Pongo is a rescue who had been previously adopted and returned 3 times before the age of 2. When I saw him the first time he was standing alone at the back of a kennel while the other dogs with him were going crazy and jumping around. Pongo did not move. He did not react. He just sat there on his hindlegs alone watching me. You could see he didn't trust anymore.
Upon adopting Pongo, he was still slow to trust even resorting to hiding under the driver's seat on the way home. It took me almost 30 minutes to coax him out from under the seat when I got home. I still don't know how he fit under there.
Over the next few months, Pongo slowly started to open up and trust again. It didn't happen without challenges. There were issues with house training and his inexplicable love for eating women's shoes. And of course the separation anxiety. He did not like it when I left him... EVER! So I just stopped doing it.
For the past 11 years, Pongo has gone with me everywhere. To the grocery store, to work, on road trips. He has seen more of the country than most people and he's loved every minute of it. He is never happier than when we are in the car driving. He sticks his face out the window and just takes it all in. The sights, the smells, the sun. Oh how he loves the sun!
I couldn't have picked a better companion to spend my time with, but I often think back to that day in the shelter and wonder if he didn't know exactly what he was doing. That maybe he wasn't really showing distrust. Maybe he was just playing it cool because he knew it would make him stand out more.
However it happened, I'm just glad it did because Pongo is truly a best friend and I count myself lucky every day that he's in my life.