11.14.2011

Thank You!

It's hard for me to admit when I'm struggling. Sometimes, it's just tough for me to say the words, "I need help." And most of the time, I'll gladly deny my own needs... just to help someone else get what they need.

Yesterday, I finally mustered the courage to say, "I'm struggling, and I need help." I was drowning, and I asked for a lifeline. I asked if each of you could toss me something, anything, to help me stay afloat.

I put out my plea to a group of people --who, quite honestly-- owed me nothing. And out of sheer desperation, I begged for your help. 

That was really hard for me, because I rarely ask for the help I so desperately need. I'd just rather give to someone else instead. Ask anyone who knows me, and they'll tell you... that's just the way I am. And I'm sure it makes me eligible for all kinds of counseling.

So, through my tears, I wrote a post from my heart. I felt hopeless, helpless, and desperate. I also felt ashamed, to finally say the words: "I'm struggling to pay my bills." But more than anything, a big part of me felt like I'd failed my rescue dogs.

But regardless of how I felt, I needed help, and I asked for it. I shared my post, hoped for the best, and then got back to work.

And when I finally returned to the computer... I was absolutely speechless.

My facebook home page was filled with one thing: shares of my post. I saw so many pleas for help, all written on my behalf: "Please help Ashley. She needs us." Posted by friends, strangers, and fan pages, large and small.

I saw so many comments... amazing comments, heartwarming comments... about me and the work that I do. In these posts, I read the words "hero," "role model," and "inspirational." I saw requests for donations, fosters, and volunteers... for me. I saw support, encouragement, and most of all, hope.

Honestly, with or without donations, the response alone would've been enough for me. I'd never feel deserving of that level of kindness, but it was truly incredible... just to know that so many people cared. And while the simple act of sharing my post may have seemed small, even insignificant, to you... I want you to know that it meant everything to me.

But... that was only the beginning...

In my post, I asked the following question: Would you be willing to sponsor at least one of my rescue dogs for the week, so I don't have to choose between my bills and their needs?

Here was the answer I received, over and over again: "You shouldn't have to choose. I just donated so you don't have to."

The day began with tears of sadness, uncertainty, and despair. The rest of the day was filled with tears of joy, relief, and the sincerest form of gratitude. Today... I feel alive again.

And because of YOU... I reached my goal. I can pay my bills and keep my rescue babies safe for another month. I'm speechless. It's just the most incredible gift I've ever received.

I wish I could find the words to say just how much your generosity means to me. I wish I could truly express the gratitude in my heart for what you've done for me and my special dogs. I wish you could know exactly what you did for me yesterday.

In all my life, I've never felt so touched, or humbled, or grateful. Words just aren't enough... but here's my best attempt to explain how you made me feel:

I rescue dogs for a living. I save them; I give them hope. I choose to do without, so that they don't have to. When they need me, I'm always there.

Yesterday, I became a rescue dog. Yesterday, I knew exactly how my pups must feel. Because yesterday, I was rescued... by all of you.

I asked for help, and you helped me. You owed me nothing, but you gave to me anyway. From the bottom of my heart... thank you. You just can't know what you've done for me. You just can't know how much I needed you. You just can't know how much I appreciate you.

This Thanksgiving, when asked what I'm most thankful for, the answer will be easy. I'm thankful... for you. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*I'll still face this same problem at Christmas and New Year's. So if you didn't get a chance to donate yesterday, you can pay-it-forward for next month! It's still VERY needed and appreciated!

46 comments:

  1. we all love you and the work that you do. if you ever doubt that, just re-read all of these posts. you are an inspiring human being and you make us want to be better. how could we not help???
    lisa and maddi villa

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  2. You're most certainly welcome. We all love you and the incredible work you do.
    ~Kym S.

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  3. You do an AMAZING job with your rescues and you will always have support from your friends, fans, admirers, and many complete strangers. Don't ever give up hope!

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  4. I am the same way. Hate asking for help. I know i can't do it on my own but still don't ask. And i have learning disabilities so i know i am different and don't know how do do everything by myself. That could have something to do with me asking for help.But its better to ask for help then to drown.

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  5. No Ashley...THANK YOU for your amazing heart and ability to give, give, give...ALL THE TIME!

    Yes, you are an inspiration to us!

    Keep up the PAWSOME work you do for ALL the fur kids!!

    I will SHARE and DONATE again next month! <3!

