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Friday, February 17, 2017

Sensitive Shyla

Over the years that I've known Shyla, I keep thinking that she's going to become "normal" and be able to show her trusting and loving side to other people. She's now five years old, and that hasn't quite happened.

She has chosen a few people outside our family who she thinks are very trustworthy. She showers them with affection when she sees them. They can't believe that she's not so outgoing with everyone.

But, she demonstrated to me multiple times today that she operates from a state of assuming that strangers are scary until they prove otherwise. I won't lie - it makes me sad to see it. I guess that whatever happens to a puppy when they're very young isn't easily overridden. We didn't know Shyla until she was almost an adult.
But I'll just focus on who Shyla is with me, the Runner, and her chosen friends. She simply can't contain her affection when she sees those people. The other morning, she woke me up to a shower of kisses and the drumbeat of her tail pounding on the bed.

That's a happy dog.


  1. Good for you for giving your love totally to your very best trustworthy friends, Shyla. Obviously, it takes patience and work to be included in your very special circle of friends♥

  2. Shyla is wise, loving, and trusts and welcomes those in her special circle. Maybe this is how she will always be. In her own way, I am sure she knows familiar faces and voices and smells, and takes a lot longer to accept others.

  3. She has a wonderful family and some really good friends. That is a wonderful place to be, for anyone!

  4. Being cautious isn't a bad thing. And she can relax with her friends.

  5. It makes her love of you all the more special. Sometimes a dog who is a bit shy of others is a good thing as they aren't always busy trying to socialize!

  6. Luke is completely the same, only right now there are only three people in his life that he will accept! He is beyond loving with my hubby and me, and he gets so overjoyed when my one sister comes to visit. We're trying to expand his world but it's a slow process, and tough to do when you live in a rural area where people don't just stop by all the time.
    The toughest part for us is the fact that we've had him since he was a puppy, so his issues are purely genetic; he has no scary past that could have made him the way he is. :(

    1. Janet - We live in a rural place too so we don't have people popping by all the time. It takes a big effort to go places where we'll meet new people. It does make gradually expanding a dog's world harder!

  7. Such a sweet, sensitive girl! I had an Aussie/Lab mix we adopted as an adult and he had a hard time trusting, too. It made me really appreciate the people he did trust. :) He was such an awesome boy!

  8. Such a sweet girl. Abby Lab just loves everyone as she had been a "breeder" for a puppy mill we think and had little affection before we got her.

  9. Seems to me Shyla is pretty happy with her lot in life. I don't think she would like to make you feel sad. She's just cautious. That's ok as long as she's happy and she is aye?? Sounds perfectly normal to me.

  10. She is such a sweetie and very lucky to have landed in the family that she has.

  11. Beautiful Shyla still has come along way
    Lily & Edward

  12. We are pretty much in exactly the same place with Rita. Got her at 7 months, and she was found on a beach in Mexico, so who knows what she went through?? She is SO sweet with me and the hubs, and she loves all my sisters, and luckily loves my sis and her hubby (they dog-sit her). She will randomly love certain folks (we had a couple over and she loved them, same w/ 2 female friends of the hubs), but then other people she just HATES. And even if she comes to accept them, if they stay overnight, we start all over again the next day. It's like she forgets they were there. It makes it stressful for me when folks come over because I don't know if she'll like them or not. Every time I think I have it figured out ("ok, it's tall men. She doesn't like tall men." "Okay, it's calm men. She likes calm men.") she'll then not like someone I thought she would be okay with. Anyway, she is *mostly* a happy girl and she's come a long way! Just like your sweet girl!

  13. Some dogs always remain reserved but good on you for providing a safe and trusting environment for her to thrive in her own way.


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