Dogs are incredibly loyal, and even if their owners are arseholes, it takes them a while to understand this fact. A few weeks ago as I drove down the mountain, I saw a dog sat by the bins. This is common as many people dump their dogs there, no idea why, but its a typical "dumping" spot. She was sat waiting for her owners to return, as often the dogs believe they will be back.
I stopped the car, got out treats in hand, but she was newly dumped, full of hope that her owners would be back. She didnt want my help, and showed me she was tough and brave with the barking, and the walking away. I got back in the car, knowing she needed time to realize they weren't coming back.
She stayed near the bins for around a week, it was where she last saw her owners, therefore, she didn't want to go to far just in case she missed when they came back for her. Every time I saw her, I stopped got out, approached, but she was telling me its fine, they will be back soon.
After a week she begun to venture further down the mountain, maybe her owners were waiting for her down there. She looked and looked always returning to the bins. Then the inevitable happened she got hit by a car, with an injured leg, and little food and water, she still was convinced her owners would return.
Yesterday as I drove down I saw her, but she wasn't searching, or running, she was laid on the side of the road. She had given up, you can always tell that face, the realization that her owners weren't coming back. I stopped the car, got out, same ritual, but she didn't move, she laid there looking at me.
I poured the water, got the treats, and she simply lifted her head for me to noose her. Three weeks of running, searching, and hoping were over, she was safe, and now able to have a meal, get the leg checked over, and start her life again. As I put her in the back of the car, she looked at me, as if to say they didn't come back you were right.