"She was clearly abused," Spence said. "Initially when you'd go to pet her, she'd go down to the floor and she'd hunker away. She looked like she was afraid that she'd be hit or something like that."
Despite her fear issues, Nora was a sweet dog who was eager to please, Spence said.
"She's been a wonderful dog, as kind and gentle as you'd ever imagine, which is somewhat surprising," Spence said. "We didn't have any kids at the time, but we had a dog, and we had three cats, and she adjusted really well to them. Then we had kids, and she adjusted really well to them, too."
Nora formed a particularly close bond with Spence's son Archie, although she loves all three of Spence's children. "I always felt she missed having her own pups to love, and she transferred that to my kids," Spence said.