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Dog Flinched At Woman’s Touch, Convinced She’d Harm Her Like The Others

Written by: Julie Hunt
Julie Hunt is an avid dog lover and writer for, and has a background as a veterinary technician. She rescued a beautiful former bait dog named Rory.Read more
| Published on May 7, 2024

When Angela first laid eyes on Mable, she knew that the frightened dog would be much more of a project than she had ever anticipated. Angela, who is experienced with dogs with many personality traits, could instantly recognize how stressed out Mable was. The dog had been rescued from an animal abuse case, and her stress and fear were evident in her eyes – it was as if she wanted to disappear. Despite the challenges ahead, foster mom Angela knew that she had to bring Mable home and help her overcome her fears.


The first few days with Mable were heartbreaking. The terrified dog would shake uncontrollably, and Angela struggled to get near her without causing her to flee in panic. Even the simple task of taking Mable for a walk was a challenge, as the dog would bite the end of the leash and remain on high alert with her tail tucked and ears back.


Determined to help Mable feel safe and secure, Angela began working on building trust and showing her that human touch wasn’t something to fear. Over time, Angela started noticing small milestones in Mable’s progress. The first time Mable excitedly ran around the yard – known as “Zoomies” – was a sign that the dog was starting to come out of her shell.


Another significant milestone came when Mable initiated play with Angela for the first time. The dog approached her, jumped, and stood in front of her – something she had never done before. This playful interaction was a testament to the progress Mable was making in her journey towards feeling safe and secure.

To help Mable become more comfortable with human touch, Angela would sit on the floor next to her, gently stroking her and then removing her hand. She would repeat this process, allowing Mable to become accustomed to the sensation and realize that it wasn’t something to fear. Over time, Mable began to respond positively to Angela’s touch, and their bond grew stronger.

After months of patient, gentle work, Angela and Mable reached another milestone: their first walk with an untucked tail. The transformation in Mable’s demeanor was a testament to the power of love, patience, and persistence. Angela’s favorite part of this experience has been witnessing Mable’s growth and seeing less and less of the fearful dog she once was at the shelter.


Mable has been with her foster mom for 420 days. Angela is 100% confident that the pup is ready for her forever home. We commend Angela on her job well done. The foster mom did not give up on Mable and rehabilitated the frightened dog, who would flinch and shake in her presence. We can’t wait to see what happens for Mable next in her ongoing journey.

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