Once upon a time, in common with many Staffordshire Bull terriers in this country, Ash was a bait dog/fighting dog. If you don’t know what that is, I urge you to look it up. And then be grateful that the UK doesn’t have similar gun laws to the States. If I ever came across someone engaged in such evil, mindless cruelty to ANY creature I could not be responsible for my actions – better that I’m not armed.
As any regular readers of this blog will know, my beloved pal, Eric came from a charity that rescues and re-homes dogs. A fantastic thing to do by anybody’s standards but, wait, there’s more. This charity specialises in re-homing bait dogs – Staffies usually – and for that I would give all involved a medal.
Eric wasn’t a bait/fighting dog, thankfully, but he needed rescuing just the same and the woman who saved him, Chris, wanted to keep him. He was her personal companion and she adores him. However, Eric is a handful (a bucketful, a lorryloadful) and he needs a quiet home. I can only imagine how hard it was for him in a place where lots of dogs and people and horses and goodness knows what else were to-ing and fro-ing. He must have been a nightmare to live with. None the less, Chris tried and tried but, in the end, she had to place him somewhere less busy. For his own sake and the sakes of all the other animals that needed care. Lucky me! Unlucky for those who now miss him terribly.
There is an upside to this (apart from me getting Eric!) and it brings me back to the picture at the top of this post. Ashar.
Can you imagine the injuries that poor little fella suffered? The fear? I haven’t heard his full story because I can’t bring myself to endure the details – I am too distressed by what I know already – but I do know that Ash was in the pound. Ash was too traumatised to live. Dangerously aggressive, he would not allow a human being near him (unsurprisingly) and could not be re-homed. Up rolls Chris and her gang and on seeing him she asks permission to try something. Aware that she cannot make eye contact with the dog or he will attack, she goes into his cage with a book. While Ash growls and threatens, she calmly sits and reads. Day after day, until one day, Ash accepts her.
Go back and look at the picture now. Can you tell? Can you see an animal that has suffered the worst side of human nature? Or can you see a happy, loved family member? He will never fully trust the human race, he will never entirely get over his past and will remain suspicious and wary but he knows that Chris and her partner Paula will love him and protect him and treat him kindly forever. Maybe Eric’s loss is Ash’s gain. Either way, it’s a win-win situation.
I’ve never met Ash but I love him – I truly love that little guy. I’ve never met Chris and Paula but St Francis has and if my sister likes them, I like them OK?
So, if you’ve got a minute to spare and you’re on Facebook, go to the Dog Adventure Centre page. Or click on this link https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dog-Adventure-Centre/169643333101073?hc_location=stream There is a competition for summer fun photos of dogs. Find Ashar and like his picture. Vote for any of the dogs if youprefer but if, like me, you think Ash is a super hero then vote for him. He could win a cooler vest that will regulate his temperature in this heat wave we’re having. He could – but you know what? He says that if he wins he’s going to donate the prize to a less well off dog because he’s just that kind of character. Rock on, Ash!
And while you’re at it, surfing, Facebooking and such like, take a look at some of those little, under the radar charities. Some phenomenal people are doing phenomenal work with phenomenally disadvantaged animals and maybe, just maybe you could throw one of them a lifeline.