Why Dogs?

Why dogs?

If I had a dollar for every time someone's asked me: "Hey Ash... why dogs? Why did you decide to rescue dogs?" ... well... I'd be rich as hell.

Actually, no... I take that back. I'd still be broke, because I'd just spend all those extra dollars to rescue that many more dogs.

Regardless, it's a good question. A valid question. A question worth answering. Why dogs?

The answer to that question seems so obvious to me. It's pretty simple... but also complex. Basically-- I'm trying to answer the question: "Why are you... you?" 

Why dogs?

For me, it all started sometime around... well... birth. All my life, I've had this insane love for animals... especially dogs. But more than that... for as long as I can remember, I've been absolutely fascinated by them.

This fascination runs much deeper than a simple: "Aww, look at the doggy!" I'm drawn to dogs... and dogs to me... in this weird, almost magnetic-type way. In a way that sparked my curiousity as a child... that grabbed my attention, and my heart... and never let go

That fascination has undoubtedly shaped much of the person I've become...& much of my life. Because... even as a child, I knew that I'd been given a very specific purpose in life. From my very first encounter with the creature we know as "dog," I just knew.

How did I know? Well, it's hard to explain in words, but here's my best attempt:
As a kid, I was able to connect with dogs in this unexplainable way... to understand them, to comfort them, to feel their pain. It's not that I felt sorry for them... I actually felt their pain... with this insane level of emotion and empathy that --quite honestly-- should've been totally foreign to a super-happy, extremely-outgoing, very-social child like me.

Even still, I felt it... and I couldn't turn away from it, nor did I want to. Instead, I became driven by this intense, unwavering desire to heal their pain... no matter how much pain I felt as a result.

As a little girl, I realized that saving them... somehow saved me too. Each time I helped one... each time I saved one... I could feel these words so strongly in my heart: This is why I'm here.

Looking back on my life, I've sometimes wondered if my willingness to take-on the pain of others, beginning at such a young age, may have changed me --damaged me-- in some way. Maybe so... but really, those "changes" were always meant to happen for me. It all goes back to purpose, and I truly believe that every person on this Earth has a purpose. This one's mine.

Okay... so maybe this sounds a little silly to you: "Oh really? Your purpose is dogs??" And maybe you're still asking the question... Why dogs?

I guess now would be a good time to get a little more specific about this whole "dog purpose" of mine. Sure, I love all dogs, and of course, I feel connected to each and every one of them. However, my deepest connection... is with a very specific group of canines. I call them... the forgotten dogs.

My Rudy
These are the dogs who have suffered through each and every day of their existence. The dogs who only know fear, neglect, and torment... pain, heartbreak, and despair. The dogs who spend years crying out for help... with no response. The dogs who wait, every minute of their lives... for the love that never arrives... the relief that never shows... the hope that never comes.

The dogs who would live and die... without any purpose at all... if no one ever made it their purpose to save them.

And that's why I'm here.

It's my belief that every single person on this Earth has a distinct, unique, and significant purpose in this life. Otherwise, why are you here? Some people are here to save people... and others --like me-- are here for the animals. Which is good... because we all have needs, and we all need help. People have needs. Dogs do too. 

Quick note: many "non-animal" people feel very offended when someone compares dogs to humans. However, I'm actually not trying to compare the 2 at all. Obviously, dogs are not people. Dogs are dogs. They are amazing, unique, companion creatures, with extraordinary capacities for love, compassion, loyalty, and forgiveness. These traits are inherently canine... and cannot be fully grasped --or replicated-- by humans. The beauty of a dog... is that they are a dog. We humans could only wish to compare to that. 

Rudy & I
Further, unlike humans, dogs don't have the ability to meet their own needs. They have no thumbs, no cash, and no voice. Therefore, a dog's existence is entirely-dependent upon our willingness to meet those needs for them. Their health, their happiness, and their futures hinge upon the hope that someone, somewhere will help them. Maybe someone will care enough to do something. But even if you don't care... guess what? They still love you anyway. That's some powerful stuff right there. That's the kind of love... that deserves saving.

So... your question is: Why dogs?

In short, here's my answer: Why not dogs?

