Christmas was coming soon, but not for a poor little Wheaten who was picked up as a stray and brought into St. Hubert's by a good Samaritan. I began following and working with this little lost Wheaten boy who was brought into the shelter on December 20. He was held as a stray until December 28, 2005 in the hopes that an owner would claim him. Since I am at the shelter regularly, I put in a request that if he were not claimed I would take him into rescue as a WIN boy. The shelter staff was great and let me know when a neighbor of the dog's owner called and told the real story on this wheaten. He was owned by a local family who did not train him and rarely let him into the house.
About two weeks before Christmas the family moved to Ohio and left him outside on his own in single digit temperatures without food or water. These neighbors had called the police but by the time they got to the house he had disappeared. He was finally found many days later and brought into the shelter by a good Samaritan who stopped and lured him into the car while he was running on a main road. He was very scared, filthy dirty, and very thin after somehow surviving on his own for nearly two weeks in sub freezing temperatures.
I met him that same day and immediately thought he was a good dog. He greeted me through his kennel wires, took treats gently from my hand, and as we got to know each other, I knew he was a good, gentle boy. I visited him daily at the shelter, every day becoming more convinced that he would make a great companion. I wrote to Pam Allen, who had lost her Seamus, in the hopes that she would think about adopting him.
Pam was delighted and couldn't wait to get this little guy to Minnesota--especially after hearing his story. He was temperament tested at the shelter, groomed, vetted, inoculated, and neutered and came home with me, Zoe, and Danny Boy until we could get him home to Pam. He got along fine with my two wheatens and did not have a single accident in the house. He slept silently in his crate in my room and rode well in the car. He is an amazingly sweet natured dog with a very gentle mouth and the usual wheaten teenage enthusiasm.
St. Hubert's was happy to work with WIN and glad he was able to be placed with an experienced Wheaten owner. We were able to transport him to Pam by hooking up with a WURL heading east. The story of that amazing weekend is posted separately and is worth reading for sure. I want to thank all the wonderful People who drove so many miles and gave up their weekend for this little guy. Ellen and Marty Klinzing put in many extra miles and kept him overnight as did Mary Summerfield. Patty Kelly of Connemara Wheatens dropped everything and put in many extra miles too. Tina and Dee were fantastic to help and Karen Berton changed her plans to get him to Pam. What an amazing group WIN is!!!
Pam says Declan has fit into her family very well and has become a great friend to MollyMae and a fun companion in her house. On his first day home Pam wrote: "This guy is pretty amazing....he ate politely but with gusto, he comes when he is called, sits on command (thanks, Jean), takes treats very politely, and his offering of his paw to shake hands just melts me. Right now he has put himself into his crate and fallen asleep.
One week later Pam wrote again, " I cannot believe that it was only a week ago that Declan's WURL began. It seems like he has been here for much longer than 5 days. He is turning into a funny goofball. Yesterday morning I was getting ready for work, walked into the family room and found him standing on his head on the sofa! His back was wedged into the corner made by the sofa back and arm so that his tummy et al was showing, his rear legs waving around and he was standing on his neck. I swear I saw him grinning.
MollyMae is initiating chase games with him now - he still is the pesty brother but they are working things out. He will now chase and pick up a rolling ball, and he picked up stuffed toy and gave it a shake or two. He has barked twice, each time just one woof. So I know he can bark if he is so inclined. He is still accident free, no marking at all and hasn't wrecked anything in the house. He puts himself into his crate in the morning when he sees me get out the peanut butter jar for kongs. Smart guy. Things went well at the vet, and Chuck pronounced him thin but healthy. Declan got his microchip and was fitted for his Gentle Leader. Lynda Kochevar is coming over on Sunday with her Wheaten, Patsy. I want Dec to meet new People and other dogs. All in all, things are going very well, and I cannot imagine not having him."
The luck of the Irish got Declan to Pam. We couldn't have asked for a better ending to his sad beginning. He is safe at home and has even learned how to play--imagine a wheaten not knowing how to play! Lucky little Declan--safe at home in Minnesota!!!