My Name is Ashley

Nearly 2 years ago, I wrote the following words:
 "My name is Ashley, and I am an animal rescuer."

It was the very first sentence ever written on Lucky Dog Rescue Blog. It was my opening line... my introduction... my beginning... 

It was the sentence that would inevitably define my blog... and my life.

Well, actually... that sentence defined my life, long-before this blog ever existed. I've always been "Ashley" (duh), and I've always been an "animal rescuer." That's just who I am.

But... while I do always feel like an "animal rescuer," I have to be honest:
Sometimes... I don't feel much like "Ashley" anymore. 
You know... the "Ashley" who is more than just an animal rescuer. The "Ashley" who has a life, family, and friends outside of animal rescue. The "Ashley" who has needs, wants, and dreams of her own, in addition to her passion for animal rescue.

And sometimes, I miss her. You know... that "Ashley." I know others miss her, too.

However, that's not to say that I don't love what I do. Because I do. 
Or that I'm not living my dream, and fulfilling my purpose. Because I am. 

But it's hard, sometimes... Life, I mean. 
And not just for me, but for all of us. That goes for others involved in animal rescue, and for everyone else, in general. No matter who you are, where you live, or what you do in life, you've probably felt this way, at some point in time. 

You've probably "missed" the person you were, or the person you are, or the person you would/could/should be. 
The "you" who exists outside of work, responsibilities, and stress.
The "you" who exists... inside of you.

While I realize that I am still "Ashley" (duh) ... and therefore, "Ashley" hasn't left me... I just need to remember that my life is every bit as important... as all the lives I wish to save. They need me... and I need me, too.

I guess what I'm saying is: at times, we all feel "not like ourselves," for a million different reasons, but mostly because we need to be reminded that we matter, each of us, as individuals. I matter; YOU matter.

Therefore, we need to find balance ... between ourselves, and everything else in our lives. For me, "balance" is something I seem to have at times... and lose at times. Kinda like how I seem to find and lose my own sense-of-self at times. 

So... long story short... today, in an attempt to feel more like "Ashley" again, I did something I haven't done in a while now... something that always manages to make me feel like "me" again:

I sat down... and I wrote.

And for whatever reason, you read it. Thank you.


  1. Lovely and honest and you also did something about the feeling.

    Well done you.

    I feel like 2013 is going to be a good year for reconnecting with all sorts of things in our lives - including ourselves.

    I picked a word that will be my theme/sanity for the year and it's LIGHTER - in mind, heart, body and intuition.

    And my dog Coco is my zen mistress on being Lighter in the world - her delight in being alive and just running keeps me laughing and happy.

    I found her abandoned in the street when she was a puppy and took her in nearly 5 years ago. I think she saved me more than I saved her.

    Have a great year Ashley.


    1. Thank you, Liz... for your sweet comment, and also for saving and loving Coco! You made me smile :)

      Also... LIGHTER... I love that! I think I'll borrow your theme for myself!


  2. Well, I know the true Ashley, and honestly she has never made time for herself. She gives 100% of herself to others, mainly her babies. That is the real Ashley, the Ashley we love and the Ashley that needs to sit and enjoy being who she is (even if that means blogging with a doggie in her lap). I'm so happy you blogged. I've missed your writing, your words are simple, yet so very true!

    After our miscarriage a month ago, I cried one Saturday saying I missed the old me. I wanted to be and feel normal again. And you know what, I'm still sad about our sweet angel baby and I miss being pregnant, but I'm so happy to have days where I feel like JOY again.

    You only have this one life Ash... life it the only way you can... the way you want to! LOVE YOU!

    1. Joy,
      Your words never cease to amaze me. I love you so much, sweet friend, and I can't thank you enough for being so wonderful to me, always.

      Also, please know that I'm thinking of you and I love you so much. You're in my prayers. If you ever need me, I'm here. I mean that.
      LOVE YOU!!!

