Zee has been a challenge for my family for sure. We're used to dealing with dogs in need of medical help, not so much the mental aspect of things.
But I can see Zee coming along nicely.... she's still shy in the house and prefers to hide form DH, and would rather be left to her own than interact with the family, if she's given a choice, but she's made a huge improvement since she first joined our pack.
Living on a farm, it's important to me to have dogs I can trust off leash. It's just not realistic to keep a dog leashed all the time, so to this point if I knew I'd be outside for a while, I'd take Zee's runner and put her on it while I worked, other times, unless we were inside, she'd be on her leash.
Last week I started dropping her leash and allowing her to sniff around and follow me and Greta to the barn, then once we got to the barn, she'd go on her runner while I worked.
Yesterday, I decided to give her a try off leash.... so when I took her out to potty, I didn't put her leash on her. And she did GREAT!
So, each time I took her out, I gave her a little longer off leash.... working up to about twenty minutes. She loved the freedom of being able to romp in the yard, and when she'd start straying too far, I'd call her back and she'd come directly to me.
Of course I watched her like a hawk and didn't let my attention stray, so I knew exactly where she was at all times, as I still don't fully trust her to not stray.
This is a HUGE milestone for Zee.... the fact that she trusts and feels a part our family enough to hang around and not bolt at her chance at freedom, and then to come to me instantly when she's called... it's just... wow... I'm so proud of her!!
Things seem to be falling into place. I'm so excited!
(Oh, and she willingly approached DH last night, sniffed and licked his hand then bounced off like a happy puppy. She didn't hang around long enough for him to pet her, but at least she approached him! We're still not sure why she acts like she does, if she was abused or just neglected from the socialization aspect, at the farm, but it looks like she's finally deciding that DH's not a monster!)