Spirit Barkers



Silly, sensitive, funny, hard to ignore and totally a mamma’s boy pretty much describes Asher. His huge bark rattles windows but there’s no bite to this dog. Ash knows how to have a good time. Nicknames like Flyboy, Mr. Barky, and the Clown Prince hint at aspects of his personality.

Ash has always been a bark-and-let-bark kind of dog, open minded and tolerant except when it comes to the barking maniac next door, but that’s a story for another time.

Having just turned ten in February, Ash has become more introspective. He welcomes each rescue dog that comes to Asherpark with calm acceptance and tries his best to teach them how to play. But every time we say good-bye to one of our pack, it takes a toll on Ash.

Ash took on the role of mentor to young Journey. Never too old to raise a puppy, Ash taught Journey what she needed to know as a vital member of her pack.

Ash must have known that his life was drawing to a close as cancer took over his body. His spirit never faltered and he took special care to give Journey and his humans one last lick before he bravely stepped over the bridge. We miss you so much Ash.




She was a force to be reckoned with. Our first rescue dog, Tess came to keep Ash company. She was spirited, stubborn, willful and oh so incredibly fearless and loyal.

Devoted to her people and her pack, Tess was afraid of nothing except fireworks and lightning. Too smart for her own good and gifted with a nose befitting a hunting dog, Tess always told us where the rats were. She was never wrong!

Tess and Ash had a love affair for the ages. Their rough play made people and dogs run for cover, but it always ended with a friendly bump. We miss you Tess. You taught us how to be brave.


Mama Eleanora

Mama Eleanora

Mama wouldn’t tell us how the coyote got into her lineage, but it was there nonetheless. You could see it in the way she moved. When the local coyotes raised a fuss, Mama would join the howl.

The victim of terrible abuse, Mama held no grudge. She was grateful for every small act of kindness. Mama was a sweet and precious soul who had a difficult life.

Mama taught us to forgive. We loved you Mama. We will never forget you.



Survivors of unspeakable cruelty, Shiloh and her Mama came to Asherpark in 2013. Huddled together in the same crate, terrified of strangers, emaciated from months of starvation, one could only look at them and weep.

But neither Mama nor Shiloh wanted pity. They just wanted to be dogs and do dog things. And so they did, chasing around the big yards, howling with the coyotes, doing whatever pleased them at the moment.

But this joy was not to last. With great sorrow we released Mama from her failing body after eighteen months at Asherpark. Shiloh endured yet another blow when she was diagnosed with a malignant tumor the day after Mama died.

Despite the odds against her, the lousy things that happened to her and her permanently crippled body, Shiloh continues to shine like a star in the sky. Eating six or eight times a day, running with Ash, insisting on lots of hugs and snuggles, Shiloh exemplifies courage and grace.

We all know the day is not far off when Shiloh will leave Asherpark to be reunited with her Mama. We will do our best to ease her passage and wish her godspeed. But our hearts will break and tears will drown out words as we salute one of the bravest little dog souls that ever was.




Jack didn’t have a high opinion of himself. He once said his ears were crooked, his eyes dull, and his coat was the color of asphalt. Perhaps there was some truth to that, but once you got past his looks you found a true gentleman.

Jack had tiny paws and a big heart. He rarely barked and preferred to express himself by marking constantly both inside and outside the house. Happier at home, Jack once reluctantly agreed to go on a hike. When he learned he would have to get his feet wet, Jack ran back to the car and refused to budge.

So many funny memories. You were a challenge and a treasure, Jack. You are sorely missed. Blessings on your journey beyond the rainbow bridge.




Beautiful Nellie, how we loved you! We agreed to take you sight unseen from the shelter when Old dog Haven told us you were about to be euthanized. Apparently no one, including shelter staff, saw much of value in you.

God knows what your life was like before you were picked up as a stray. You reeked of urine from incontinence and had a hairball on your butt the size of a grapefruit. You smelled so bad we had to keep the windows down as we drove to the vet.

The hairball came off, you got antibiotics for a urinary tract infection, you had a series of baths and suddenly you were beautiful.

It’s true you had a perpetual tilt to your head. The vet said maybe from trauma to your head or the vertigo that you came with. The tilt gave you a look both knowing and quizzical. It was one of many traits that endeared you to us.

We wanted so much more time with you Nellie but it was not to be. We had to let you go after two short years at Asherpark. Nellie lived fully and with grace despite her many afflictions. Her mantra was always the same, “Don’t worry, be happy!”  We’re trying to do just that, Nellie.