But the next time I saw him, I fed him a few morsels through the fence, and we came to an understanding. He understood I wasn't going to hurt him, and I understood he had been through a lot, which I could tell by the way he'd flinch every time I put my hand out to pet him. Being head shy, some of the shelter workers wouldn't even remove his lead when they transferred him from the night kennels to the training center yard. He'd been known to nip at them when they reached for his neck area.
In the little training center yard, Norman was away from the noise of the kennels and could see people come and go. There was lots of practice opportunity for him to get used to people and dogs coming up to the fence without him going ballistic. Slowly, thanks to the diligence of the shelter's training director, Norman started coming around.
Norman came into the shelter undersocialized, untrained, and pretty much unadoptable. After a few months at the shelter, through the dedication of staff and volunteers, he's ready for a home. It's a rehabilitation success story that happens one dog at a time, and it's why I've become a shelter dog addict.