As I Lie Dying



It’s only since I’ve been at Asherpark that I’ve thought much about my life and the strange twists and turns it has taken.

When I was younger and with my mother, I lived day to day hoping for something to eat and water to drink. Many days we had neither.

During the dark times when we were crated for months and starved, I had no hope at all.

Those of you who have heard my story know that when death from starvation was only a few days away, a miracle happened.

My mother, Mama, and I were rescued by the police and taken away from the man who nearly killed us. Caring people brought us back to life in California and then we found our way to Asherpark.

I will never understand why our human mom at Asherpark agreed to take us in. Mama and I were a project from the very beginning. Our needs were enormous and we had little to offer. We weren’t even friendly when we first arrived.

Mama was so terrified of strangers she wouldn’t let anyone touch her. We huddled together on our shared bed and waited for bad things to happen. But nothing bad ever happened to us.

In time I began to understand the purpose of Asherpark. It’s a place where broken dogs come to heal.

Day by day Mama and I began to trust our new humans. We got brave enough to sleep on separate beds. Sometimes Mama even went exploring around the big backyard without me. There were holidays and special occasions and we were part of it all.

Our time together at Asherpark was brief but wonderful. Mama found her voice and often howled with the coyotes, who urged her to join them.

Then it was over. The years of bad or no food, the lack of medical care, the stress of keeping me alive while she was starving took its toll. Mama had come to the end of her journey.

The vet came. The people wept. Mama died in the arms of our human mom.

My time to cross over is not far off. Mama will be waiting for me. I, too, will die cradled in the arms of my human mom. Her tears will mix with mine as we whisper our goodbyes to each other.

So it has been since people and dogs recognized the longing of their spirits for each other. So it will be in the years ahead. Mama and I will wait at the far side of the bridge to welcome home the souls who pass through Asherpark. That is what dogs do. That is what love is about.

Mama & Shiloh

Mama & Shiloh










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