June, 2013. Missy was one of 50 dogs confiscated from a hoarder in southern Indiana. She was very scared and shy at the shelter and needed work on several issues before she could be made available for adoption.
At first her tail stayed glued to her belly and she would low crawl toward you to sit in your lap. She was fearful of doors and sudden sounds or movement and would bark if left alone in her crate.
The first issue to resolve was housetraining. Despite a lot of time spent outside with her, she ended up peeing under our kitchen table the first day. So we went on a strict schedule of going outside until she peed. If she didn't, then she had to go back into her crate for a couple more hours. After our adventures with Zorro the crate was fully loaded with cow bones, antlers and toys and she was content there as long as I was in the room with her.
I finally had to resort to some verbal corrections to get her to stop barking when left alone. She would still whimper. We kept her crate in the computer room, so if she started whimpering at night I had to come lay by her cage to settle her down. Since we kept her in her crate overnight for the first week, I ended up sleeping a lot on the floor.
For the first five days Missy would only pee twice a day. Eventually she started peeing whenever you took her outside. After a week from the initial accident she appeared to be housetrained and we started giving her more free access to the whole house.
After a few days I started taking Missy and Boomer to the shelter so she could learn to be more comfortable there. The first day I had to carry her through the front doors. The second day it took about a minute with a pull on the leash. The third day took about 20 seconds with a pull. By the fourth day she would follow after Boomer on her own and was starting to get use to the sights and sounds of the shelter. Eventually she even started jumping up into the car each day.
It took about ten days before she started taking treats from strangers and a few more before she was comfortable having volunteers pet her.
Missy got along well with Boomer, but bonded and oriented much more strongly toward me. She did pretty well on our walks from the start. Missy was always curious and only occasionally spooked by sudden sounds outside. As time went by the sounds that used to scare her now only warranted a long stare.
When we encountered five loud kids on a walk I had them all sit down. Missy crawled forward and climbing into one of the boys laps and let the other kids pet her. Something about having new people sit on the ground really helped to make them seem less scary to her.
She developed a cough so she had to take meds for two weeks, during which time she also got spayed.
After two weeks with us she was pretty much your normal housedog who looking forward to her daily walk and trip in the car, but was still shy of new people and places. It was nice to have a foster that I could trust off leash in the front yard, since her recall was very strong from day one.
Missy reminded us of a cross between our first dog Hummer and his buddy Spirit, a Golden Retriever. So we sometimes called Missy a “Hum Spirit.”
After three weeks our little sweetie was ready for adoption and was immediately adopted by a couple who thought Missy reminded them of their previous Golden Retriever. They reported that Missy, now called “Mia Smiles” was doing well and enjoyed going on boat rides. Apparently the open waves were less scary than the dreaded one inch of bath water.