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We don't know her life before the shelter,she is 2 ish years old, a cream colored terrier mix...Ashley(shelter worker) said she warms up to you after a week of contact...so we'll be taking her next week to see if she will enjoy living here...I hope we are a good family for her...Sophie and Kevin like her so much...she has a sweet face. My question is...Can a dog overcome being timid to a point where she is happy?
 

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Many years ago I heard of a dog & went to see him, he was locked in a shed & very timid. He had no hair (from lying in his own filth) and couldn't walk (rickets from lack of sunlight) it took us 6 months of medicine to get him right & he rewarded us with 15years of mad as a hatter, funny, wired, happy dogginess. Including being brilliant with our kids. He was between 9months and a year old.
We kept things very calm for the first few weeks at home (always kept a radio on low to get him used to noise) then started introducing stranger things to build his confidence - building up to hoovers, hairdryers etc. We also go family to call once he started walking properly & everyone had a treat for him.
Obviously every dog is going to be different but I hope our story helps :)
 

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Yes it does help very much...I could see in her eyes she wanted to be around Us,but was afraid...your story gives me hope.
 

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Absolutely they can! We have Lacey who, at times can still be timid, but when everyone is happy, she is a happy go lucky dog. She does get scared of loud noises but for the most part a very happy dog.
 

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Be sure your new doggy has a safe place to go, such as a crate. Don't ever let anyone drag her from the crate, or force her to come out, or scare her or annoy her when she's in it. It has to be a sanctuary for her.

Also, make sure she always has an escape route. Cornered animals will fight back if they feel threatened.

Don't force her to allow being petted or anything like that. Just give her time to come to you. Be patient. She needs an adjustment period of at least three months just to understand she's home and you're her pack now. If she has been abused or otherwise has negative life experiences, it may take much longer for her to start relaxing.

Good luck. It would be great to see some pics!
 

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I have a shelter dog, a puppy mill breeder rescue... it tooks us a bit to figure out her quirks but once we did everyone is happy!
 

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Thank you for giving a rescued animal a home and a family. And YES! they can be happy with some patience and kindness.

Our Lacy was approximately 18 mos when we got her, she was timid, afraid of men, afraid of noise (this is still a minor issue with storms) and had very little socialization. We were not allowed to change her name because after 3 mos in a foster home she was deemed untrainable and was just starting to learn that "lacy" meant her.

She would come to me but not Greebo, she would hop on the bed but if one of us came near she would leave the bed and find a corner. NOW.... she will hop up on us at 2am, climb between us and flop down perpendicular to sleep in the "pack." She lets Greebo roll her over and vigorously rub her belly and is jealous when she sees Cleo getting attention and not her. A dog that is trusting of their environment will sleep belly up and she does this often with us.


None of this happened overnight, we saw changes happen very slowly but the progress is amazing. After 5 years she is now learning to play fetch (a new skill) and stay quiet during thunderstorms. We wouldn't trade her for the world. :)
 
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Not "allowed" to change her name? Are you serious? That's YOUR DOG.

Fear of loud noises isn't really unusual, even with animals who have never been mistreated.
 

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When we rescued animals we just gave them a name at the rescue as we took in very few owner turn ins. I had a very christian lady ask me timidly if Merlins name could be changed. It's just so they seem like pets not strays. I can't imagine saying Don't change the name. Maybe the dog didn't like the people who fostered her and that why she didn't come?
 

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I have little to add to what has been said but wanted to also thank you for not only choosing a shelter dog, but perhaps a dog that might not have great opportunities to be adopted. Dogs are like people in that they all have unique personalities and quirks. You just have to spend some time getting to know and trust each other.
 
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Talking about name changing, I've always heard that you could easily change the name to something with similar sounds/syllables. Lacy/Lori/Lucky. That type of thing.
 
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We looked into a husky rescue group before we got our last two, and it was just crazy. We adopted six kids and literally had less intrusion. And once the kids' adoptions were finalized, the agencies placing them and the state, federal, and overseas entities involved were out of our lives for good. The dog rescue wanted to stay involved with us for the entire life of the dog, including wanting us to sign a contract agreeing they could stop by our place anytime without prior notice to check on the dog. I think some of these rescue groups really shoot themselves in the foot with their little power trips. I know we'll never try working with them again, and that means their dogs have lost a potential home. I realize they want their dogs to be put into safe and responsible homes, but their demands were completely unreasonable.

The shelter where we got our last two huskies, on the other hand, couldn't wait to place our dogs with us after talking to our vet about what kind of care the four huskies we had at that time were receiving. They didn't even bother calling our references after talking to him and doing a phone interview with us.

But I'm glad you're taking a rescue, Sophiasmom. It sounds like this new doggy really needs you and your family to love her and give her a happy life.
 