"When you ask me why I care so much, I wonder why you do not. When you ask me how I do so much, I wonder how you do not. When you ask me what I'm trying to prove, I wonder what you are not. You ask because you wonder. I wonder because you ask." ~me

*Thinking about my Rudy today. This one's for you, buddy.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW TO READ MY FOLLOW-UP TO THIS POST: Is It Worth It?http://luckydogrescueblog.blogspot.com/2012/03/is-it-worth-it.html


  1. Love this, I could not agree more!! Thank you for putting into words how I too feel!!!

  2. I completely feel the same way... I deeply wish you all the best and can only try to do give as much as you have. You are literally a guardian angel. Every time I see a dog in pain and spending life in agony and hurt, I break deep inside. How could we humans who are given the free will to do what's right and wrong continue to do wrong towards these creatures who show nothing but complete loyalty and reciprocating love... God bless you. We can all only hope to be more like you.

  3. Thank you for your compassion, hard work, tenacity and love of dogs!
    Keep up the wonderful work up! And what a purpose you have indeed!!
    You are amazing and may your rescue thrive in more ways you ever dreamed!


  4. Ive never "met" anyone who put how I feel so perfectly! I feel for every dog I see who has been hurt or neglected or abused or unloved and I cry myself to sleep more nights than I can count. My friends and family think Im nuts to get so upset over dogs Ive never met but my heart and soul ache for every dog in Pet Pardons that I know will never see another day.I have rescue dogs and my entire Facebook page is spent on advocated for the ones who have never had a chance in life. Its not enough because too many are destroyed every day and abuse seems rampant. So when I see you feel the same way I have some hope. I have very little money but my heart and soul are with these animals to help in whatever way I can. Im so glad to have found your website...God Bless anyone who understands how deep the need is for so many dogs all over this country

  5. i would love to help you Ashley but i basicly due the same thing you due but on a smaller scale,whenever someone decides to toss a Dog out they seem to end up here on my Farm,i in turn try to find the Owner first for about 10 days after that they go up for adoption,i due this on my own.because like your Story mine is almost the Same my Mission in Live is to save and help the Animals they dont have a Voice but so much Love to give.i also have a very great Veterinary that helps out a lot.i am very proud of what you due Ashley and just wanted to tell you that

  6. That is so Beautiful! God bless you and all the work you do. I feel exactly the way you do. YOu are AWESOMe!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. i totally get it. i know people that get so mad when i talk about my love of dogs. they always say thing like "there are children out there suffering, and you care about dogs" OK a- i don't want children to suffer, i don't think one cancels out the other. If i give to the AHA, it doesn't mean i want cancer patients to die. and B- i don't look down on dogs like that, as if they have less worth than any other being on this earth.

    I don't quite do what you do Ashley, though i totally appreciate it. You have definitely inspired me. I started volunteering as a dog walker at my local animal shelter. Those guys and girls are so happy just to be taken for a walk and some cuddle time. They need it, they want it and i am happy to help give it to them. I know it's not the same as what you do, but it's definitely a start. And I am proud to do it.

    I just wanted you to know that you are the reason i chose to go for it. I wanted to help animals, but i didn't know where to start...and so, i have begun.
    Thanks Ashley,

  8. @Claudia,

    Your comment brought tears to my eyes! I'm beyond touched... and so proud of you!!! You're doing something truly amazing!!! Thank you soo much for sharing with me!!! Made my day!!!


    1. well don't cry, LOL. i just thought you should know you gave me the kick in the butt i needed to get going. i think you make a lot of our days every day. we all wish we could do what you do, but don't have or know a way to get it going.
      I'm proud of you as well!
      Love, Claudia

  9. Oh my...wish I could donate and donate! But ever dime and dollar...and more homebound than ever...because I have a Shadow...dog. We have Chiquita 6lb, brought to me by friends. Chiuqita was abandoned with four other pups, the humans left them in a house they were renting from our friends. When Chiquita, a deer face Chihuahua was weaned they brought her over Valentine's day in a little lace pocket of a litlle red heart. Then two years ago...walking Chiauita, and my husband in his scooter...a black Chihuahua with white over his eyes and onthe sides of his face walked out into the street and stood in front of me. I picked up Chiquita and put her in my husband's lap and bent down a picked up this 12 pound dog...no fur on his back and he yellep in pain when I lefted him. I carefully carriend him home, my son and I bathed him...three dog soapings...he was cevered with little black bugs and both front legs were broken. His tummy...I thought was ring worm...were cig. burns. We put him in a bathroom that had a door to the back yard, covered the tyle floor with padding for a soft bed, food and water, Next morning we went to th Vet. He had severe heart worms, fissures down his spine from blows that were short of breaking his back. Borken tail. Yelps..but no bark. Our Vet told us there is a very stroing chance that he wont survive heat worming. My hssband said he would rather he die trying than to not try at all. Well, Shadow made it. His age was guessed about 11. My husband and I both felt a very strong need to give him the best end of life years ever. After his fur grew back, and an allergy panet taken care of...five meds AM 6 PM. and two allergy shots a month. We neutered him too, by the way! By the time he was with us about 8 months...his bark became a BARK and his broken tail wagged wildly! He is gentle. Cooperative with all the vet visits. He does give me doggy kiddes once in awhile..but turns his gead so fast down and away...while I hold him and tell him I love hsi doggy kisses. We finally had him walking 45 minutes on flat land and up hills...about 30 minutes then on the scooter he goes. Now he has developed COPD from the heart worm damage...but we are taking care of that and added liver meds. Shadow has huge dark eyes...almost, if not...black. He is beautiful His rib cage is almost normal size...and his hind area is usually bloated from the heart worm damage to heart and lungs...to liver. But he is happy!!! He can even "gambol" in an ungainly gait that is an attempt to "run"...over to the fence to bark with his sister Chiquita at our neighbors dog...barking at us. We love it. There is an deep emotional power that dog lovers...rescuers and companions...that we can't explain and is inherent in our beings. It will be three years we had Shadow this summer...his life is worth all the things we exchanged for his medical, his happiness, his life. You can see our rescued cats and dogs on my FB animal photos.
    Sissy Needell-Riffin

