WITH her big, sad eyes, Betty looks like all she wants for Christmas is a loving family to call her own.
But the five-year-old’s miserable face and nervous behaviour mean she has not even come close to being rehomed since arriving as a stray at a rescue centre in July 2011.
While hundreds of other dogs have left the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home (EDCH) in Seafield Road since she arrived, Betty could be facing the rest of her life there.
Staff are now appealing for a dedicated and patient dog lover to give Betty a home, saying she will make a devoted pet if matched with an owner she can trust.
Hundreds of animal lovers visit the EDCH every week, but Betty is so terrified she hides at the back of her kennel or snarls as they go by.
Manager David Ewing said: “She’s a lovely dog but she has real trust issues. She needs someone with infinite amounts of patience. It’s all about building that trust.”
Betty was first picked up as a stray by police in East Lothian in July 2011.
Kennel assistant Melissa Settle, 26, said: “She’s afraid of everything. The silliest thing she was afraid of was a patch of long grass in the field here.
“I eventually managed to get her into it and to get her to enjoy it. That’s when I saw the dog she could really be.
“She wags her tail at you though, and will approach you. She’ll jump up on my knee and give me kisses. Then it’s like she thinks ‘I’m not supposed to do that’ and makes a wee snarly face and gets off.
“I think she’s had a really bad past. I don’t know, maybe she’s been swung about by a lead around her neck.
“She is one of the most nervous dogs I’ve ever worked with. I love her to bits. I feel really, really awful for her.”
The EDCH said it rehomes approximately 400 pets a year, meaning Betty has been passed over 1600 times by other pets since arriving.
Mr Ewing said: “It would be wonderful if someone was prepared to come down and get to know her. It will take work, but they will have a lot of support from us.”