This will be long Hi. I just joined this forum because I semi-impulsively (only semi because I WAS looking for a dog but wasn't planning on that day to get one) adopted a 9 month old black lab mix (dont know with what yet, the only real indicator that she's mixed is that she isn't solid black, she has white on her chest and belly). She has clearly been VERY mistreated and neglected in her short life and I'm worried for her and want to make sure I don't do anything too wrong in her care. I got her 2 days ago and I'm very aware that its way too early for me to know her true personality but I want to get ahead of the game and help her in any way I can. She will only eat if I'm not in the room (the first day she wouldn't eat at all so im calling progress there) and if she hears me coming she will hide in whatever corner is closest and not come out for anything. It seems very much like she's afraid of open spaces because she'll still do it after I've taken her outside for the bathroom (I have to carry her out because she won't walk until she's calmed down and her lead is fully extended away) and sadly yet adorably when she first was brought in the house I turned away for a minute and when I looked back she had found a teeny tiny open cabinet no bigger than she is to crawl into and stayed there for a few hours until she ventured out on her own. She hasn't explored at all except outside because I have a fairly large backyard and she looked around out there for close to an hour today. She's had many accidents since I got her, including the first night where she peed while still laying down and then just stayed there in the puddle as though thats what she was used to, but I've made sure not to show any kind of aggravation (not that I'm feeling anything other than sadness to be honest) while cleaning it and her up afterwards so she knows I'm not angry at her. I know its something I'll have to fix but I'm scared to traumatize her further if I go about it in the wrong way. She doesn't bark or show a single bit of aggression whatsoever and will flinch away from the smallest movement or sound so any time I go to "her" safe area of the house I make sure to walk easily and start softly saying her name (Bella, which she does respond to) a good few rooms away so she knows I'm coming closer that way she's not startled by me just appearing near her. This long winded tale is over and I guess why I'm really here is to know if I'm even doing things right in the first place and if not what do I need to change to make sure she, at a minimum, won't get more stressed and preferably so I can help her move into a happier and safer state in the future? I know this won't be an easy or quick process, but I just could not live with myself to leave her the way she was two days ago.