Always Be Kind

You just never know when something you say, write, or do ... could manage to reach someone when they need it most.

You just never know...

Sometimes, that someone may come right out and tell you how you've impacted their life.
Other times, they may say little --or nothing-- about it...

Regardless, the result is always the same:
You did good.

While it's never about the need for their acknowledgement or appreciation (at least, it shouldn't be)... many times, you may do something truly impactful... without even realizing that you've made any difference at all.

Maybe you did something for someone, simply because it was the right thing to do, and then you went about your day.

Or you said something to someone, because they needed to hear it, and then you carried on with your life.

Or maybe you wrote something for others, just because you cared, and then you went right back to work.

All the while... you have no idea... that you've just changed a life...

Often, your own actions will seem trivial, meaningless, and insignificant to you. You may assume the following: 
Other people make a difference.
Other people change the world.
Surely, I'm not one of them.

But in your mind, you know that you're a good person.
And obviously, you try to do good things.
So eventually... you're going to reach someone.

But even when you do...
If you're like me...
You probably won't realize that what you did even mattered.
You probably weren't even expecting it to.
You probably did it anyway, just because it felt like the right thing to do.

So then, after the fact... when someone comes to you and says: "Thank you for what you did. I really needed this today."
You're honestly pretty shocked.

When they say: "You reached me when I needed someone the most."
You're actually pretty dumbfounded.

And when you hear: "This is how you've changed my life..."
You're absolutely speechless.

While those words will mean the world to you --and undoubtedly change your life, too...
in that moment, you'll totally be thinking: Wait... I did that?!

You were simply trying to do the right thing.
You never expected to make that kind of difference.
And yet... you absolutely did.

To you... it may have been nothing.
To that someone... it may have been everything.

Here's the deal:
Even if we don't know it...
Even if we don't believe it...
Even if we don't use it...
We each hold the power to change something...

Sure... I'll be the first to admit my own self-doubt... especially when it comes to the idea of impacting others. I rarely think I'm capable. I'm usually just speaking, writing, or acting from my heart... with little-to-no expectation.

That's especially true when it comes to my blog... or as I lovingly call it: my dinky, ole blog
I write posts... and for whatever reason-- people read them.

When I write, I'm just hoping that maybe my words will bring comfort to someone. Or maybe I'll change their way of thinking. Or my greatest hope... maybe they'll feel inspired in some way.

Do I expect these things to happen? Definitely not.
Do I expect anyone to read it? I certainly don't.
But I write anyway... because there's always a chance that something good could come out of it.
And for me, that's enough.

Yet... most of the time, I doubt myself, especially when it comes to my writing.
Even though I've written from my heart.
Even though my words are true.
Even though I believe in my message.
I still think to myself: Wow. I suck.

Regardless, I write anyway.
Why does it matter?
Well... every single time... it just so happens... someone, somewhere needed to hear those words that day:

"Dear Ashley- Sometimes in life, someone reaches you, at the exact moment you needed them. Today, I experienced that moment. You were that someone for me. Thank you, Ashley. You changed my life today."

Reading messages like those, I'm always shocked, speechless, and amazed. But mostly, I'm touched.
So touched.
So moved.
So thankful... for the person who took the time to thank me... for something I never expected a "thank you" for doing...
For something I never even thought I could do.

It's an incredible feeling... to reach someone when they need to be reached. There's nothing like it.
In truth, we should all try our best to make a difference for others, every chance we get.
After all... that's why we're here.  

And honestly...
If I can make a difference... then you can make a difference.

It's not about my writing.
It's not about my blog.
It's not about me.

It's not about giving myself credit for doing something "amazing" ... 
Because what I do with this blog... isn't amazing at all.
I write posts from my heart, because I care. Then, I share them. That's it.

But here's why that matters:
I could easily allow my own doubts, my own criticism, and my own fears to stop me from ever writing anything in the first place.
Yet... I write anyway.
And so... I'm able to make a difference... simply because I tried.

Each and every person holds that same power... to change something, for someone, somewhere.
A smile can change something.
A hug can change something.
A kind word can change something.
YOU can change something.

We're surrounded by a world of people (and animals) who feel alone, broken, and hopeless.
You'll pass them each and every day.
You'll rarely know their struggles.
They'll rarely ask for help.

And yet... they need you.

A simple, random act of kindness on your behalf... could be all they need... to feel okay again.
YOU could give them hope--today, right now, this second.
All you have to do... is try.

Above all else, always be kind.

You just never know when you'll say, write, or do something... that will change a life forever. 
If you feel it in your heart, say it.
If it lives inside your soul, write it.
If someone needs your help, do it.

An opportunity is always waiting for you...
Someone is always wishing for you...
A lost soul is always hoping for you...

Maybe you'll make a difference...
Maybe you won't...
Try anyway.


