In honor of what would be Ashley's 14th birthday today, October 3, we have created a team in her memory, Ashley's Army for the annual Bark in the Park at Rose Tree.
Ashley loved getting out for this event. The first time she was able to walk it in 2014 with all the goodies at the end during the festival. She was so proud of herself!
Our last time participating together was 2018. Ashley was 11 and unable to handle the intense pace any longer. I carried her in my backpack the entire way. While we received comments and strange looks, Ashley was just happy to be outside with me. And getting carried the whole way - she absolutely loved it!
We came in last place that year, so slow that they were cleaning up the directional arrows behind us as we went. But none of that mattered. She would have been happy if we walked together forever.
Ashley was a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel The breed is known for many health issues and despite Ashley's, her 13.75 years were filled with love, lounging, and anything else a dog could ever want.
Losing her three months ago has devastated me. I have lost my best furry friend, my companion, and someone who was there with me through some of my darkest times. She has taught me how to do better and be better. And, shown a light on how important it is to hold your furry loved ones close. You're never ready to lose them, as hard as you try to prepare.
I am mystified when I see postings for the older dogs who are given up from their owners who have given up on them. The work that Providence does in helping find new furever homes for these lost souls is miracle worthy. It is a gift to be able to hug, pet, provide for these wisdom-filled creatures with so much more life left to give.
Our future home will be open to our new Cavalier, and since they are prone to such awful issues not everyone is equipped to deal with, there are plenty to rescue.
Little does our future fur family know, they will be rescuing me, too.