Scout, where did you come from?
What were you like as a puppy?
What was your name before we took you home?
Who owned you? Who trained you to sleep so well in a crate at night and to never use the potty inside the house? Who taught you to never run away and to always come back when I call?
Who made you so afraid of doing the wrong thing? Who inspired you to do so much cowering?
Who let you get so skinny?
What happened to your hips? Were you hit by a car? Were you kicked? Why is your right hip out of the socket, and the left fractured? How much does it hurt? Do the pain pills help?
How long were you alone out there before someone brought you to the shelter? What did you eat? Where did you sleep? Where did you find water?
Was the man who brought you to the shelter telling the truth? Did he really see you get hit by a car that day? Why does the vet say your injuries are older than when that man said he saw you get hit by a car?
Why didn’t anyone come looking for you? Why didn’t someone see your quirky ears and your sweet little face and say, “That’s my dog! My dog! I found my dog!”?
How did you survive in the shelter? Why didn’t they do anything about the pain you were in?
Why didn’t the shelter do X-rays, sweet dog? Why did they say you were fine, that there were no fractures?
Why wasn’t I smart enough to insist on you getting a clean bill of health before I took you home? Not to turn you down, but because of what they said? “If we’d known she had such injuries, we obviously would have fixed them before adopting her out”?
You know I would have brought you home no matter what, right? That the minute I saw you in that run, I knew you were my dog? That I would convince my husband and bring you home?
Do you miss the worker who took such good care of you while you were at the shelter? Who nursed you back to health–or as close to health as she could?
What should I do about the fact that the management of the shelter let you suffer for a month, never checking why you wouldn’t eat and why you walk so stiffly and why one leg is so much longer than the other, and why I can feel the bone rubbing on the bone of your hip sockets?
How could they say, when I took you to the vet and found out about your injuries, that they wouldn’t cover the costs of your impending surgeries? That if I didn’t want you anymore, I could bring you back to them?
How could I ever do that?
How do they justify adopting out dogs with such severe injuries like yours? Did they really not notice your pain? Or did they think it was better to just not say anything about it?
Do you know that I’ll never send you back there? That I’ll always take care of you because you are home with us forever?
Do you love my little girl as much as she loves you?
Why are you so sad when we leave the house? Will you ever be sure that we’re coming back for you?
Where did you get your adorable face?
Where did you come from, little Scout?
Do you know how long I waited for a dog of my own? How much I love you?
Do you know how lucky I am to have you, little dog?
This post originally appeared on Liz Boltz Ranfeld‘s blog.