Finally Home

This has been such a bittersweet week for me. Four of my amazing rescue pups went on transport to their forever homes: Pup 1 to Pennsylvania, Pup 2 to New York, Pup 3 to New Hampshire, and Pup 4 to Florida. For months, these 4 dogs have been my children… and now they're gone.

But now, they'll be someone else’s children for as long as they live. Now... they belong. Now... they matter. Now… they are finally home…

Pup 1: Finally home
Sammy was thrown from a speeding car as a baby puppy. He was dumped like trash… and he was utterly terrified. When he came to me, he was trembling uncontrollably, had several injuries, and was very underweight. I was heartbroken to see such a young pup... that had already led such a hard life. He was absolutely broken... knowing that the world could be so cruel…

Over the last couple of months, I’ve watched Sammy evolve from a scared little puppy into a trusting, outgoing, super-fun dog. It’s one of the most special transformations I’ve ever witnessed.

At first, car rides were very scary for him. He'd shiver as we drove to and from the vet. When I'd reach for him... to give a reassuring rub, he'd just cringe, wondering if he'd soon be flung out the window... onto the pavement below.

But he'd soon understand that I would never hurt him. He'd soon realize that he was completely safe now... forever.

I watched... as Sammy learned to trust, as he opened up, as he accepted my love and gave such amazing affection in return. Every day, he'd snuggle in my lap and give me special kisses. That was the best way he knew how to say, “Thank you.”

A couple of weeks ago, the Bollinger family in Pennsylvania contacted me about my little Sam-Bo. They were looking to add to their family, and they’d fallen in love with my Sammy. After approval, we started the process of getting Sammy transported from me in Meridian, Mississippi to the Bollingers in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania. On Thursday, I drove Sammy to meet the crew with Rescue Road Trips, and then he was on his way! On Friday evening, Sammy arrived in Allentown, PA, where he was greeted by his new family.

Sammy with his new mom, Jennifer

Sammy has no idea how amazing his life will be from now on. Jennifer Bollinger plans to take Sammy to her chiropractic clinic every day to be her office greeter. He will also go on weekly trips to the lake with his family, and he'll be more loved than he ever could’ve imagined.

Sammy-Baby, I love you, and I’m so happy for you. I'll miss you every day, but you deserve this… life, love, and happiness. You'll forever be special... to your new family, and to me.

Pups 2 and 3: Finally home, for the first time in their lives

In early February, I rescued 8 pit bull puppies that were going to be dumped and euthanized at the pound. Three of those special pups would soon go to amazing homes in Minnesota (love you Jill!).

 For the remaining pups, I've been the only family they’ve ever known. I'm their mom. I have watched them grow, held them, loved them, and cared for them, almost all of their lives. I've laughed daily at their clumsy puppy antics… as they'd run full-speed around the yard, so fast that they couldn’t stop before crashing into the fence. I've also been so angry I could scream, when they chewed through just about everything I own… including the cords to my air conditioning unit... WOW. How exactly was that fun for you guys?!

Rescue Road Trips with Darcy & I

These pups have grown and changed right before my very eyes. They’ve given me something to smile about when I felt like giving up. And this week, my little angels, my babies, left me for their forever homes. My happiness for them is overwhelming, as is my sadness that I will never see them again. I won’t be there to watch them grow into adults, or to see them grow old. But because I saved them, someone will be there. These families will be there to cherish them forever.

Darcy, my little angel face, has gone to her home with the Daniels in Tonawanda, NY. Lexi, my special snuggle buddy, has gone to the Gaynor family in Nashua, NH.

Rescue Road Trips, Lexi, & I
And just before I sent them on transport with Rescue Road Trips, I snuggled them close and quoted one of my favorite childhood books, I Love You Forever:

“I love you forever.
I like you for always.
As long as I’m living,
My baby you’ll be.”

Pup 4: Finally home forever
Tally was an owner surrender. When she came to me, she was timid, unsure, and broken… and sadly, I knew why. With owner surrenders, there’s always one common, heartbreaking thread. These dogs are waiting. They're waiting—every day, every hour, every minute—for their families to return for them. They're waiting for the nightmare to be over, for their families to come back and love them again. They're waiting… to go home. And they just can’t understand how they meant so little to the families who meant everything to them.

Tally has been waiting for months. She waits for a family that will never come back for her. I see her… watching, waiting for them to come through the door… hoping every minute that they’ll show up and say, “Tally! We’re so sorry it took us so long! Let’s go home...”

While she's accepted me as her foster mom, I can see the pain in her heart. She's wounded... by the slow realization... that she will never go back to the place she called home all of her life. She will never see her family again. She will never see the people that she lived for… breathed for… would die for. She will never know where they are, or what they’re doing, or if they ever think of her. Sadly, she's already been forgotten.. by the people whom she can never forget.

Every time a car pulls up, I watch Tally run to see if it’s her family coming back for her. She wags her tail uncontrollably as they open the door to get out of the car. And then, I see her bow her head, and return to playing, knowing that her family still hasn’t come for her. Following each heartbreaking episode, I hug her, and rock her, and sob with her.

