How patience, love (and Stanley) helped Velvet forget her fear

Barry and Stephanie Wingert with Stanley, left, and Velvet.

Courtesy of Barry and Stephanie Wingert
Published: Sunday, June 1, 2014 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 30, 2014 at 3:04 p.m.

No one can say for sure how this black Labrador retriever puppy ended up wandering alone just north of Alachua — or for how long she’d been on her own.

But by the time an officer at Alachua County Animal Services was called to pick her up last September, she was so fearful of humans she wouldn’t let the officer near her. It took a humane trap with food inside to capture her.

Once at Alachua County Animal Services, the pup’s behavior was evaluated to see if she was adoptable. But though the staff named her Velvet, there was nothing soft about the little Lab’s personality: Even after a week of working with her, Velvet cowered and visibly trembled when approached, refused treats and not once wagged her tail.

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