Today I brought home a new foster dog. I've named her Joy.
Joy came from a very sad situation. She was living in a van with twelve other dogs and one cat. Animal Control came in and rescued them, and she's been at the shelter for awhile. She's very shy, so one of the workers asked if I wanted to foster her, since she's so scared at the shelter. So tonight I brought her home.
I was prepared for a shy dog, and thought I would have to keep her on a long leash outside and spend a lot of time getting her comfortable with me. Instead she bonded to me quickly and gave me kisses on the way home. She goes in and out of the house without any fear, or the need for a leash (into a fenced yard). She comes to me for petting and seems to feel safe with me, which is awesome.
However, she is very scared of many things. The sound of the car doors locking made her jump about a foot. I turned the television on very quietly, since I thought it might scare her, and sure enough, the box with moving pictures was something she was obviously not familiar with. She ran back and forth behind my chair staring intently at the TV for at least 15 minutes. She is doing awesome with the other dogs and with my cat Merlin. I think with a little bit of time to build her up confidence she will be a very happy dog.
By the way, when thinking of a name for her, the name "Joy" just popped into my head. I thought maybe it was because I was naming her the opposite of what she seems to be feeling so much - fear. But then I remembered a dog that I fostered from 2008. She looked similar and also had to learn to overcome a lot of fear. Her name was also Joy.