Walking through the Golden Valley shelter 6 years ago, I noticed a shy, shaking boxer that looked like she wanted to melt into the back of her run. We decided it was time to take home our first dog. Sophie (previously "Sage") was an incredibly shy dog. We learned that she lived in a puppy mill and had only seen humans for occasional food and to take away her puppies.
It took years for her to learn to live in a home. She was afraid of everything - stairs, doorways, wood floors, you name it, she was terrified. For the first month she cowered in her dog bed whenever we would come to take her outside. Eventually she learned that she could trust us. On cold winter days she would magically move across the couch to press up against a warm lap, even though she never appeared to move.
Today you'd never know it was the same dog. When we get home she runs to greet us with her huge boxer mouth wide open and her whole back end wags with her tiny tail. When it's silly time she rubs up against your legs like a cat - back and forth, her mouth grinning wide. I won't say she wasn't a challenge, but it's probably the most rewarding thing I've ever been a part of. She's such a happy, appreciative dog and we couldn't love her more.
Angela, Ryan & Andy L.