  1. as always its BEAUTIFUL ash. you do change peoples lives you changed mine and im sure you changed lives from people all over the country. you do make a difference every day. dont let yourself think otherwise <3

    1. I wrote to you about a year ago Ashley and asked how I could start my own rescue. You were kind enough to take the time and write back. (I read your blogs so I know how extremely busy you are with all your babies so it meant a lot!) You told me to start volunteering @ my local shelter. Well it turns out that advice changed my life. It turned into a part time job for me and I hope someday to work there full time. I've never been so happy!!! I'm 38 and finally know what I want to do with my life! I'm in love with all my shelter babies!!! I thank you for the advice and for all that you do for our babies!!!

    2. Eliza,

      That was such an incredible comment to read! Wow! I'm so incredibly touched to know that I played any role in encouraging you to follow your passion! UNREAL! Thank you!

      By sharing that wonderful info with me, you inspired me today :) Thank you, Eliza! I'm SO PROUD OF YOU! You should be proud of you too! That's amazing!!!

  2. Ashley,
    You and Delilah changed my life when I read your post about your time together. In fact, I play your words over in my head on a daily basis. When money is so tight and I come across another animal in need I think of how you always find a way. And that keeps me going. It gives me hope that I can make a huge difference, a positive difference. Thank you for being so brave and always sharing. And above all thank you for being a hero to all of your dogs. You are amazing!

    1. It brings tears to my eyes to know that Delilah's story touched you so deeply.

      That's why I shared her story... to honor her life, and to keep her memory alive. She deserves to live on in the hearts of others, and I'm so moved to know that she will live on through you, and through the many lives you will save in her honor.

      Wow, thank you!
      Love, Ash

  3. Ashley,
    This is so strange, but I just came across your blog today while attempting to educate myself on the topic of bait dogs. I fell in love with your page, your words, your compassion, and your heart. I spent all afternoon reading your blogs.
    Then...I thought...She is amazing, and I haven't felt this kind of emotion and inspiration in years...I should write to her and tell her that.
    But...I didn't...and then I saw this post on facebook.
    My point is...you are reaching so many people per day. Your love and compassion is contageous, and TONS of people are being effected by your work on a daily basis...your work is working!!!

    1. AMAZING! So incredibly touching! THANK YOU!

      You certainly didn't have to take the time to write something so wonderful to me... but in doing so, you inspired me beyond words.

      Thank you. Thank you, thank you!

  4. I love this blog! I love Pet Pardons too! Bless you Ashley and all your fur babies you work so tirelessly for. Yay you, kiddo!

  5. always so inspiring love u ashley

  6. I really would love to meet you in person one day ash! You seem really awesome!

  7. I don't know what is stronger, your heart or your attitude.

  8. Actually, Ashley... you're wrong. It is definitely about your writing. If you were not writing, then all the people who find inspiration and meaning in your words, would be left adrift. You hit the nail on the head when you stated that you write from the heart, that your words are true, and that you believe in your message.
    Your writing is phenomenal; when I found your blog, I thought "here is someone who knows proper punctuation, chooses words well, and draws the reader in". And throwing your emotions into the mix just makes it all that much more alive, if you will.
    Therefore, it is about you. When you write about your experiences, your commitment, dedication, and yes, your passion, come shining through, which in a sense, we feed off of. If Ashley can do it, than I can put out that extra effort, also. We are inspired to try and do better, and be better. Without your blogs, and your work with the "kids", the world would be a much more dreary place. So, THANK YOU Ashley, from all your readers.

    1. Wow. Thank you, Robert! That was insanely touching... it meant so much to me! I should re-read your comment every time I doubt myself :)

      I just want others to realize that they, too, can reach others... with or without any writing ability... with or without a blog.

      Your comment was amazing, THANK YOU!

  9. Ashley, you have been inspiring me since I found you on Facebook and started reading your blogs. I have since rescued two black dogs that I love with all my heart (Brees and Deuce), and I have become a much more giving, caring, and thoughtful person. I have learned that a single act of kindness can change the lives of people and animals alike. It is sad for me to see so many people who are blind to the want and need that is all around us. Thank you!

    1. Deborah,
      You are simply wonderful! Thank you so much for those sweet words. You touched my heart so deeply today! Really, thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

  10. Good wishes,
    Always Be Kind
    GOAAAASHHH!!! I couldn't stop smiling!!
    Glorious article!
    Glorious blog!

  11. Absolutely breathtaking! Thanks, this made my day!

  12. Replies
    1. Hi. Thanks for your sweet comment.

      However, I'd really appreciate it if you wouldn't post links to "buy" dogs on my blog. Thank you :)

  13. Hello Ashley, I read your blogs everytime you post a new one, I started reading them when you wrote the tribute to Rudy one year after his death, they are all inspiring and I've even re-posted a few of the poems you wrote on my facebook (with total credit given to you of course). Some make laugh, while others make me cry, but I appreciate every single post, and if I'm ever in Meridian, I'd like to stop by Lucky Dog Rescue and volunteer for a day (my dream is to personally visit every pit bull rescue in the country and volunteer for a day or 2). So far, one down (Villalobos Rescue Center was my first), no clue how many more to go, but I plan on visiting all of them. Thank you Ashley. Dog Bless You!


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