Tag Archives: dogs

Shelter Snobs, or The Many Ways to Save a Life


Adopting a pet from a shelter is the popular thing to do these days.  I’m not saying that makes it a bad thing, not by any means, but it’s becoming compulsory.

“Hey, check out this picture of our new dog!” is immediately met with “Did you get him from a shelter?”

They say that adopting from a shelter saves the lives of two animals:  the one you adopted and the one that can take his/her place at the shelter.  There’s no denying that logic, but it seems that people are becoming so skewed towards shelters that they don’t realize there are numerous ways to save an animal.  The brief conversation cited above is one I’ve had before, and it’s amazing how hateful people can get when they ask if your animal is from a shelter.  I understand the passion, folks, I really do, but you don’t have to make me feel like I did the wrong thing because my pet didn’t come from a rescue.

Nermal was found trying to cross four lanes of rush hour traffic when she was only three weeks old.

Porkchop was left at a foreclosed home in an outdoor pen so covered in weeds it was barely visible.

Porkchop was left at a foreclosed home in an outdoor pen so covered in weeds it was barely visible.

Annie was shuffled through five different homes before she was four months old, a series of people who didn't want her because she wasn't the 'right kind' of dog or who couldn't keep her.  I don't have her original Craigslist photo anymore, but she looked absolutely terrified and miserable.

Annie was shuffled through five different homes before she was four months old, a series of people who didn’t want her because she wasn’t the ‘right kind’ of dog or who couldn’t keep her. I don’t have her original Craigslist photo anymore, but she looked absolutely terrified and miserable.

You can’t tell me these animals weren’t rescued.  When we found them they were frightened, undernourished, and homeless.  I shouldn’t have to justify having them simply because they didn’t spend any time at a shelter.

There are many ways to save a life.


If you enjoyed this post, please check out more of my work on Amazon.



Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Uncategorized

Home, a new short story by Ashley O’Melia

I’m very pleased to announce that my short story “Home” is featured on The Penmen Review today.  Please go take a peek and let me know what you think!


This story was inspired by very true events.  I have to think my dear sweet Porkchop, without whom this story and this opportunity would not have been possible.


2014-10-16 12.38.48

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, On Writing, Writing Excerpts

National Dog Day – Porkchop and Leo

It’s National Dog Day, and since even I have to take an occasional break from Dragon Month, I’ve teamed up with the good folks at Dropcam to talk about what kind of PUPtectors I have.


First up is Porkchop.  You’ve seen him here before.

2014-02-05 22.39.58

Porky is my fuzzy shadow.  When I’m working, he’s under my desk chair.  When I’m cooking, he squeezes himself between my feet and the stove.  You can always count on Porkchop to be in the middle of the action.

When you have dogs and daughters, a puggle with fairy wings is inevitable.

When you have dogs and daughters, a puggle with fairy wings is inevitable.

Porkchop’s PUPtector personality is the Barking Buzzer.  He will bark any time he has the opportunity.  There’s the obvious stuff, of course, like barking at the mailman or when someone knocks on the door.  But there’s also a bark for every car that goes down our road, a doorbell on TV, the evil yellow school bus that picks up the kids in the morning, or random noises from the mischievous cats.  Yesterday morning the garbage truck came by, and he actually barked with his mouth full.  Too cute.

My other sweet pooch is Leo.

Leo loves his girl!

Leo loves his girl!

He might not look like it from this picture, but Leo is definitely The Bouncer.  He barks at the normal things, like the mailman, and howls mournfully when he hears a siren, but otherwise he’s the strong and silent type.  Leo lets me know what he thinks of people, and I’ve always trusted his opinion.  If Leo doesn’t like you, I don’t like you.  At one point, I was staying in an iffy section of town, and Leo scared off a would-be intruder with his massive bark.  He might be getting up there in his years, and only have three legs, but I always feel safe if Leo is around.

2014-06-25 20.28.04

Happy National Dog Day!  Remember there are many dogs waiting in shelters for your love and attention, so don’t contribute to puppy mills.  Those of you here in Southern Illinois, be sure to visit P.A.W.S. for your next furbaby, and to check out Leo’s modeling debut.

This post inspired by:



If you liked this post, be sure to check out more of my work at Amazon.

Leave a comment

Filed under Animals, Holidays

He Doesn’t Bite

My adorable puggle Porkchop is a pretty awesome little dog.  He was abandoned at a foreclosed home by his previous family, and has been ever so grateful that I rescued him.  He plays with the kids and snuggles with us on the couch.  He lays so close to the fireplace in the wintertime that his harness gets hot.  He once curled up on my client’s feet and fell asleep, snoring and all.  And he is also very protective of his territory.

2014-02-05 22.39.58

Like most dogs, he barks when someone knocks on the door.  He also barks anytime a car drives down the street we live on, when the neighbor’s cat stalks the field on the other side of the street, and when a doorbell rings on TV.  (This always cracks me up a little since we don’t have a doorbell.)  But he absolutely loses his mind when the mailman comes.  Our mailbox is out by the street, so he usually gets to go ballistic through the window at the mail truck, but the other day we had a package that wouldn’t fit in the mailbox.  And so the mailman came to the door.

Porkchop was insane with benign fury when he saw the postal worker at the storm door.  I tried to open the door to get the package with one hand  and keep him inside with the other hand, but to no avail.  He escaped onto the porch and attacked the mailman…by ferociously sniffing his pantleg.  The mailman, who surely dealt with angry mutts on a daily basis, just laughed, but my immediate reaction was to say, “He doesn’t bite.”

2012-12-23 23.41.13

And he didn’t.  But I found myself thinking about it later.  What an idiot I would make of myself if as those words left my lips just as Porkchop wrapped his around someone’s ankle?  I can’t even imagine what the series of events might be.  Would it be just like on the Wizard of Oz?  “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!”  I can promise you I would gladly run off to Oz to save one of my pets, but I realized that at the very least I need to rephrase my repertoire of oh-crap-the-dog-got-out phrases:

“He hasn’t bitten anybody, yet.”

“He only bites people that are a threat.”

“He won’t bite…unless I tell him to.”

I jest, but seriously I’ve put so much trust in my four-legged friend who has no knowledge of how the American legal system works or what could happen to him if he decided to become the guard dog he thinks he is in his head.  So it’s just a little food for thought for my fellow dog lovers out there.


If you enjoyed this post, please be sure to check out my other work on Amazon.



Filed under Animals, Family

Our Life is a Circus…

2014-02-05 22.39.58

….and Porkchop is our dog-face boy.


Did you like this post?  Find more of my work here.


Filed under Family

November Tidings


Happy November!

Leave a comment

Filed under Holidays, Parenting