My 4 year old Scottish Terrier rescue, a former Potosi puppy mill resident, is fearless regarding loud noises or many of the normally encountered stressors seen in canine companions. She is stoic, and has a strong sense of survival, which is why she lived to be 4 years old in a puppy mill. She was suffering from a massive flea infestation, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms and Giardia. Her coat was thin, scraggly and patchy. She shook her head constantly from neglected ear care. Now, however, you wouldn't recognize her for her shiny, glossy, thick coat, a growing kilt, sparkling eyes and the absence of her perpetual head shaking. Mackie is incredibly sensitive, though. She is adept at spotting displeasure and assuming she is at fault. Sometimes, if I reach for her, it is heartbreaking to see her flinch, duck or hunker down self-protectively. Unlike my beloved MacGregor, who died in July 2012 from TCC after being my constant companion since he was 3 months old, Mackie doesn't respond as enthusiastically to my 'puppy' voice. Whereas MacGregor wiggled in delight from head to tail whenever he heard me, Mackie seems overwhelmed and sometimes must look away. So, with my sweet new Scot, I tone it down. She's learned the words 'dinner' and 'treat' and responds enthusiastically and eventually, with time and patience, I am hoping she will lose her fear and discover that not all humans are to be mistrusted.
I've noticed, in general, that Mackie's demeanor is far more effusive when she encounters human males as opposed to females, which leads me to believe the past has given her reason to be wary of women. Over time, she will know how much I love her and that she can rest easy, eat hearty and enjoy the rest of her life with me.