In June 2008 I went to the Golden Valley Humane Society because I had seen a black cocker spaniel online. When I arrived, she was not what I expected. Nikki was very nervous and wouldn't even make eye contact. When taking her into a visitation room she just tried to hide in the corner and avoid all human interaction. This was due to her prior abuse because she was a breeding dog at a puppy mill. After sitting in the room with her for about 20 minutes, I decided that she was not the dog for me.
I went home and started looking in the newspaper for a cocker spaniel puppy. After calling different listings and realizing that none of them would let me see their facilities, I kept coming back to the same conclusion. All of these breeding cases were most likely inhumane. I couldn't help but be taunted by the thought of another dog turning out like Nikki.
The next afternoon, I went back to Golden Valley and brought Nikki home with me. She was very nervous the first few days and would jump at EVERY household noise imaginable. This slowly (as in weeks) started to go away and she became comfortable around me.
I have had her now for just over 8 months and I could not imagine my life without her. She is my most loyal companion and is the best "snuggle buddy" one would ever hope for. Her new name "Nervous Nelli" describes her old life but definitely not her current outlook. Although she is still more timid than the average dog, she has come a long way and listens very well. I am so happy that I trusted my instinct and decided to bring her home.
To anyone unsure about adopting, I was very concerned with it at first but would not change anything about my dog. The Humane Society is a great way to go because you are not only helping an animal, you are helping yourself. I feel so lucky every day to have my dog, even if she is a little goofy.