It took our foster fail/rescue girl 2 years. Two whole years before she felt comfortable enough to ever so gently and shyly ask for a simple pat on the head. I honestly had given up on ever seeing anything but fear and avoidance on her little face. She now sometimes even gets a little playful - but oh so carefully and quietly. Tarzan sits quietly with her for a few minutes every day. I think that has helped her a lot.
Rescue dogs are heartbreakers. I always have 2, sometimes 3 dogs and at least one is always a county animal shelter dog. A lot of these dogs have had good past lives, just ended up in the pound because their owner fell on hard times. But there have been a few who were out right abuse cases and those are the ones that had me in tears.
My most memorable was Chewie, a parti colored spoo. But for now I'm not going to go into his story since he's the one that affected me the most and still affects me 2 years after losing him suddenly to bloat.
Instead I'll talk about the one I currently have, Eustace. I don't know how he was treated before he was dumped at the pound, but he sure came with a lot of issues, I still call him my problem child and May 30 I will have had him 2 years. He wasn't the best choice for an older couple, but I've worked with dogs too long not to know when there is a good natured dog under all the problems.
And problems there were by the shipload and I got the scars to prove it. At one point it got so bad my husband outright told me I had to get rid of him. I knew that would send this already ocd dog right over the edge and my husband and I didn't speak for weeks because I refused to give up on him.
Fast forward. Eustace, all 65 pounds of him, is still ocd, high strung, and a shedding machine. But under it all, he is a loving, sweet natured soul with beautiful eye and a kind heart and I just can't think of him not being here. And my husband has come around since Eustaces favorite spot in the whole house is right next to my husbands chair where my husband can reach down and pet him.
Plus he has always been a great big brother to Roland even though Roland is now 3 inches taller than him.