Read how far she has come today.
Anna promptly fled down our internal staircase to the bottom where she stayed for about 3 days. Every time I went near her to try to coax her out with food she threw herself against the walls and doors in panic. Eventually step by step she crawled up and out to our family room. Crouching sideways to her, with no eye contact I hand fed her each meal for the next three weeks til she began to trust me more. Together, Molly (our ESS) and I taught her how to use the dog door and she timidly explored the back yard.
or a long time when someone came to the house she'd flee through her door down to the furtherest corner of the yard and I'd find her hiding behind the bushes shaking. Sometimes she wet herself. Now she tends to express her fears with a flurry of barking and a scurry away from whatever she finds fearful. She still hides if she is really unsure but usually her safe place is behind my chair in the family room where she can see but not be so visible herself. It is always hard to refrain from patting her or saying 'it's OK' as that is the worse thing I can do as it re in forces the scared behaviours. They are NOT OK so instead I respond with a brisk 'Stop, Leave it' to reinforce that barking etc is not welcome.
With all her fears, my husband and I decided we could not put her up for adoption so we adopted her ourselves. Anna feels safe on lead so she is happy to come for walks with us. She now has good recall and is good off lead. A dog park however would be totally overwhelming for her. Great dog owners in the neighbourhood whom we meet on our regular walks have all helped with her rehabilitation. Some carry treats for her but don't push it. They co operate with the 'no touch, no talk, no eye contact' which is so important for scared dogs.
Anna has always been dog friendly. She is fine with all the fosters coming through our house and puts up with the puppy fosters climbing all over her. It's the people in her life who have not proven worthy of owning a dog without viewing her as a money making object who made her the way she is. Anna does not understand play of any kind. She does not retrieve and has only once in the nearly 5 years she has been with me, ventured into water of her own accord. That happened before this winter on a LR walk at our local lake. Lots of other labs were throwing themselves happily into the water and for the first time ever she trotted in and out of the water up to her ankles of her own volition. The other carer talking with me at the time and I held our breath peeking at her from the corners of our eyes. It brought tears to my eyes and I am looking forward to warmer weather coming to see if she will go into water again as she continues to move forward with her behaviours. Owning a fearful dog brings its challenges but also great rewards as you see them progress. We love Anna dearly and know that she feels safe and is happy now.