  10. Just to Thank you for all the work you do to help protect and adopt these beautiful animals, this is an amazing thing and I truly love your passion for these dogs, again a heartfelt thanks!!

  11. Just subscribed. You do incredible work - my heart is with you and all the pups.

  12. Yea, Ashley !!! Keep up the great work, hun !!!

  13. Thank you for writing this. That's it, just thank you.

  14. I help dogs because in my 49 year existence hear on earth they are the only ones, who never bullied, humilated, verbally and physically abused me. They love me uncondtionally without prejudice. They taught me how to love, how to heal and how to forgive. They listened and cared when no one else would. They never let me down. That is why I love and advocate for dogs. They teach more about God than any book or any person.

  15. Ashley, if more people did what you do this world would be a much better place.

  16. I want to win the lottery so that I will never have to worry about money. I could then volunteer on behalf of the animals; go on rescue missions, work (free) at a shelter, whatever. That is my dream, but my needing a job gets in my way. C'mon, lottery!

  17. I don't know what to say other than I completely and whole-heartedly understand what you are saying. I have had many people ask why I love dogs so much and why I spend so much time trying to help save them. The answer is simple; My dog brings me a level of joy that I have never felt before. He is never mad at me. He loves me no matter what. He has shown me what absolute true unconditional love is. I am forever in debt to my dog for the lessons he has taught me. He never lets me down. He lets me cry on his shoulder, he listens to what I have to say, and in return all he wants is for me to love him. I live by this quote and it is my all time favorite. "When you help something that is lost and confused; when you hold something that is sad and grieving; when you hug something that is unhappy and hopeless; you too will feel healed and whole. We can take the steps to help ourselves if we choose, but animals cannot. They cannot make a choice and must rely on us to do it for them. Unfortunately, so many of ‘us’ make the wrong choices for them. So, for those of you that have asked and wonder why......well, this is exactly why I do what I do."

    Thanks for the article and letting me post my story here.


    Ryan Staten
    Legacy Boxer Rescue

  18. That made me cry- because I COMPLETELY understand. "Non-dog" people will never "get" it, and even many dog lovers will never understand what drives people to rescue dogs, or even to jump out in the middle of a a busy intersection, screaming at cars to stop, all to try to corral two obviously very confused and frightened strays. Yes, that was me, and people who know that story (one of many) have said, "You could have been killed." My only answer is that those poor, scared furbabies could have been killed, and SOMEONE had to do something. You know when you're that someone. With every dollar begged or cajoled from friends, family, and strangers, and every donation I make, or foster I find, I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to do- and only wish I could do more. I admire you SO VERY MUCH, Ashley!

    Warmest regards,
    Tracie Handley
    "In rescuing animals, I lost my mind, but found my soul."
    ~Author Unknown

  19. You are amazing. Thank you for all you do for the dogs.

  20. Pure, beautiful, honest, good, haven, relief...just a few words to describe Dogs. I get it Ashley. Thank you.

  21. Like I said before you are a Angel for the dogs. God Bless you. I undersatand totally!

  22. Many godly people have said that people are more important than animals. They say it is a waste of time to rescue animals. I disagree, knowing that these people have never had their eyes opened to the helpless animals crying out under the abuse of people. Someone has to be there for them. Some of us are just more sensitive than others. We hear their cries at night; our hearts rejoice over one happy rescue story. Let the people persons rescue people since they love them so much. But some of us live for rescuing animals from people, so in turn, when people cry out, we are still listening to the animal cries. We can still love people, but it gets hard to love animal abusers. We find more purpose rescuing the innocent from them than we do rescuing a wicked person from his sins. Our hearts are just made that way. I don't exclude rescuing people, but I know where I feel the most reward.

