I watch those dogs go through the saddest time of their life and the deepest depression you could ever imagine when they come to the realization that their loved ones ... their family ... are not coming to rescue them or take them home.
Here are a few things to remember the next time you decide to get a dog ...
Dogs bark. They bark more when they're bored or scared or lonesome. Sometimes they bark aggressively at people, animals or objects. You need to accept that this is part of having a dog and it is your job as the owner to teach them when it is and is not appropriate to bark.
Dogs pee and poop. Get used to it because they aren't going to stop doing this unless you stop feeding them (please don't stop to try this out if you already have a dog). The bright side? You can teach them the advantages to doing their "business" outside where and when you would like, but it takes a bit of effort on your part.
Dogs need exercise. This includes (but is not limited to) a walk off the property for an hour and a half a day... regardless of weather ... this is minimum. Have I recently told you that "A Tired Dog Is A Good Dog"? This is my mantra ... I live by it.
Dogs need training. This includes obedience classes and a bit of effort on your part. You will find that if you follow through with the training, you will be pleased with its results. Obedience classes will help teach you the basics. Even people who have had dogs "all their life" should consider taking their dog to a class - it's a good experience for your dog and good brush up for you if nothing else. The classes aren't for you - they are for your dog. You may "know it all" but your dog doesn't.
Dogs need socialization and training in different locations so they are used to people, kids, and other things like dogs, bikes, shopping carts etc. Again, this is a basic requirement to having a dog. It's not that hard! Take them for a walk through a park, a parking lot and a shopping centre - hey, it could be part of your 1.5 hour walk in the evening with your dog!
Dogs have medical emergencies. Normally this occurs when your vet is closed (though the emergency clinic up the road is quite happy to take your money). You should ALWAYS have a bit of money stashed away for emergencies.
Dogs are not solitary animals. (Frogs are.) If you want an animal you don't have to spend time with, don't get a dog. Plain and simple. Social interaction is one of the basic needs of a dog and must be fulfilled for the dog to be healthy and happy. If you don't, you WILL have behavioural problems.
When you buy a puppy from Petland, you are not "rescuing" it. You are lining the pockets of the Puppy Mills and encouraging them to continue. Congratulations, you have just supported Puppy Mills.
Don't buy from a Back Yard Breeder. It is a great way to get a dog that is not healthy (disease, genetics, temperament or all of these) and keeps people breeding dogs for money in business. So if you're looking for a sickly dog with weird temperament issues and a gimp, then you would have gone to the right place.
Dogs are not supposed to be aggressive/protective with their food, toys or any other thing. This is not something that you should encourage. Someone will get hurt. It may not be today and it may not be tomorrow, but it will happen.
People who ignore these basic facts are dooming their dog to the eventuality of abandonment. Don't let it happen to your dog.
If you have family or friends that are interested in getting a dog, it is your responsibility to ensure they understand what they are getting into.