When the email came looking for someone to rescue a wheatie from a shelter in Montross, Va, I knew it would be me. But I was totally unprepared for the bundle of energy that greeted me when we got there. On the way home, we were serenaded with 5 minutes of reverse sneezing followed by two hours of howling. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the little mass of matted fur, waiting so patiently while we bathed him, and snipped off each and every dreadlock from his body.

It took two days of snipping and clipping before the image of a *mini* wheat appeared, weighing barely 15 lbs. and 14-15″ tall at the withers. He stole our hearts at that very moment and we knew he would never leave our home. We went from foster parents to his *forever* parents in two months!

Marley had been abandoned in an empty house without food or water for a week. He had spent 12 days at the shelter by the time we saw him. The only information we could get about his former life was that he was rarely seen outdoors, and if walked, it was with a chain around his neck. Loving and trusting indoors, Marley was a whirl of over stimulus when outdoors, lunging and barking hysterically at everything. Meeting other dogs was not a favorite pastime!

His seizures added to the chaos. A year has past now and Marley has settled into the rhythm of family life quite effortlessly. Patsy, our Florida rescue, has accepted him and Marley knows to treat her with respect! His seizures are less frequent, and his coat has filled out as has his little body, now weighing in at 27 pounds! We are still learning to deal with the great outdoors, but our walks are much calmer than they were a year ago!

Marley has brought such joy to our family. We only have to catch his eye and his tail starts wagging uncontrollably and my heart melts in return.