When a dog first comes into the house they're usually really scared so we leave them alone. Show them food, water and where to go out and then give them time to find their own way.
Some refuse to meet my eyes, others stare at me as if looking for something. A friend? Someone to trust? Each one has their own history. We never know exactly what it is, but it's a burden they will carry for a long time. Most are such great dogs I wonder how anyone can give them up. I wonder this about 7 month old Penny.
Penny was one who refused to look at me. She would turn her head whenever I looked at her and when I took her chin to meet my eyes, her's would dart away. Looking for anything, but to meet mine.
She's been here three weeks. The first week the tail was down all the time and she slinked from place to place as if waiting for a smack. She freezes when picked up. I don't hold her too long. She doesn't need the stress.
Week two the tail is up some of the time. A wag here and there and a little play time. She's loving the other foster dog and when he's adopted she searches for him.
Week three she's a wagging maniac! As soon as we wake up she's wagging her tail and running through the house at top speed. Still scared when picked up, but she'll sit on the couch with me for belly rubs.
A couple of days ago she met my eyes. Now she looks at me all the time and wags her tail. Something in my soul smiles.
She still fears being picked up and will freeze and shake. I think someone must have dropped her (or thrown her?) and now she will hold that fear for a long time.
But all the wags and happy yaps make up for it. I think someday she'll trust completely again and know that being picked up can be a good thing.
I have numerous applications on Penny and I'm looking for a calm family where she can find the trust and love she needs to forget whatever happened in her past.