5.10.2011

I Rescue Dogs


I rescue dogs. I fight for them. I dedicate my life to them.


I rarely put myself first. I never put them last. I always try to do right by them.

I am optimistic, but also realistic. I'm a positive person, who's been beaten down by the negativity of the world. I'm happy most days, but with a constant underlying sadness.

I've opened my heart to more dogs than I can count. I bring them into my home. I return the life that was taken from them.

I've accepted the craziness of my world. I take the insanity in stride. I've given up any hope of having a normal life or a clean house.

I live each day, for the dogs. I wake up, prepared to save more. I go to sleep, thinking of those I couldn’t reach.

I hate my phone… it never stops ringing. I answer and listen to the horrible accounts of animal abuse. I shudder, as I write the unspeakable details on a scrap of paper.

I follow-up on these cruelty reports. I arrive at the location. I wince... because it’s worse than I expected.

I look into the eyes of the neglected. I feel their pain in my own heart. I hear their silent cries.

I apologize for the awful things that have happened to them. I say “I’m sorry,” for things I didn’t do. I say, “I love you,” because no one else ever has.

I try to talk sense into senseless people. I try to educate the ignorant. I fail at these attempts on a daily basis.

I can’t save them all. I can’t even save most. I live each day knowing that --no matter how hard I try-- it will never be enough.

I know that... even when I succeed... I fail. I know that for every one I save, there’s another that I lose. I know that no matter how many I help, my work is never done.

Even still, I save all that I can. I love more than I thought possible. I smile… because they smile.


I take-on their pain, so that they may have happiness. I allow my heart to hurt, so their’s can heal. I become the one who is wounded, so they may be restored.

I know the cruelty that exists. I’ve seen the faces of abuse. I witness the senselessness of the world… knowing that change is always just beyond my grasp…

I ask for help… it rarely comes. I pray for hope… it rarely appears. I beg for mercy… it rarely arrives.


I sometimes lose faith in humanity. I often cry. Some days, I crawl into bed and pull the covers over my eyes.

Sometimes, I sob. I hurt so much… but I cry because they hurt more than I ever could. The helplessness drives me to say, “I can’t…”

Then, a foster dog’s kiss says, “You can…”
So, I get out of bed. I brush off the despair. I vow to make a difference.

I do make a difference.

I never give up. I fight for change each day. I pray for relief from the pain… not for me, but for them.

I rescue dogs. In turn, dogs rescue me. Everything in between... is so worth it.

60 comments:

  1. You are the best person i know.

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  2. Thanks y'all :) I really wrote this for all the amazing rescuers out there!

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  3. Wow, finally, my exact thoughts and feelings put into the words I could NEVER find. May God bless you and help us both to find a way to make a difference and help end the abuse and neglect. I find very few people in this world that share the thoughts and feelings about animals that constantly run through my mind.
    Amazingly refreshing and inspiring

    T. Johnson/facebook.com/oldsman

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  4. Thank you for writing this! It gets so hard sometimes. It's hard all the time but someday's are especially brutal yet somehow we have to find the strength to keep going...for them

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  5. I could not have put the words together as you have, but I know...

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  6. I love how you put so many feelings & experiences into words. I have been rescuing animals since I was a child. Most recently, I rescued over 20 Pit Bull puppies, and the parents. I knew there was not going to be any shelter that would take them. It cost me THOUSANDS to feed & care for them. But I am happy to say they have all been re-homed. But there were days I was close to not being able to put food on the table. And then I look into their eyes, and it's all worth it.

    Keep up your wonderful work!

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  7. Thank You for writing this. Out of all days you post this...today I was feeling like I cant do this anymore..that I cant continue down this long road with no end in sight.
    Thank You for this post...it is what I needed and I will continue to fight like you do every day. I have a heavy heart every day for what I see and hear about.
    Today one of my fosters had his leg amputated after an accident he had and he was not healing the way we had wanted. Today he has a new start because of rescue.
    I will look back at this post to remind me of why I do what I do.
    You are an amazing person Ashley and I cant thank you enough for all you do and especially thank you for this post!....I needed it!

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  8. You are awesome!I cried my eyes out while reading this .I wish I could make even a tiny bit of the difference you make for these wonderful loving creatures! God bless you!

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  9. Hang in there, Ashley. You are an angel, and you ARE making a difference!!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! :). Cindy

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  10. Ashley--you make me laugh and you make me cry. You are the reason that Thunder--The Lab/Mix from Dallas NC was not pts. You guided me right to him or maybe him to me--the haunting look in his eyes, the fear and the confusion told me that he needed me and I needed him. Thru Pet Pardons, I went thru twists and turns to finally reach my desired destination---to have Thunder pardoned and to bring him home to VA. When I asked my son if he would drive 3 and 1/2 hours to go get Thunder--he asked how bad I wanted him---my words to him were---I want him home, I do not want him put down---his face is calling to me---I was dreaming about him at nite.Thunder took a 6 hour ride that day to Lexington NC--he was afraid--my son spoiled him while he could--next there was a 2 and 1/2 hour ride to Raleigh and a 2 and a half hour ride to his new home.
    It is very obvious, by his actions that Thunder was mistreated, but we are working thru that one day at a time. He makes my againg Lab/Mix smile again (her buddy passed away last fall), he makes us laugh at his antics--when he is good and bad:) Thunder now--for the most part---has a happy face and happy, puppy-wiggly body. You would crack up watching him try to figure out how to eat puppy treats like Bacon Strips:)
    I know that your work is hard, long and endless. I know that you stay awake at nite wondering about things that make no sense to you. But, sleep well tonite, Little One, knowing that you had a hand in saving Thunder from an early grave and that you have given my family a precious gift. Thank you. Julia

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  11. Where is the "like" button? Or rather... the "love" button?? I appreciate what you do, Ashley, and can relate. Maybe not to the extent that you face on a daily basis, but I live in a small town full of uneducated people who just see dogs as disposable. It's such a shame and just kills me sometimes!! I try to do my best for being "me", one person, but it seems I can never do enough. I volunteer for rescue groups, but still seems like it's never enough. Thank you, Ashley, for putting into words just how I feel some days.

    Angela Avery
    Ludowici, GA

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  12. What a wonderful post and I'm right along beside you in spirit!!!

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  13. Reposting this amazing blog! You are an inspiration to those who care as much as you do!

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  14. Ashley I love reading your thoughts on rescue, although I only found you recently. Keep giving, caring, and sharing.

    Tracy

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  15. You are amazing! I too cry for all the abused and neglected ones that will never know love or a kind hand. We do what we can and while we can't save them all, we are making an impact.

    Deorah

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  16. GOD BLESS YOU for your work, Ashley! BTW, can you tell me why SO MANY pitt bulls are abandoned etc in need of rescuing? I am alarmed at the epidemic of pitt bulls needing rescuing!

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  17. Bless you for everything you do. I am a foster parent for rescue dog. And it simultaneously tears my heart out and gives me joy to think about her .leaving for a "forever home". I have to remind myself that if she gets placed, then I can help another dog. http://rescuemabel.blogspot.com

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  18. thank you for putting into words what so many of us in rescue go through. you do amazing work, ashley! god bless you!

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  19. We love you and your blog! Thanks for being a foster, without Havi's awesome foster parent's dedication to her - she wouldnt be with us!

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  20. EXACTLY..what everyone here thinks,feels,and wonders..you do an outstanding job for the babies.they are so lucky & grateful for you.And i am so lucky to read everyday the fight you fight for them..you are loved and might not know it..thank you again.

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  21. Ashley, this was so very well written. As the founder of Legacy Boxer Rescue in Texas, I read my life in your words, and I just wanted to say thank you.

    May I share your wonderful words with our Facebook fans and volunteers? I'll be sure to give credit to you and your rescue. :)

    Keep up the great work, there's many of us out her fighting right beside you.

    Sharon Sleighter

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  22. Ashley God Bless You, you have a Heart of gold, I really admire you.You are an angel in this world full of cruelty

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  23. Thank you for saying what many of us want to, you did it superbly. You make me feel as if there is hope. The numbers are staggering. The abuse humans deal out to the poor babies who can not defend themselves is horrific at times. You are a true Saint, exceptional role model. Maude Hasard

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  24. Yet again your words hit a place deep inside my soul and I cry. You are a one of a kind person and I can only hope to be half the rescuer you are. I admire your strength, your kindness, and all you do for these animals. You are a wonderful person.

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  25. @Hammer, Absolutely! Please do share! That goes for all of you :)
    And I'm so touched by your comments. Thank you for all that you do. You're each so amazing!

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  26. Ashley you are such a wonderful person. Thank you for saving so many animals and dedicating all your time. You truly are an Angel. May God Bless you and keep you always.

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  27. Always beileve you can Ashley! You are the most amazing person I have ever met! You are my special friend. <3
    <3 Arianna

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  28. wow Ashley... you are a hero in my eyes. This is so heartfelt..so touching..so true.
    Thank you for all that you do.

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  29. I have said it before...and I will say it again, YOU ARE AMAZING. May God Bless you always.

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  30. Mark C KraushaarMay 11, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    you are an amazing woman and I am so glad that there is someone like you out there! I want to help and do all I can, but I never feel that it is enough! I have many dogs in my home and cant have anymore so I just fight for them,try to find them homes and hope! Sometime it works, sometimes not but thank you for reminding me that there are others out there! Be blessed and know that animals everywhere have heard about you! Word travels fast(even in the animal world) god bless you!

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  31. This made me cry...because I feel the way that you do so often. That no matter what we do, as advocates, educators and rescuers...it will never be enough. But each time I hear of a life saved just by spreading the word, or even looking at my own dog aggressive nut ball who I saved...It reminds me that I can make a SMALL difference somehow.

    Keep doing what you do, you are a gift to those who can't speak for themselves <3

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  32. I cried as I read this. Happy to know that others feel exactly as I do - hopefully our numbers will grow and animal abuse, abandonment, etc. will grow less and less. If I don't keep that attitude, it all seems so hopeless. So everyone out there who feels like I do, keep feeling and doing what you can for animals - that is what we can do. Don't give up hope.

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  33. Thanks for permission to post this to LBR's facebook page. I did so this morning and a it seems you have already inspired a couple of our fans to help in their communities. Thank you, you wrote what many of us feel daily, and it was wonderfully written. If you want to see the comments, you can go to our page and like it to see the post. www.facebook.com/legacyboxerrescue. Thanks again for putting to words what so many of us feel.

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  34. Amazing work you do Ashley, each and every day <3

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  35. You are so inspirational. I cry almost every time I read what you have written in your blog. I wish everyone in the world was like you. I feel exactly the same way you do, but you are doing something about it. You are an Angel. Thank God for you.

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  36. That was beautiful and spoken with truth. Hang in there and don't despair. You are doing much more than you know for the animals.

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  37. Fans of Lucky Dog Rescue: If it's not been done already, I'd like to suggest you vote Ashley as a CNN Hero. CNN Heroes has been going for a few years now and it's time we recognized wonderful people like Ashley who make a difference in animals lives, and in turn a difference in the world. Please someone who knows Ashley well, suggest her as a Hero to CNN--so many of us will vote if you do!!!! :)

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  38. This is a brilliant post. Thank you for sharing.

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  39. I feel like you just wrote down everything that I feel ...when its cold and rains outside , i think of the animals that have no shelter - when its hot I think of the animals that look around with no site of any water - when I'm loving on my animals, I think of the others that are being beaten and have never felt love.

    Its so hard not to let it get the better of you..I too cry , I apologize for the inhumane acts of human beings and I go to sleep talking to my Lucy in heaven telling her that there will be a few more souls heading her way tonight and ask that she take care of them and show them the way...

    Ashley you are hero to us all - you are the voice of those that have none ...thank you for all that you do.

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  40. stephanie simpsonMay 17, 2011 at 11:57 PM

    One does not meet oneself until one catches the reflection from an eye other than human.You should know yourself well, especially in the reflection of Pepsi's eyes.She is special!

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  41. i cried a little -sniff sniff-

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  42. Very well written... God bless all of those who fight to save the precious lives of our furfriends. You have given a voice to those who can not speak in words...for themselves.

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  43. Brenda J - Terre HauteJune 14, 2011 at 10:49 AM

    Ashley, you touch so many hearts & lives with your words & deeds both human & the furbaby types. You speak so honestly & lovingly. We love you for all that you do accomplish, for all the lives you do save, for all lives you do change, for all the lives you do touch & make better even if it's only for a little while. Everyone, human & furbaby alike are lucky to meet you & be touched by your wonderful, loving spirit!! God Bless You & I will keep praying for you that he keeps giving you the courage to keep going forward & NEGU (Never Ever Give Up) as Jesse says. You have found a wonderful nitch in this world helping animals that can't help themselves & they love you for it as do we all!!

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  44. you are a beautiful person.

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  45. I wish I could be half as strong as you are I can not put into words how amazed I am to hear that there are still good decent people out there thank you

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  46. You are making a difference. If only there were more of you. Keep up the awesome work. I pray God to bless you and anoint you as you rescue his creation and blessings to us. Thank you.

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  47. You've made me cry...I wish I was like you...I feel your feelings but I've saved a handful and restored no one...love you Ash, you're amazing

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  48. Please know that everytime you go out to rescue a dog, God is with you. I think you make God smile everytime you rescue one of His creatures.
    May God give you the strength and endurance, both mentally and physically, to continue with His work.
    You are truly amazing.

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  49. I am so Honestly Greatful for all of the love, Attention, and Life you put into your Dogs. I Am A Lover of all animals all over the world. My Heart Aches for all of the Brutaiity they go through. I answer every Page I see to help Stop Cruelity to Animals in such Horrific things They go Through. It's just not right at all. they are loving ,breathing Creatures just like we are and can't speak or Protect themselves like we can .So we all need to stand up and Speak for them and see that they have the beautiful lives they all so desperately deserve, I am 100% Dedicated to Paul Watson in all he does, the Humane Society. Every post I see like there's or yours I have to voice my oppinion on how animals are being Treated and Prayerfully Be Voice to Be heard and Sign Petitions to help all help all animals all over the world. Gods Blessings to you for Being such A Beautiful Caring woman after my own heart, and Most of all Gods Prayers and Blessings go out to all of the work you do, and most importantant, Gods Prayers and Blessings go out to all the dogs, and all of the animals around the orld that need your and Prayerfully my help N.C.







    i

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  50. I feel not so alone in the world now that I have found Pet Pardons and you Ashley. I used to think that I was flawed because of the despair I felt about the countless animals that go unloved in this world and you have taught me that this feeling while overwhelming at times is a gift not a burden. Thank you Ashley for being an inspiration to us all. Also I want you to know that the newest addition to my family, which now consists of three dogs and two cats, Ace is happy, healthy and in a loving home instead of the Stark County Pound because of Pet Pardons. So this thank you comes from Ace too because without you his precious little life would of probably ended weeks ago. You make a difference every day even when you're havin a bad one!

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  51. I feel the same way day, night, always. It seems every day I hear or see abuse, neglect and I feel helpless, I do what I can... and I cry....I'm always so glad and touched that there are actually other people who feel the same as I do. I'm usually looked at like I'm crazy that I care so much for the welfare of animals and the horrid abuse out there. Thanks to ALL of YOU!!! my love and support!!! May GOD be with you and the animals we fight for. Shan

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  52. I enjoy your posts so much. I feel your love, your passion and your pain in your writings. Your dedication to this cause that makes me ashamed to be a part of the human race, is beyond words. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your tireless efforts and beautiful love for these precious souls. Bless you Ashley.

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  53. Well said, and your words touch the heart of many. I love what you do and wish that I could be as dedicated to saving animals as you are. Not just dogs but all animals I am an animal lover. I wish I had more time and financial resources to contribute to such a worthy cause. I truly feel allot of resentment toward people who mistreat animals. For what its worth Ashley I appreciate every effort you make for the dogs that you rescue. I hope that every thing that could possibly make your life wonderful and fulfilling comes your way. Someone who gives so much of herself deserves it.

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  54. Always remember what a difference you are making for those you are able to get to. There was a saying on a soup lid (of all places) that I remember when I feel overwhelmed and like it doesn't matter how much I do. It goes something like this...
    There was a boy walking along the beach, hundreds of seahorses washed up and the boy frantically began throwing them back in, one by one. A man came by and say "Boy, that's not going to make a difference." to which he replied "To that seahorse it will". I have been searching for the original quote as this isn't quite right, but the lesson is the same.

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  55. For every evil things that happens in this world, God sends an Angel to fight it, you are that Angel! I don't think I can ever do half the things you're doing but I'm doing what I can to help right now. God bless you!

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  57. your terms hit a position within my spirit and I cry. You are a one of a type individual and I can only want to be 50 percent the rescuer you are. I appreciate your durability, your goodness, and all you do for these creatures. You are a amazing individual.

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