Tag Archives: ashley

Ashley, 2008-2017

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This is a post I hoped I would never have to write.

Long-time readers will remember Ashley, our beloved Bangkok street dog, whom we adopted in 2009.

About two weeks ago, on March 7, Ashley died after a brief illness.

Above is a photo from the day we adopted her from an organization that rescued “soi dogs,” as they’re called, in Bangkok.

It’s one of our favorite images of Ashley, since it was such a happy day for us — and because we joke that Ashley looks like she’s laughing in the photo, having tricked her way into a “forever home” as a year-old dog at a time when other owners were snapping up much younger, often cuter puppies from the organzation that saved her.

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Here’s a recent pic of her, from before she got sick.

A and I are still trying to process the news and live with the reality of coming home to an empty house, no longer taking walks with her, and living without her constant companionship on the couch, in the den, in the kitchen and nearly everywhere in between.

She was by our side in Bangkok for five years, then with us in Singapore for two and a half years, and then here in Delhi with us since we moved here last summer.

We adopted her when she was about a year old, and she would have turned nine this August.

(You can read about her history in this post and this one, and here’s one I wrote on the fifth anniversary of adopting her.)

Ashley was no longer a puppy, of course, and she had started to slow down ever so slightly in recent months. While she had some health issues before we adopted her, she was a pretty robust dog, and we expected to have much more time with her. And that’s part of what makes saying goodbye so difficult.

She loved our house here in New Delhi, with our small yard and its many sights and sounds: birds to eye, squirrels to chase, fellow street dogs to romp with, cats to pester.

Ash developed a cough a month or so back, and a subsequent ultrasound revealed a large mass in her abdomen that we later learned was cancerous.

She underwent surgery not long afterwards, and the mass was removed, but she never rebounded fully, and she succumbed to multi-organ failure just a few days later. Fortunately we were with her during her final days and hours, patting her head, stroking her back, and just keeping her company.

She was so weak in her final days that she had to be carried everywhere, yet her puppy-like enthusiasm remained; just an hour before she died, even though she could barely sit up on her own, I took her leash down from a coat rack near the door and she wagged her tail vigorously, looking up at me with her big black eyes.

When she passed away, we had her cremated here in Delhi, and the very sympathetic workers at the facility gave us her ashes in a lovely urn. Now it sits, with her collar and a painting of her A gave me as a gift years ago, on our mantle. (See the photo at the bottom of this post.)

Rather than dwell on her sickness — really just a week or two of the nearly nine years she lived — we have been trying to focus on all the fun we had with her.

Here, to have them all in one place, are a bunch of my favorite photos of her. I’ve posted some of these before, but others are new.

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As a puppy, before we adopted her

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She was in really rough shape

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But was soon…

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…On her way to health

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How she looked when we adopted her

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On the way home, day one

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Taking a nap at home in Bangkok, not long after we adopted her

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A happy, high energy pup

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A favorite past time: hanging out on the balcony.

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At the beach in Thailand

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One funny thing: she liked the beach but hated getting near any kind of water

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Sand on the nose

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At home in Singapore

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On one of many long walks we took in the city-state

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On the couch and in my face, likely because I was eating a snack

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On a jaunt in Singapore

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At Singapore’s Bishan Park

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Looking quizzical

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“Can I please have some of that lamb you’re cooking?”

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If her morning walk was ever delayed, you might open your eyes to see this, with her unruly ear fur — tendrils, we called them — blowing in the air conditioning

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At home in Singapore

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On our balcony here in New Delhi

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On the bed

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After her surgery, wearing a T-shirt to protect the stitches

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RIP, Ashley

I really, really loved that little ball of fur.

Here’s a Completely Gratuitous Photo of Our Dog Ashley

File under: Just because.

Here’s a recent photo, supplied by our friend P, of our beloved adopted street dog, Ashley, previously discussed here and here.

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Ashley turns five in August, so she’s technically a middle-aged pooch. But, as you may be able to tell in this image, she still has a youthful face and many puppy-like traits.

Normal programming will resume shortly.

Second anniversary with Ashley, our adopted Bangkok street dog

File under: The adopted soi dog chronicles…

I am late in noting this, but August 15 was the second anniversary of our adoption of Ashley, our rescued street dog.

