Last Sunday we got a new puppy, predominantly a black lab, but with some sort of mix involved, something with smaller beadier eyes than Labs tend to have. The dog (who has not been named) was a "rescue dog." Though my mom said that indicates abuse/neglect, I'm not entirely sure that's accurate. I know a lot of rescue dogs merely come from people who did not have the means/space/money to care for them and have not suffered.
I think, based on the temperament of the dog, neglect would be the most likely case. The first day or two she seemed to be unsure of both how to deal with people, and how to handle having a house to roam. My mom said that when they brought her home, she refused to leave her cage, and when finally drawn out, beelined for the nearest, smallest room. I don't that means much though since I recall our cats essentially doing the same thing when we moved from Rochester to Syracuse.
It was a pretty quick transition though, from that to not wanting to be left alone. Early on the dog was what I would call reuctant. After the first night she became more comfortable leaving her cage, but skittish around people. She'd follow you, tail happily wagging, but the minute you petted her, she'd tuck the tail between her legs, and didn't really respond to positive tones of voice.
Over the course of a few days she started to open up, becomming more playful (to a few of the cats' chagrin) and recognizing and wagging her tail at positive tones of voice. We took her to the dog park yesterday, and though shy, she handled things pretty well, becoming rather taken with a Great Dane that was about four times her size, and curious about a Chihuahua that was about one fourth her size (somewhat to the Chihuahua's terror). Sometimes I wonder if she even knows how to be a dog yet since she's been fairly disinterested with chasing balls (though some of that might have to do with lacking the mouth size to pick them up), but she does love the duck.
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