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My Lottie was (and still is) a very nervous dog - she had been a kennel dog for her whole life until she came to me, and she came with many issues. She's been here 3 years and is still extremely shy - tho she is also extremely loving with me. It's taken a lot of patience and TLC on my part to get her to be the sweet, loving little lady she is. I picked her up at 5:30 pm in Spokane at the airport on Wednesday afternoon - the next day she was at my vet's for a check up - she had such badly broken/abcessed teeth that he IMMEDIATELY performed emergency dental surgery and discovered that at some point her little jaw had been broken. He removed a dime sized chunk of dead, black bone from her jaw - which neither of the previous owners admitted to knowing about. How old is your Homer? He will probably be easier to get out of his shyness if he's younger. Some dogs do just seem to be more shy than others - so he may not have been abused. Just give him lots of love and attention. As Gale said, some dogs just take longer to warm up. My Chloe was always shy around strangers - but I think it's because I live alone, and she was never exposed to a lot of other people. She's gotten better as she's gotten older - and I take her more places with me. Once she gets to know someone she's fine.
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