  3. So happy you're back. I've missed you!!

  4. I've missed you the past few weeks!! You amaze me everyday honestly! see you next week for sure!!:)

  5. Was kind of wondering if FB didn't show your posts on my wall; some people are complaining about only seeing a certain percentage of what they should see. Sometimes a break is good. Glad you're back! :)

  6. I've been looking forward to reading your next blog post! I admire and am inspired by your selfless dedication to save dogs' lives. Don't forget that you also make a lasting, positive impact on families who adopt your rescue pups. I truly believe that our little Ali-Boo has such a great personality (should that be dogality?) because your love for her healed the hurt inflicted by someone evil. She's a gentle, fun-loving dog that brightens my day, every day. Thank you for that wonderful gift! I'm glad you've recognized you must not lose sight of your own needs, wants and dreams.

    1. Love you, Paul! Please give Ali-Boo my love! I'm thankful for you every day!!!

  7. I definitely read your blogs - I love your writing. And I share the Pet Pardon animals, and follow Chris Hoar's rants, but you do need to back away from it once in awhile for Ashley's sake. Enjoying friends and family helps to recharge your batteries so you can continue to fight. Maybe your 2013 resolution should be more Ashley time.

  8. I suspect that under all the fur, the dirt and the sweaty hard work, lurks this awesome gal who has a killer sense of humour, just the right amount of goofball and the heart of an Angel. (I also suspect that girl can curse like a trucker, drink like a sailor and assorted other things not quite considered ladylike, but that's besides the point.) It's so easy to forget to do the things that heal up our hearts and fill up our souls so we can go out to kick ass and take names. I hope 2013 is the year you etch out some time for YOU, even if it's just the small things. At the end of the day, the little things you do to love yourself ARE the big things and they can make all the difference and no one deserves them more than you.

    1. Love you Jodi! You're one of my favs! Thank you for this sweet comment. Made my day!

    2. Oh, excellent! Ash, pay attention to this wonderful post!

  9. I am so glad that you found "ASHLEY again. We've missed you but are glad that you took the time for yourdelf/ What you do is amazing, but it takes its' toll. Glad you are back; take your time with the blogs.Do them only when YOU feel like it. We can learn to wait until you are ready!

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  11. Hey Ashley, glad you've decided to start writing again, anyway, I was wondering, next time I pass through Meridian for a dog show, do you think I could stop by and volunteer at your rescue for a day?

  12. I've literally just cried out loud. I'm a fellow animal rescuer and on a search tonight to find other rescues that would allow us to "share" some of our veteran dogs that have been harder to move. Through that search, I found your blog. It must be a blessing, because I've been feeling lost within myself too. This job gets tough sometimes! Life, family, and friends go by...all while you are fighting to save lives of the ones that can't thank you enough. You find yourself talking more to your fosters or volunteers more than your boyfriend, husband, or kids. You'd take the last dollar out of your checking account if it meant saving a life of a dog in the shelter. All those tough times and sad moments are all worth it when you can give a pup a second chance at life and a loving home. Those moments when you've felt you've lost yourself, you just have to look back at the memories you've created of the babies that you have saved. Those memories will help you find yourself again. Because it was an ounce of who you are now that allowed you to begin this journey in the first place. A journey where you continue to save lives and they continue to change yours. Sending many prayers your way! ~Allyson, Angels 4 Paws

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  23. All I can say is " I understand".
    Thanks for putting it in words for me.
    Hang in there, honey! I have your back!

  24. Hi Ashley, I'm Caroline, I'm 14 and you are my inspiration. I have been reading your blog for over a year and I admire you sooo much. I was wondering if you would share this link to my petition with your readers. I am protesting BSL, specifically in Denver. I only have 51 signatures and I need a lot more to make a difference. I am planning on changing the letter to Denver, by the way (It only says "Stop killing innocent animals") It would mean the world to me if you helped. Thank you so much.

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  29. Ashley, you are one amazing woman! Kudos to all you do. You are my HERO!
    I'm so happy to have found your blog and I must have read like 100 entries in one sitting. you're truly inspirational. It 's incredibly refreshing to read my exact emotions and feelings towards dogs. Makes me feel like there is hope! Thank you for that!
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