    Les~, Barkley and Bogey~

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas... people are grateful to you, for you, for your presence on the planet... and they will give to you.. just ask.. GLAD you got to feel what it is like to be rescued...!!! AWESOME lesson isn't it???? Michele in Fairfield OH

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  7. Love you, Ashley! Keep doing what you are doing!

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  8. Ashley, you are most welcome for the donation and for my sharing your plea for help. I am elated that you received such an wonderful response. You are awesome!

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  9. You are an unbelievable group of human beings. Phenomenal sweethearts. Amazing work and I truly hope I can help out big time in some way. You define good karma

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  10. Ashley, you SO know this cause is too big for one person to face alone.......We ALL have our roles in rescue and Thank God for you, but also unfortunately for you, yours is in housing, loving, feeding and the day to day...........There are the rest of us, who although I have personally adopted 5 rescues and am currently fostering a hw+, are here to help YOU!!

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  11. I'm not yet able to donate, but I hope to send you something next month. What you do is so amazing! You deserve all the help you can get. You're such an inspirational person. THANK YOU for all that YOU do. I hope you're blessed with a wonderful holiday season. God bless! <3

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  12. I am so glad that I could be a small part in donating. And thank you to all who also helped in any way possible, Ashley deserves this more than anyone could know.
    ~Tressa

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  13. Two thumbs up two thumbs up two thumbs up. Ashley, you're an incredible human being. Keep the good karma flowing!

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  14. Ashely, you should make this an official annual event for your rescue: sponsor a Lucky Dog for the holidays. I know I would try to give each year!

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  15. Tears again! Y'all... seriously, THANK YOU! I wish you could know how much gratitude I feel in my heart for your incredible kindness. I just want to hug each & every one of you!!!! THANK YOU!!!!

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  16. Ashley, You are very welcome. Hope you make it through the holidays. Keep up the good work helping those poor animals.

    Happy Holidays

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  17. I, like many others, see the faces of these animals who are abused or "about to put put down" and wish I could take them all, I can't, but I can certainly spare some funds for someone such as yourself and your efforts to save those babies. It makes me feel included in the rescue operation. Please know that we are always out here if you need us.....please do not hesitate to ask!

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  18. You asked for Help and You got it...Now you can make it through November..Lets see what happens in Decemeber. By then- Maybe You will be able to get on your Feet and Not have to ask Again..Time will tell. But as you see--You have many that are there for you when you need them...Be Thankful-there are so many Who have Nothing and No-One...Stay True to your Heart & You will go Far...

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  19. Your welcome! When you get a moment please respond to my email with info so that I can get my donation matched through my employer! Happy Holidays! -Tasha

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  20. It's very easy to look at all of the supportive comments on my blog, and say, "Wow. She has so much help."

    In reality, it's just not true. Yesterday's online response was nothing short of incredible. But that's not the norm for me.

    I live in a small town in Mississippi, with very little help. Trust me... I feel the pain of every other person who doesn't have much help, financial or otherwise. There have been many weeks/months where I've busted my ass alone, without pay, and without a single helping hand.

    So, before you suggest that I not ask for help again... or that I have "too much" help, please come spend one day here in my shoes. You will quickly see just how little help I have... and just how much I struggle.

    To everyone else, THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

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  21. The three hardest things to say are I love you, I'm sorry, and help me. There are a lot of people out there like me, who can't rescue dogs, but they can help those who do -- they just don't know who to help. People will come through for you if you tell them what you're doing and say you need help doing it.

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  22. diane anderson lawsonNovember 15, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    ashley, you are always there for the pups, young and old when they are in need , and we certainly will be there for you, all of us, when you need us. what wlse are "friends" for ? please don't hesitate to ask for help when you need it ! we've ALL been there and will most definitely be there again. times are hard for all of us, but when all of us (friends) work together, well, we CAN and WILL move mountains ! thank you ashley, for every day that you wake up and keep on going ! you keep us going too ! :0)

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  23. ashley, u are welcome, wish i could have done more for all the great work u do for these dogs. I have 4 black lab mixes, i would had 20 if i could. it angers me when i see all these dogs being killed, they do not deserve this. all they want is a home and to be loved and that is what they should have. Thank you for all the great work u do and keep up the good work.

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  24. Ashley, You are welcome! You are so appreciated and are doing God's work. You are not alone. May God bless you and continue to bless your work. You are a hero to so many. You are hope to many hopeless furbabies! Don't ever loose hope. God is watching over you. Ask and you shall recieve! Happy Thanksgiving! Alyson R.

