Charley, an 18-month-old neutered male Wheaten, was surrendered to a kill shelter in Tennessee when his owner went off to the Army. Fortunately an All Breed Rescue saw him and WIN was notified. Plans were quickly put into place to get him out of there and on the road to a new home. He was WURLed to us in Pittsburgh and he stayed for 3 weeks. The first thing was a name change. He became Barley; close enough to Charley that he answered immediately.

When he arrived, the first thing we thought was that he was one of the biggest Wheatens we had ever seen. His ears were about 8 inches long and his tail was a giant pompom. After a turn on the grooming table it became clear that he was all hair.

While with us Barley showed himself to be a sweet, loving boy, so content to cuddle on my lap or be near me constantly. He also did not like noise of any kind and would withdraw if there were any confusion or fast movements, hiding in the bedroom or the upstairs hallway. Cameras, for some reason, sent him running. He never liked to have his picture. Thunder or wind turned him into a quivering baby.

Liffey quickly became Barley’s best friend. She taught him to play with stuffed toys and they spent many hours mauling each other and chasing. Finbar would sit there and watch and, on occasion, would step in to restore order and remind every one he was the boss.

At night he loved to sleep on our bed and would often wake us by landing on one of us with this big goofy grin on his face, ready to start the day’s fun. He was said to be a picky eater, but, after discovering his likes and dislikes and he settled in, that boy never missed a meal. His head would go into his bowl and it never came up until every bite was gone. He had only one or two accidents in the house, and then he learned where the back door was and barked at it when he wanted out.

After his vet check up he was ready for his forever home. The choice was pretty easy. We realized he would be best off with an older couple that would have time for him and no children in the house. He was too quiet and shy to live with young children. A wonderful couple, the Hillers in Montoursville Pa, was contacted. They had lost their Wheaten last year. Needless to say, they were delighted and wanted him.

On May 20th we met them in DuBois, PA and they met Barley for the first time. It was love at first sight! He jumped willingly into their car, ready for his new life. And what a life it will be! I have heard from them and they couldn’t be happier. He has a big yard with bunnies and squirrels to chase, several walks a day and a lovely weekend home to explore. His name was changed once again to Duffy and he is learning to answer to it. He is a bright boy and will begin his obedience training soon.

We miss him; he made his way into our hearts so quickly. It was a bittersweet moment when I watched Duane and Ursula drive away with his little Charley/Barley/Duffy face in the window, watching us and wondering where he was heading next on his life’s journey. I have to admit to tears, he was such a wonderful guest. But I am happy knowing his journey is at an end and he has a wonderful forever home with owners who care deeply for him.

Jan Griffith
Pittsburgh, PA