Abbie’s story is one of new beginnings. She was under 2 years old, had a caring owner but a chaotic household, and was fearful of people. Never a more skittish Wheaten, from a home environment, had we seen in the Northeast. She was terrified—of everything. Abbie’s first new beginning came when her owner surrendered her to WIN, knowing there was a better home out there for her. The story of her surrender had all the drama you don’t want. A very sad owner, a confused dog who slipped her lead twice in the empty parking lot, and our WIN volunteers who were holding their breaths. Finally, success, when we got her in the car and safely enroute.

The first stop was our wonderful volunteer, Illona, whose family got involved in giving Abbie a new start in life for several weeks of fostering. It was a family project: Illona’s patient husband, wonderful son, and amazing daughter. And Illona’s two resident dogs, themselves rescues, who seemed to give Abbie a bit more confidence each day. Inch by inch, step by step, each day brought small new successes. Being able to touch Abbie. Being able to pet Abbie. Being able to have her teen son in the same room with Abbie. Keeping Abbie out of the trash, and keeping her safe, and building confidence.

At last, we searched for an adoption match, and we found the perfect family. Donna and her family in New Jersey were looking for a rescue Wheaten to join them and their frisky young male Wheaten. After many conversations and a visit, Donna and her family brought Abbie home. They engaged a positive behavioral trainer, even before Abbie arrived, to visit at the house and coach the family in rebuilding Abbie’s confidence. And again Abbie had another new start—learning to trust Donna, starting to adore her patient teen children, and even, with coaxing and perhaps a little bit of cheese, looking forward to walks with her husband. Overcoming her great fear of men was a special thing. Most of all, Abbie loves being in a family, including her Wheaten brother, who now has a great friend to romp with. Donna sends us glowing updates, and our hearts swell because we really did find the perfect match for that little frightened Wheaten who has blossomed in her new home.