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Willow experienced every kind of possitive early socialization. Went everywhere with us from 10 weeks of age, has been loved just like a child, even sleeps with us at night.

She has been enrolled in so many training classes with wonderful gentle trainers, along with well-adjusted gentle dogs that we have lost count.  She has had several private classes with very qualified trainers.  She has had the most expensive and knowledgeable medical evaluation we could find (UC David, Behavioral Specialist, Sacramento.) She has been prescribed many different medical treatments including Prozac.

Two-years of loving work with her without any success. Two-years of reading everything we could get our hands on, two-years of asking all the questions, two-years of spending when it really hurt to spend another dime, two-years of tears and patience, two-years of buying every calming aid known to man. Thunder coats etc. 

There is no visible reason for her fear, or any cause anyone can point his or her finger at. She is just simply afraid of everything aside from her family. 

There is only one conclusion that we are left with, one very sad and disappointing conclusion that the vets told us about and we just didn’t want to hear during our attempt to help her adjust to the world around her. Unfortunately, many breeders will breed very shy dogs, and they pass on the defect in further generations. Because of this, our pain and worry has been massive, our financial lose has been enormous and Willow apparently will spend her life afraid, and that hurts the most. We have been doing everything possible for two-years to disprove this conclusion, but sadly cannot ignore what is fact.

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Sadie is almost 6 now. Her first 3 months were hell but since then nothing but TLC. As she has aged, with a lot of support some of her fears have gotten better. Others not so much. But, she is a love and a joy and I couldn't love her more. I am sorry that Willow will suffer with anxiety and that you will feel helpless because you can't fix it. But, sometimes support & love is the best we can do and give during the hard times. Good luck! LG and Sadie

Thanks so much. We just dreamed of the day we could walk down the sidewalk with her. Or just do what most see as normal things with their dogs.  Even being able to go to the park without her fleeing in fear of people, bikes, kids, or anything moving, or just being able to get out of the car on her own accord. 

Patti, I'm so sorry to hear this news about Willow. I've had dogs with health issues in the past and remember how frustrating and heartbreaking it is when you have done everything imaginable to help them and see no improvement. Is there any hope of her becoming less fearful as she ages and has more experience with life?

Willow is one lucky doodle to have a family that loves her so much. I hope you can find some peace in knowing that you have done your best and that some things are out of our control.  Hugs to all of you!

Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you are right that someday she may figure it out that there really aren't any monsters out there. She certainly has never been give a reason to think that there were.

It crushes me when someone sees her fear and saids something like "was she a mis-treated rescue?" Leaves me speechless.

Patti, Many of us know people who have problems with anxiety, fears, phobias. Kids raised by the same parents can be so different, yet all had the same experiences growing up.  We all have imperfections, but some of us can hide it better than others :) Willow's are out there for all to see. People can say things without thinking. You don't owe anyone an explanation. Maybe you could just say, "she came this way and we are grateful she found her way to us."

People ask me this about my Chase all the time. We have had him since he was nine weeks old, and like you socialized him, went to classes, took him everywhere with us etc. He is still fearful, and one lady even had the nerve to tell me that if he wasn't a rescue, his behaviour must be because I mistreated him.

Rude people.... My Charlie is the same way....

I'm sorry, Patti.

I do believe that Willow's issues are genetic, and I am glad that she has such loving caretakers.

I would not give up hope that she can improve somewhat as she gets older. JD didn't learn to play with toys until he was past 6 years old, and his fear issues are still continuing to get better, even though he tunred eight in November. Just within the past few months, he has started going up to strangers voluntarily in vet's waiting rooms and introducing himself, lol.

Love can work miracles sometimes.

Love, love and endless love.  We hurt so bad for her when she is upset. We will always love her no matter what. We had dedicated ourselves to give her the best life possible. I guess that's why she even sleeps with us.

It's so hard to finally come to the truth about her and realizing there is really nothing we can do as side from giving her the space to work it out... or not.

Dear Patti, I have empathy for you and Willow. My beloved doodle is also shy. He came into the world that way. I am not sure it was due to breeding. I could never know for sure. Teddy was next to the last puppy sold out of his litter. When we went to pick him up, my husband noted that he was a bit independent and not particularly interested in us the way other puppies at the breeders were interested. I felt drawn to him. He stared intently and was not as wild as the others. He loves other dogs but cannot tolerate crowds of strangers, especially early adolescent boys. We had him since he was 11 weeks old. Once he gets to know someone he is fine but until then he gets overwhelmed easily. We cannot take him into town to walk on busy streets. After 10 minutes he is so overwhelmed it is painful to watch him. I have decided that walking around with him in large crowds of people is just never going to be possible. On the other hand, he has never destroyed any of my personal property, only his toys, he can be completely trusted in our home, he is very good with babies and children, he is not overly active, can pay attention and learn all of his commands. I can trust him with any dog I have ever encountered in the dog park and off the leash. Yes, if a group of children run toward him screaming with glee, he wants to go home immediately. I love Teddy and his shy way. The few annoyances I feel escape me when I see a dog that can't be controlled or is so extroverted that they knock you down, I am grateful for him in those moments. I hope that Willow's strengths will be enough to overcome whatever difficulties you have and will encounter. I don't know if this helps in anyway but sometimes things turn out the way they are not because of any fault of anyone. A rose is a rose is a rosé. Best wishes.

Angela, This was a very loving and moving statement about your Teddy. Thank you so much for sharing.

It is so painful to watch isn't it? What should be fun is a frantic nightmare for them. And there is no way to snap them out of it. Cookies, playing a game, nothing works.

It's funny how they can be so well adjusted at home, unless a stranger comes in and the total opposite when outside. 

We have tried so many calming methods with no improvement. We have never tried "flooding", I think she would learn to become untrusting of us, and that would be horrible.  

She is the perfect rose, with so much love to give.

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