Alisha (volunteer) & Tally
Yesterday, a car pulled up, and Tally ran to the gate with all the hope in the world that her family had arrived. I watched the look of disappointment on her face… the sadness in her eyes… as yet again, she realized that it wasn’t them. But this time, I smiled. Because what Tally didn’t know... was that this car would lead her to her new forever home in Florida. This time... someone was pulling up just for her. This time… she gets to go home.

Dawnmarie (volunteer) & Tally
Three amazing volunteers offered to transport Tally the distance to meet her forever family. Alisha Kirby took the first leg, Dawnmarie Ingwell took the second, and Janet Foran traveled the final leg to meet Tally's dad, Clinton Smith.

 Tally has been waiting for months... but Tally waits no more. Because today, Tally will arrive with the Smith family in Cape Coral, FL… also known as… home.

I love you, Tally-Bo-Bally. The pain is gone. The uncertainty is over. The sadness will not return. Because you are home, baby girl. You are home.
Tally in the car with her new family... on her way home...
*Pet Pardons made these adoptions possible! Join Pet Pardons today to start saving lives! 

**Special thanks to Rescue Road Trips for transporting Sammy, Lexi, & Darcy to their families. Thank you to the AMAZING volunteers who offered to get Tally to her forever home:  Alisha Kirby, Dawnmarie Ingwell, and Janet Foran. I love y'all forever.


  1. I LOVE hearing stories like this!!! And I'M SOOOO happy for Sammy! I'm gonna miss that little guy!!!

  2. If only everyone cared as much as you. Thank you for what you do every day, you are amazing Missy.

  3. I love you, Joy & Chris. So much! Thanks for always being such amazing friends.

  4. Ashley, it was so good to read this. I know how hard it must be for you I can't imagine, but you give them a second chance and the best love they have ever experienced. U kick ASSSSSS!!!! :)

  5. wow talk about teary eyed! So many still waiting but these few are the hope that lives in all of us that love animals. We want them to be cherished and know contentment. Bless you all xx Spay and Neuter everyone, dont forget, its up to us all.

  6. So glad to read that these beautiful dogs all got new homes it truly makes my day !!!

  7. OH these dogs are so precious! I'm so glad that they have been given a chance. I am so disturbed that there are people out there who can even THINK of throwing any animal out of a moving car without any regard for what happens to it. These people need to be held accountable for their actions. It just breaks my heart.
    But thank you for sharing these happy endings.

  8. So happy for Brutus', Duke's and Bam Bam's sisters to finally get a furever home!!! I hope their new families love them as much as we love their brothers! Thank you for taking care of them Ashley, and we must have gotten the well behaved ones because we haven't had anything tore up besides toys :)
    Thank you for all you do for each of the dogs you take in you are a true angel on earth!

  9. What you do is so heartbreaking (witnessing the harm that has come to innocent animals), heroic and rewarding. You have an enormous amount of love in you. Bless you, Ashley, and your partners in rescue. Thank you for doing this.

  10. I don't seem to be able to read a blog of your's without crying!

    So lovely to see these beautiful dogs off to their forever homes. You do a wonderful job of caring for them while you look for their amazing forever homes.

    Our newest rescue dog, our "oldie" Jasper, came to us about 15 months ago, aged 12, and like Tally he was very sad and confused about being away from his previous owner. It was hard for him at first, but he settled in with us and our other rescue dogs and now very much regards us as his family.

    I wish all four dogs much happiness in thei new homes.


  11. I am so happy that all these dogs are being taken care of and its just amazing what you do every day to take care of dogs that have suffered from owners that have not looked after them properly. Thank you.

  12. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!!!! This is so wonderful. One baby came to live close to my hometown. Great great news.

  13. These stories are so wonderful...and heartbreaking at the same time. Thanks for everything you do. I cry every night for the ones that do not make it (as I'm sure you also do). It's nice to read about those whose stories are ones of success and love.

  14. oh i'mso glad they got their forever homes :-} but sad for you :-{ but your heart will be full again cause from reading your blog you will rescue yet another one and another one cause you are a pet angel sent to help these wonderful babies find forever homes and pet pardons are some more pet angels and i'm glad i help by advocated for as many as i can keep up the awesome work!!!!! karen b.

  15. growing up i was taught that everytime i do something good, god would put a special gem in my crown and that one day He would place it on my head and say Thank you! i still believe that. and ashley your crown is just overflowing with gems. your good news over the week was just heartwarming and just so wonderful. i cried reading about tally as the same happened with my rescue. for weeks, lucy would walk out and watch as the cars drove by, hoping the white van would stop and take her back home. i too would hold her and cry with her and tell her that i would love her forever. dogs feel! i dont care what anyone says. they feel and they understand and how people can break their hearts is just incomprehensible. i am thankful for you and what you do for these wonderful doggies. to their forever families, you are gems! to little tally: sweet little one: may you be spoiled rotten. muah!

  16. I love reading your blogs but I cant get thru a single one without crying! Kee up the great work, even though I dont know you, I know thru your words that you have a heart of PURE GOLD!

  17. Such a beautiful happy ending for each of these dogs. So glad to hear this.

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