UPDATE - 31 DECEMBER 2017: (From Darla's foster mom). We renamed her to Ruby and she knows her name. Ruby has been with us since September 3rd (2017). She was completely unsocialized, essentially feral. She has made very slow but steady progress. We can let her out into the backyard without a lead and she will come back inside when called as long as you don't stand by the door and give her space to enter. She has her specific spot on the couch where she feels comfortable so that she can keep an eye on everybody. She will follow you around the yard but you still cannot approach her without spooking her. She is not yet housebroken and does not ask to go outside.
Even though this is true she has not really had that many accidents because we let the dogs outside a lot. She doesn't seem to totally understand when she's being praised. She really has to have another dog in the house that will take her under their wing.
My foxhound has been very good for her because he grooms the beagles at night and helps give her confidence. She did okay with my nieces at Christmas, ages 4 through 8. But they were extremely respectful of her, gave her space and did not make eye contact which makes her nervous from strangers. I would not say that is enough to say she is okay with kids in general because again they were extremely respectful of her needs.
She has over the last few weeks shown more curiosity and going in and out of other rooms of the house that she did not normally go into when the other dogs were leading the way. She very much wants to be a part of where everyone else is but sometimes gets very nervous from even little bits of commotion.
She would need an extremely patient, fairly calm household with a social dog.
When we are not home we have her in the bathroom with a baby gate up and we put newspapers down which she pees on maybe half of the time if we are gone for 6 or 8 hours which is only 3 days a week she is alone that long.
She likes going for walks but only under certain circumstances. We have a very wide gravel road that has very little traffic. The tail is up and wagging and she's having a great time with our resident beagle exploring all the smells. She does not like walking on a narrow path where she does not have space away from whoever is holding the leash. We have tried sidewalks and trails but she does not like to be that packed in. She also prefers walks where the other dogs are there too as she looks to them for confidence and what to do.
We have been working on getting to help her understand that she is safe and loved. I think there's still a lot of progress to be made. She will occasionally give us little kisses on our hands sometimes to say thank you.
I think we still have more work to do with her as a foster family but if there was the right family who really understood what they were getting into with this dog then I guess maybe it would be okay.
They would need to be prepared for months and months of time passing with little progress at a time and to be open to celebrate small victories
She isn't just a little shy...
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS: Darla is a 2-year-old spayed female that is fully vetted and available for adoption. She's a little on the shy side so she will need some patience and training. She was a stray/drop off at the Pittsylvania County Animal Shelter in Virginia, so her history is unknown.