As I mentioned in my post last year providing the back story, we got her from the fine folks at SCAD Bangkok.

SCAD stands for Soi Cats and Dogs. (Soi is the Thai word for a small street.) The group takes in sick street animals and encourages adoption, fostering, spaying-neutering, and more.

The original post has all the details, but here, again, is what Ashley looked like as a puppy when SCAD rescued her.

You can see that she underwent a surgery for a stomach injury:

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And:

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Here’s how she appeared when we took her home with us. She had been living at SCAD for about a year at this point:

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The big day:

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I think the before and after photos tell you everything you need to know about the exceptional work SCAD does.

Okay. Ashley updates for the past year:

Her likes continue to be:

  • hanging out on the patio
  • sleeping under the coffee table
  • going for walks
  • chasing birds and geckos
  • gnawing on bones and various chew toys

Dislikes, as ever, are:

  • strangers knocking on the door
  • loud noises
  • thunder
  • the guitar
  • swimming

Ashley can be a bit skittish when she encounters aggressive dogs or people she’s never met. But when there’s a knock at the door, she responds with a ferocity that belies her somewhat delicate, 12-kilo (26 pound) frame.

Here we are at the beach:

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And:

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And here she is relaxing at home.

(She sometimes has a pensive look on her face, though I’m certain I’m projecting what I imagine to be thoughts or emotions about her human companions. I truly believe her only concerns — as they are for all dogs — are food and reliable shelter. But then again, what is loyalty anyway?)

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A favorite pastime: longing to lunge at the pigeons through the screen on the balcony:

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Caught on the couch! Not only that, but she was resting her head on a silk pillow! That is just not right…

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Hmm. Doe eyes. Ears down.

Where have I seen that expression before? Oh yeah, when she was a puppy:

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And finally, an interesting tidbit we discovered — through the SCAD Facebook page, if memory serves.

One of Ashley’s litter mates, Amber, was adopted by a family in Canada around the time, or just before, we took Ashley in.

Here’s Amber. Despite the differences in color, I think you’ll see some similarities between Amber and Ashley:

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Here’s to another great year. And again, here’s a link to the SCAD site. There are, as always, adoptable dogs and cats available…

One year ago today: The story of adopting our Bangkok street dog

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One year ago today, we adopted Ashley, a rescued street dog. Just a puppy, she was found in poor condition indeed. But she was rehabilitated by the fine folks at SCAD Bangkok. SCAD stands for Soi Cats and Dogs — soi being the Thai name for alley or small street.

There are many thousands of “soi dogs,” as they’re known, in the Thai capital and throughout Thailand.

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We were told that Ashley had been abused when she was young, and that she was found living with her litter mates in a box outside of a wood dyeing factory. Their mother was nowhere to be found. Someone had kicked Ashley, apparently, and so SCAD arranged to have life-saving surgery performed.

When SCAD took her in, she appeared to be suffering pretty badly:

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The organization did a great job of fixing her up, and here’s how she looked when we got her last August, when she was roughly a year old.

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Here we are in the taxi coming home:

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She was a bit dubious at first…

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But once we got home, she settled in quickly.

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These days, she has very few puppy-like traits left. She was well socialized with other dogs when we got her, having spent her time time at the center with dozens of other canines. And she was fine with people — not aggressive, and not overly skittish. Generally, her mood is calm. She’s not overly active or insistent on human company. She is, however, extremely playful, both with people and other mutts.

Her likes include:

Hanging out on the balcony…

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And hanging out some more…

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Taking naps…

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Smiling for the camera…

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Acting daintily — even crossing her legs:

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She also enjoys the the beach, though she likes chasing birds (especially chickens) more than taking dips in the water…

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And she also loves her rubber chicken chew toy (though since this photo was taken, only a foot remains):

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…and, finally, here she is with a favorite treat — a mangosteen:

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Dislikes include swimming (and water of all kinds), loud noises, the guitar, cats, vegetables, and strangers knocking at the door.

Here’s to another great year. And hey, if you’ve been thinking of adopting a pooch, there are several available here on the SCAD Web site.