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  25. You're not asking for help for yourself, you're asking for help for others, for the dogs who have been treated so cruelly.
    You reach out to them and it's only right that people should reach out to you.
    Thank you for all you do. Please know that it's appreciated.

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  26. Hi Ashley, you are more than welcome.

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  27. I am so happy to hear that you met your goal. The work you do, the 4 legged babies you save, touches my heart and soul. Being able to help, in even the smallest manner, is what your 'fans', friends, and strangers are here for!

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  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. Ashley, you are an angel here on earth! You help God's sweet creatures that others have treated so cruely. Unconditional love, that's where it's at...that's all God's wonderful creatures give us, and you save them. I can't give Whole lt, but I'll give you everything I can. Don't ever feel bad about asking for help with what you do. God Bless You! If you ever need help again, don't hesitate to ask. We all love you!

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  30. Ashley, you are a tremedeous help on the poor guys without a voice and alot of see what you do as an act kindness that you dont have to do, but yet do it because you care and you have this tremendeous giving spirit. I saw a woman today when I picked up my puppy from the vets crying because she had to put her terminally ill cat to sleep, and my puppy went up to her and licked her hand, he knew the pain she was feeling. She talked to him and then we talked for a bit and expressed my grief for her loss, as i have had to make the same choice before and its really difficult to make. At that moment I realized on how the little puppy went to offer comfort in her moment of grief, and how they care so much while alot of the human population mistreats them, and abuses them.. then I also remembered Pet Pardons, and you and Chris on why you do what you do and why people like the ones on this post also do what they do.. we are here to help each other, and no matter what just like the puppy owed her nothing, he comforted her and just like you said we owe you nothing, is the nature of people and animals alike to offer help and comfort when needed for just the reason of wanting to. I may not be rich, and I may not be able to afford much like most people here, but whatever we can we will pitch in. God bless you, as I know he will for all the work you do and you are a hero to this little guys, and an inspiration to us.

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  31. There are those who talk and then there are those who "do"...Thank God for those that "do"! Thank you Ashley and all those who support your efforts!

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  32. Thank you Ashley for all you do! I'm very happy to donate especially when I know the money is going for a great cause!!!

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  33. Glad we could help! You do so much for those who can't help themselves. Thanks for all your hard work!

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  34. Check is in the mail......Really....Doc

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  35. I just wish I had your courage, stimina and strength! Helping you out, even as little as I can, helps me to realize a bit of my own dream! Best wishes to you always!

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  36. On behalf of my 3 rescue dogs I donated the $120. You are amazing. Keep it up.

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  37. Thank you - you deserve it!

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  38. Ashley, believe me it's a privelage to help you. I love pit bulls so much and you are the guardian angel that looks after them and protects them from the evil waiting to ambush them in this world. As far as I'm concerned God sent you here to protect these wonderful dogs. I know the struggle is difficult, especially during certain times of the year, but you have an incredible following of people who love and care very strongly about what you do. You and the dogs are not going to be let down.

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  39. Ashley.. how could we NOT support you and help in any way possible?? You have taken your life in a direction that SO many of us dream of doing, but don't in fear of falling short, failing, being overwhelmed, and just feeling like it can't be done. You are living proof that although it's anything but easy, we CAN change the lives of these precious creatures that God has blessed our lives with! If there were even 10 more people in this country with a heart as big as yours, we could make so much progress. We love you & will continue to offer any support we can!

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  40. So happy for you, Ashley. Hope the Google ads are helping you get revenue. I just created a different campaign to advertise your boarding service now that you have enough room for all of your dogs.

    God Bless and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

    JR

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  41. you're very welcome, Ashley. God Bless You! Kimberly W. Sherburn, MN

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  42. You are an angel Ashley. You have done countless good deeds and acts of kindness for those that are less fortunate, the rescues. You deserve much happiness and fortune. I can relate to your situation and I send prayers your way that you will overcome the financial distress. Thank you for doing what so many of us can't, rescue. *Hugs*

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  43. You should NOT be thanking us, but we should be thanking you! you give us hope that the future will be brighter for us and the dogs! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

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  44. You are welcome!!!
    you should ask for what solutions centers supply and look for out if people there love pets literally or they just do their job due to costs that you will pay for them.

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