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Congrats on adopting a shelter dog and I commend you for taking in shy girl. The shelter is so very tough on these dogs and they have so many odds stacked against them. Who wouldn't be scared in a place like that? The trick is to give her plenty of time. Its a huge adjustment no matter where she came from to come into a new family. As far as name changing I say go for it. They speak a totally different language than we do, they don't care what we call them. Honestly though, give her plenty of time and she'll come to you when she's ready. I always knew when my rescues had given up waiting for their old life to come for them and realized I was their life now. You'll know it when it happens, its magical I promise. Shelter dogs all the way.
 
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just call her both names and gradually drop the other. Or be weird like us and your dog can have a middle name. My shepherd came w/ lily. A poor name in our opinion for a german shepherd so she became Greta lily (our last name) until we lost her last year to cancer.
 

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Not "allowed" to change her name? Are you serious? That's YOUR DOG.
We weren't thrilled either but we did understand the reason. Now Lacy answers to Lacy Girl, Lacy Goober, and Goober.... that is, when she answers. LOL She gets so focused on things like squirrels, cats and students walking home from school that getting her attention is a little difficult.

We would have wanted a completely different sounding name and hoped to work in Tripod as one of them, but oh well. It still took almost a year before she completely started responding to "Lacy" so I'm glad we didn't change it, she is not the sharpest tool in the shed, if you know what I mean.
 
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Thank you for choosing a rescue dog. :)

My Chevy is also a rescue dog. Timid for sure!! We decided on New Year's Even in '03 to get one. Me and my daughter went. We knew we wanted a small dog for a pet, and went down all the kennel's. When the person in charge was showing us the dogs, most were at the front barking up a storm. He pointed out this or that one, but none really grabbed me. Until, he found Chevy. She was the only one in the place not barking her head off. Why? Because she was curled up in a corner scared to death and shaking like a leaf. He had to physically get inside the cage to pick her up. When he turned around and said 'this is Chevy' and I saw that poor dear's eyes, that was it. She was obviously scared and wouldn't stop shaking. My heart melted and i knew we had found the one.

Turns out, her previous owner abused her. She had a messed up back leg that to this day she doesn't run on. One of her eyes that had been hit had shifted layers and couldn't see too well out of it. Her tail had been broken. For weeks she would crouch down and pure terror showed on her face when anyone approached her. It took about a month for me and my daughter to get to where she'd let us walk up to her without her running away, but we took our time. My hubby, however, it took about 6 months, it could have been due to the deep voice or size. I can't imagine what that sweet little dog could have done to deserve what she obviously had been through, and to this day I still would like to personally hunt this person down and beat the crap out of them.

This has been the best, sweetest dog imagineable!! The doc figures she was about a year old when we adopted her. This New Years we will have had her for 9 years. She's a great baby! Still timid around people. Terrified of storms (hides under our bed, because of course that will save her from thunder *rolls eyes*), or any raised voice to this day. Around us she's a happy loving dog. Definite member of the family. We literally have hunted houses and veto'd some on the very grounds that it wouldn't work for our Chevy.

She is the sweetest, kindest dog you will ever meet. I'm so very, very grateful that it was us that found her and hope that she's found in us a safe, loving home. She's still timid, even after almost 9 years with us, but it's not a terrible thing, imo. Around us she's happy-go-lucky. Stop petting her and she goes off to do her own thing. Around strangers she goes somewhere else (so no jumping on guests). Outside she knows if she's able to get out of the fence or out of an open door, she knows that she's safe at home and doesn't wander too terribly bad. She's tough on her side of the fence, but if someone opens the gate, away she runs, lol. She has a penchant for climbing things too, lol.
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Such a sweet baby!!! :) Yes, I think she's very happy in our home. :)

Best of lucky with your new family member!!! :)
 

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I always knew when my rescues had given up waiting for their old life to come for them and realized I was their life now. You'll know it when it happens, its magical I promise. Shelter dogs all the way.
Oh my gosh ama...this comment brought those instantaneous, I have no control types of tears to my eyes. I don't know why, but I have this "thing" for unwanted animals and especially dogs. Our throw-a-way society so often extends to our animals and it just breaks my heart. (I'm sure a shrink would have a field day with me and my feelings about animals! But I don't care.)

When you get your dog, Sophiasmama, and when she's ready, please give her a game of tug from her friend in Texas.
 

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Ama, I know exactly what you mean. It's easy to tell when that page has turned and they know they are truly HOME and you are truly they're family. It really is magical.

Pammy, you made me cry! Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it, and for taking in your girl. She really needed you. No doggy deserves what she went through before coming to your family.

Our doggy's eye doctor said he thinks shelter dogs know they've been given a second chance and are grateful for it.
 
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