador and soon grew into a large dog, much too large for a small two room flat. Labradors also like their food, the couple hardly had enough money to feed themselves.
Things got worse for the dog; soon the couple had a baby and while the child was still a toddler, they split up. The woman moved into an upstairs, one room flat with baby and dog: money got even tighter. The dog was almost skeletal for lack of food.
Eventually an interfering bystander (thank goodness for busybodies on this occasion) realized that the situation for all concerned was untenable, the dog was removed and re-homed with us. Our previous dog, also a rescued dog, had died and we were in need of canine companionship. As so often happens, Benno adopted us rather than the other way round and we have been a very happy family ever since.
I don't believe that any of you reading this will be tempted to have a dog unless you are able to take care of it; however, let me just remind everybody of the RSPCA slogan:
A DOG IS FOR LIFE
NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS