9.01.2011

Imagine


What if you lived your entire life... without ever being special? What if you lived for years, with just one wish -- to be loved -- and it never came true? What if you waited... every single day... for a lifetime... just to matter, to someone, anyone... and you never got that chance?

Imagine how you'd feel... if you were simply waiting to die in an animal shelter... before you ever even lived... 

This is the story of each of the dogs I save. This is their reality... their truth: Abuse. Neglect. Cruelty. Torture. Hatred.

Welcome to the only world they've ever known. 

Imagine what it's like to slowly starve to death... to have no one care about your suffering. Imagine your life on a 3-foot chain, never free to roam... never able to escape the abuse. Imagine the fear of knowing... that you'll be beaten each and every day... just because you exist.

Imagine your life as "live bait." Imagine the unbelievable pain and fear... as dogs rip into your flesh... while your mouth is bound shut. Imagine the knowledge that this will happen to you, over-and-over again, for as long as you can survive it. Imagine how your heart would break... to have your life matter so little... to have your death be the goal

Imagine your life in a tiny animal shelter cage. Imagine the confusion, sadness, and shame you'd feel... knowing that you've been dumped there to die. Imagine that you see a glimmer of hope... a chance for love... as families come through to adopt a dog. Imagine how that hope would crumble... as the other dogs leave without you... on their way to your dream

Imagine that no one ever comes to that animal shelter to save you... and today is your last day to live.  

These are my rescue dogs. These are their stories. This is what they've endured. This is all they'd known...


Until I saved them. 

That's when their stories changed... forever... 

Imagine what it's like to be loved for the very first time in your life. Imagine smiling, for the very first time... running and playing... being free... for the very first time. Imagine hope, comfort, and compassion, for the very first time. Imagine the relief... as every trace of pain in your heart is wiped away... and finally, you're whole. Finally, you're alive.

And imagine that all of this came... from someone who owed you nothing... but gave you everything.

Imagine a life, where you've never mattered... and suddenly, you do

What if you could change their stories? Well... you can. I'm not the only one who can save them. YOU can save them, too. YOU can adopt a dog. YOU can foster a dog. YOU can volunteer. YOU can donate. YOU can change an animal's life.
Please... give the gift of life to a dog... who's never really lived.

Give hope to the hopeless.
Give love to the unloved.
They're waiting for you... and they don't have much time...
Adopt. Foster. Volunteer. Donate. Save.

29 comments:

  1. Great post, Ashley : ) That's why ALL of my dogs are death row doggies.

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  2. Ashley, I am an English teacher- have been for 25 years. YOU are a gifted writer- you have the ability to bring tears and feeling to your readers. A gift, indeed! BUT you have,oh, so much more! You have a passion, a desire, for what you do!You are to be envied; so many people live to make money- and do- but you live to make a difference- and you do! The important thing is that you save lives; they do not even make a mark in the sands of time...You are one in a million. Thank you for all you do!

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    1. I wish there was a like button on this. I stumbled on Ashley's blog somehow on facebook last summer and in September, found myself heavily involved in rescue. I had always wanted to do it, but reading her stories stirred something inside of me to take action. Yes, shes a gifted writer, but more than that, a gift to this world...Barb Janousek

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  3. Proud of you Ashley. I understand your fight for it is mine everyday as well. Let`s give each other courage to carry on, because our four legged friends are so worth it! Katia Jp

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  4. I love all your sweet, sweet doggies. Please tell them they are getting big hugs sent to them from Boston.

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  5. Beautifully said. I was in tears. My husband and I someday are planning on buying an acreage and savings dogs. It is our goal. I would give anything to do what you do. I would be doing in now but live in town and am already over my limit for the amount of animals I can have.

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  6. I agree with the English teacher. You have a way of making us feel what you are feeling. Great Post!

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  7. God blesses You!

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  8. This was beautifully written and actually brought tears to my eyes... You are very inspiring in what you do.. I wish I had the financial and space abilities to do what you do.. I already have 4 babies that all but 1 were obtained from shelters or being dumped..

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  9. No words .....just <3

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  10. I am speechless! I am also hurting because right now I can't have a dog and I have had a dog since I was 19 and I am 50 now. Not only are these precious puppies not getting loved...they aren't able to give love! I have been to the Humane Society here where I live and I don't know HOW I could even pick 1.. I hurt for all of them.. Ashley.. God bless you and when I am ready..I will not forget about Pet Pardons! Ashley..you are awesome! Thank you for being there for them!!

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  11. I'm going to agree with just about everything everyone said. You're a wonderful writer and an awesome person. It breaks my heart that I can't do more physically and financially - but I spend a lot of time every day advocating and sharing with Pet Pardons. I'm so happy when I see one was rescued or adopted, but I feel heartsick at all those lovely animals I never hear about. God bless you and keep up the good work - thank God there are people like you on this earth.

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  12. WOW, that's how I feel about you and your work. The most insperationaly person I view since Princess Diana. Ashly you are right up there in my book.
    Deb from Tampa FL

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  13. Thank you Ashley for all you do for the dogs.
    You are a beautiful and special person. I cried reading about the dogs used as bait. May those people get whats coming to them one day.
    Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.....xxx

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  14. It's a sad reality for many animals.

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  15. Dear Ashley - I continue to marvel every day at what good you do for the animals and I know that without you they would most likely perish. You are saving what you can and I can see that you are relentless and work hard to do so. I do believe that God and the angels put you here just for them. Every blessing for your good work in saving these innocent souls.

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  16. Ashley-you need to compose a book with all your blogs. You touch the lives of so many, and you could touch the lives of so many more. You are a true inspiration to me, and one day I too will have a rescue. Thank you for all the love you give to the dogs out there u are their hero!

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  17. That is wonderful. I am so thankful that you care about these wondful, neglected babies and give them a real life for the first time... you are my hero, Ashley!

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  18. Thumbs up. Your doin some great things Ash.

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  19. I really like what the English teacher had to say to you Ashley, He/She is so right/write about you. Also the person who said you should turn your blogs into a book. I bet many people would be interested in buying it. And there you go...more income to help more dogs. I'm going to help some now...

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  21. You touch my heart every time you write. All of my dogs/cats have been rescues and forever will be. I try to foster when I can and if I had more time & more money (and more than just me in the house) I'd take in more and more! Everyone should know the love of a rescued dog, it is so strong & intense and you see the gratefulness in all that they do. They are living beings and should be treated as such, not as garbage! Please don't breed or buy while shelter pets die!!

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  22. You are truly inspirational Ashley. We only wish that everyone in the world felt like you. Thank you on behalf of all our fellow doggies that you have helped.

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  23. Both of my dogs were given to me by people who wer crying and desperate to find homes for the dogs. One lost his house and job and would have had to bring his dog to the pound after the dog had been with him for 8 years I couldn't leet that happen. The other was given to me by another friend who saved my Lady after she witnessed her being pushed out of a car at a stop sign. My friend couldn't keep Lady and if I didn't take her in she would have been brought to the Humane Society where she would have been PTS very quickly just because she is a Pit Bull. I am on disability and my husband lost his job due to downsizing. We struggle financially, but we don't regret for a second that we took these dogs in. I wish I had the money and space to do what you do Ashley!! You are a remarkable woman and an inspiration!!

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  24. Proud Shelter-dog Mom!September 5, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Great post! I just adopted a shelter dog about a week ago. He was abused and wouldn't go into garages or up/down steps when I got him. The first day I scratched under his chin and he looked at me like he didn't know what I was doing--now he runs to me for chin scratches! Very proud that I got to change his name from "stray" to Finnegan. We've come a very long way in just over a week, garages and steps and no big deal for him. So very happy to have little Finnegan in my life!

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  25. i am only eleven but i am in love with all dogs, when i get older i hope i can be the amazing person that you are today!

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  26. Ashley you are inspiring but most of all you're kind; kindness is an underated and undervalued commodity in today's society, it's one of the reasons I love my husband so much, he too, is kind. It's a fast paced world full of disposable things; cell phones, appliances, clothes, people, relationship and sadly, animals. As much as we would hope and desperately want to believe, we cannot save them all; sometimes their little souls and bodies are just too damaged and the kindest thing is to let them go. We have always had dogs and always will, not all have been rescues but our current three are; they were all adopted as adults and all have issues. One cannot understand why she is allowed in the house and not left to dig holes in the yard 24/7; one is still slightly nervous as he was pulled in the afternoon of teh day he was supposed to die; the other has food and water issues from being crated for extended periods and had double pneumonia when we got him. I wish I could do what you do; I wish I had the strength to comfort the dying but I'm not that strong. Some of the stories I cannot read, some give me nightmares, some just haunt me but I am eternally grateful for people liek you who can comfort the dying, heal the hopeless and helpless and let people like me hope that there is a light at the end of this long dark tunnel that is rescued pets, a light that lets me hope one day there will be empty cages because we won't need rescues anymore. I don't know if that will ever happen but a small flame of eternal hope flickers inside me and people like you keep that hope alive, so thankyou for all you do.

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