It's hard to believe, but we've had Duchess for over one year. June 18 was the actual anniversary but somehow I missed it. Lately I've been remembering the past year and thinking about how far she has come.
When we first brought her home, she was absolutely terrified of us and everything around her. She always kept her head down but would constantly keep her eyes on us to make sure we weren't getting too close. If we got in her personal space, she would run the other way.
It literally took her about 3 months before she would let me get near her. In those first months I just tried to provide a peaceful home for her. I talked quietly to her and gave her some space. I didn't push her too hard.
Eventually she started to open up a little bit, meaning she didn't run away at the sight of me. It really was baby steps with her. I just kept trying to prove to her that she was safe here and no one was ever going to mistreat her.
After about 4 months she would let me get close to her and I started giving her hugs. She would not look at me, but would stand still while I hugged her and talked to her. I was determined to turn her around and show her a happy life.
From about 6 months on she really started to open up. She became more playful and trusting with me. She was still terrified around David, though. He didn't spend as much time with her as I did, but I also started to suspect that maybe she's had bad experiences with men in her past.
Lately she has really been blossoming. She will go on walks with David and she always gets so excited and jumps around when we grab the leash and ask if she wants to go on a trail. She even takes treats from him now! She's become quite the master at digging holes, too.
I'm just so happy that she's finally comfortable here with us and knows that she is safe. More of her playful personality keeps coming out everyday and I can't wait to see where she is next year.