If dogs could talk, this is what they would say.
“See the dog, not the story. This is excellent advice from someone with a rescue dog. What your new dog needs most of all is the same thing a person needs — to be accepted and respected for who they are, to be ‘heard’ and understood, rather than to be labeled. You may have been told a number of stories about your dog’s history, but although it can be valuable to gather information, it’s also important not to label your dog for the rest of his life as, for example, ‘abused’ or ‘neglected.’ Your goal, beyond providing your new dog a safe and stable environment, is to honor him by letting him tell you who is he right now, accepting that, and acting accordingly. Just as you are no longer that little girl or boy who got bulled on the playground, your dog will grow and change as time goes on. Do all you can to see him for who he is NOW, not who he was years ago or who you think he should be.” - Patricia McConnell, PhD, and Karen London, PhD, Love Has No Age Limit: Welcoming an Adopted Dog into Your Home