  23. Because dogs are our angels and you are their shepard.

  24. Ashley, I think your life's purpose not only helps dogs, but people too! Ali brings me so much joy every day because she's such an awesome dog (you raised her well)! I've lost a lot in recent years... hope that my wife and I could make our marriage work (after a decade of trying), a job I liked that paid far more than the job I feel fortunate to have today (it sure beats unemployment!), all my savings and the two dogs my wife and I adopted while married. It's sometimes hard to avoid thinking the downward spiral will never end but those thoughts pass immediately when I see Ali happily bounding around the backyard or the park every day. She's a little cuddle bug too and she rests her head on my shoulder before we both drift off to sleep. Had it not been for your heartfelt writing, I wouldn't have been inclined to adopt another dog at all but thankfully, through you, she's changed my life for the better. Thank you!

  25. you sound like an incredible person!

  26. Ashley you make me cry every time I read your wonderful stuff. In fact every time I read something you write its like I wrote it myself. Me and my sis and fam are huge animal lovers and rescuers. Of course I helped force my parents into rescuing for my love, passion and sympathy for animals since a very very young age also. I know without a doubt that some people just know what their here for. Im here to live and breath animals. In the last two years me and my family have helped rescue and rehome roughly 40 cats and dogs. Not much but when its with your own money it adds up. I just want you to know how wonderful it is to read your stuff and to know that there is other animal lover people my age out there.
    Brokenarrow oklahoma

  27. Beautifully written...you always make me cry...it's good. Thank you. Bless you for giving your all, and for accepting and acting on your reason for being here. You are amazing.

    PS I hope your grandparents are continuing to recover and regain their independence and full lives.

  28. You are an inspiration... and I too share your feelings for animals. I own four dogs of my own, and have rescued many others. My heart hurts and I cry when I see and hear of animal suffering. I don't understand how others don't feel the same way. I don't understand how people don't show compassion for animal suffering. And I don't understand how people can turn a blind eye when an animal is in need. I can't and I won't! When I hear of people sacrificing their life to help an animal, it's sad... but I understand why they did it. They were following their heart. I know my purpose on earth is to help animals, and a lot of times I feel frustrated that I'm not doing enough. I do what I can, and hope one day I can devote my life to saving animals. I think we do have a purpose in life... and I thank God I know what mine is. My bumper sticker reads: "Kindness to animals builds a better world for all of us". Wouldn't the world be a better place!

  29. You literally took the words right out of my mouth.

  30. The fosters I take in are the ones that I know no one will look at twice. All the foster to adopt pics on my fb are just that scared, sick or old. I do what I do because to see them months later with their for ever family is a feeling you can't explain.

  31. The fosters I take in are the ones that I know no one will look at twice. All the foster to adopt pics on my fb are just that scared, sick or old. I do what I do because to see them months later with their for ever family is a feeling you can't explain.

  32. thank u Ashley, ur words r wut i have felt for years i thank u for making me feel normal when everyone else treated me like i was weird for feeling a connection w animals,,, Thank u for all u do ,, God bless,,,, melinda, Meowoof

  33. god bless you for caring and doing something to help gods helpless creatures !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. so many of us can relate ashley, fantastic post. it is so nice to know that there are others in this world who view dogs as i do. keep up the great work, if i am ever down that way i will definitely stop by your rescue. what you do is inspiring, we need more like you!

  35. Ash, great post! Sometimes I just think the non-dog people out there don't 'get it'. I don't do things on the scale that you do, but one "forgotten old weiner dog" is currently sharing his home with me!

  36. We need more Ashley's in the world.

  37. I'm new to the blogging community... and just happened to stumble upon your blog. I am so happy to know there are wonderful people like you out there. I try so hard to help rescue groups and wish I could help out more than what I already do. You are greatly appreciated... and I'm sure you know this. But right here is another person that knows you have a wonderful heart. Keep up the fantastic work :)

  38. Pet owners report fewer headaches, fewer bouts of indigestion and less difficulty sleeping. Dog owners in particular, exercise more though you can certainly get exercise playing with an energetic cat or kitten.

  39. Thanks for sharing. We like your blog a lot.


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