Story by Sara Paul
Brooklyn born Abigail “Abby” Paige Dietrich first fell in love with horses at age four. When the city kid and her family visited Penning’s Farm in Warwick on an autumn day in 2014 for apple picking, Abby had little interest in picking fruit.
Instead, she spotted a beautiful pony, named “Spot.” She has had a soft spot for horses, and for all animals, ever since.
Last week, eight-year-old Abby won a blue ribbon, riding Carder, for Morgan Equitation at the Sussex County Fair. She has a special connection with Carder, whom she has been best buds with for three precious years.
“I love riding. It’s so exciting and fun,” says Abby, a bright blue eyed, blond-haired, almost fourth grader, whose equine love also extends to all animals.
Abby easily passes the hours in her favorite pastimes petting every single cat at the Warwick Valley Humane Society, where she regularly donates supplies, or reading to the therapy dogs at the Albert Wisner Public Library.
“She literally loves all animals, would try to fix a squirrel’s broken leg, and wants to adopt all the animals from the shelter,” smiles her mom, Shari Dietrich.
The Warwick resident will also be a Junior Girl Scout in the fall. Along with her troop, Abby has enjoyed singing Christmas carols at local nursing homes, participating in the Pinewood Derby, and delving into some serious science experiments.
A student at Sanfordville Elementary School, where she excels in art and will begin violin lessons in the fall, Abby also finds time twice a month to help Mom with their Meals on Wheels volunteerism. Her mom depends on her navigation master daughter to get food to the correct addresses and also to deliver the packages to families.
Abby cherishes the charitable efforts and also appreciates the jobs’ perks.
“It’s so nice to help people and sometimes they invite me in to pet their pets!” said Abby.
Naturally, this animal enthusiast has a pack of her own: Mary, a 120 pound, one year old Irish Wolfhound, and two rescue cats, Fritz and Anika.
When she grows up, Abby plans to be a veterinarian, so that she can “care for all the animals and give them lots of attention and love.”
Our young heroine is quite stern in her advice for all to take heed: “Be nice to every person and to every animal in the world!”
The Warwick Valley Dispatch would like to feature young people of Warwick who are doing meaningful things. Whether in school, athletics, in the community or at home, we know there are many moving stories that need to be told. These “hero” stories can be from the incredible to the mundane, from the kid who saved his dog from drowning to the teen who takes care of a sibling with special needs. We ask that if you know of any young individuals who would be appropriate for these human interest pieces, that you contact Sara Paul at email@example.com or 718-702-3091.