A Week in Photos (2/19-2/26)

Image-1 (1).jpg

Maybe my camera roll is always all over the place.

  1. We bought a Jeep for our dogs!
  2. A funny little thing I sent to my husband. Mieke actually has jumped out of a window before and gave us both a heart attack. Luckily we were coming to a stop when she jumped. Ozzy once before full on ran from both of us because he found a fried chicken breast on the side of the road during a walk. Who just throws food out?!
  3. My stitches came out this week. It’s super itchy now but everything is healing well!
  4. Another funny thing I saw on facebook and sent.
  5. Sheba and Cali, my boss’ dogs stopping by the office after a trip to the groomers.
  6. A great bottle of wine that was stored incorrectly. I was sending this to the lady I ordered from so she could tell someone (??)

A Week in Photos (2/12-2/18)


My camera roll this week is all over the place.

  1.  Ollie. Our little rumpy manx kitty all stretched out.
  2. A weekend in the 60’s begged me to put up my eno and then the wind tried to blow me away after this photo. February in SC is warm and windy now?
  3. Lilly my red eared slider.
  4. My first transition dye to gray/silver/brunette hair. This is actually my salons photo but my hair will never look that good again probably .
  5. Moo and Oaks all tucked in for the night.
  6. The after math of a dog bite. Gross right? Looks much better now.


My week as a paraplegic

So that’s a very tongue in cheek not meant to insult anyone title. But that’s what this week has felt like.

Last Sunday was my second day as a dog trainer. I got to work with sweet puppies and reserved older dogs. The old ones are always my favorite and earning trust is one of the best things about training to me.

I am usually not reserved around any dog at all. My husband and I joke that my death will because I ran to hug a rottweiler . Mieke is too forceful with her love – She gets it from me. There is one type of dog I’m reserved about. Protection dogs. The exception to this is Hunter, the trainer’s personal dog, who is very well trained. A protection dog is highly trained and will stop on a dime. The dog loves and respects their owner and will do anything for them. Great! I’m going to let your dog do the first move for initiating friendship cause I’m not an idiot.

However, My trainer has 2 dogs in training that have done bite work, let’s call them Lu and Lo. Lu is a feisty female that looks very similar to Mieke, she has snapped at me but was told “friend” and I was good. Now Lo. My trainer has more faith in my training ability than I do. He loves to see what a dog is capable of and to get them used to male, female, young, old etc handlers. And don’t get me wrong I love that he pushes a dog’s mind this way and adapts them to every situation he can think of. BUT – Me no like Lo. He’s a Belgian Malinois. My experience with Belgian things are as follows:

Belgian Waffles

  • Light and Crispy
  • Great with syrup
  • Breakfast food with all sorts of toppings
  • Dessert food with ice cream. Yum

All things from Belgian are not sweet and fluffy!

Belgian Malinois

  • Used as Army, Police and Secret Service dog.
  • Working dog: Protection, Explosives, Narcotics, Search and Rescue
  • Super freaking hyper
  • Badass dog.

Now first off I have a German Shepherd and a Dutch Shepherd mix. They have no interest in protection work at all. They want to lick your face and pretend to be part of the couch. They love to train but they don’t posses whatever it is that makes them want to bite bad guys. And I’m great with that, I never worry about my dogs biting anyone but they bark when people come in the yard. Or around the yard. Or if you’re a squirrel/cat. These breeds are high energy, but on a scale.

Dog scale

  • Pot = Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Crack = German Shepherd
  • Meth = Border collie (or atleast my aunt’s blue merle)
  • Bath Salts = Belgian Malinois

So the story. Lo is trained in German. I do not speak German. But I learned enough to do OB with him and he done great. Did I feel confident enough to ever work alone with him? Hell no. Did I feel confident enough to be in the training enclosure with the head trainer 15 feet away? Apparently. One second he was fine next minute I’m taking a bite to the left bicep. Can you excuse my language for a sec? HOLY FUCK. The latter word being what I repeated over and over again while my trainer choked out Lo and I GTFO-ed. At this point I’ll remind your I’m 5’6 and 125 lbs. I don’t look threatening or scary or like a bad guy.

Couple minutes later my shirt is off in front of people I’m staring at pieces of my arm fat on the ground and by golly I haven’t cried and I’m making jokes. A trip to the emergency room and I cry because I’m afraid of shots and stitches. Yup, I am irrational. But I’m dubbing myself a badass through all this. 2 puncture holes and a gash in my arm. The gash gets 3 stitches because infection has to drain and they can’t sew up the holes. Great.

It’s a week today and my arm is healing, the holes hurt and itch like hell, they still bleed and it grosses me out. I spent the first 2 days afraid to use my left arm and had to have help with everything. Getting dressed, making food, pulling my pants up, showering. These easy things that I took for granted before.

But – this is a very big but – some good came out of this. First, the worse thing that can happen while dog training, has happened to me. So I know what it feels like and I know the signs now. Second, Lo was being trained to be a companion dog for an older man. The head trainer has tried to talk him out of it multiple times to no avail. The man no longer wants Lo or a Malinois. Which is honestly great. Lo needs a strong handler that will work him and challenge him. Lo could have bit this man the same way he bit me. The big difference is I had someone there who is highly trained in protection dogs an knew exactly what to do in regard to pulling him off without damaging my arm further, how to not get bit himself in the process, and the right first aid to administer to a bite wound. The man would not have had that and it would’ve been much much worse.

So this is a sucky yet humbling experience and I’m reminded that all things happen for a very good reason.




This was a huge accomplishment for me. I’ve been trying so long to successfully bring headstands into my practice. It happened unexpectedly, like most things you really want do. I love moments like this. Yoga always starts out with me hating myself for not getting deep enough into my poses, not practicing every day, not having enough core strength. It ended today with pride. Of knowing that if I keep working it’s all possible. Maybe one day even teaching will be possible.

I am Incomplete Without You – Page 4

What was the sky like the first time you fell in love?

I don’t know if this was the first time I fell in love but I know it was the beginnings of love. I was in high school, around 14 years old I believe. It was after a home football game. It was a little cold, the sky was clear and dark with pin pricks of light scattered across it. The field lights were glowing behind the study hall building and the parking lot lights were giving the night an orange haze. Headlights would sweep across us as people left. Us. My group of friends and the guy that would help me to know love and heartbreak over the next 4 years of my life. Our friends walked to the parking lot and left us standing there, as 14 year olds do, we fidgeted and looked any where but at each other. My ride came and the headlights were on us. Someone yelled “just kiss her already” and he did. It was innocent, it was nothing remarkable at all but I remember that as our beginning.

I Am Incomplete Without You – Page 3 (& intro)

I Am Incomplete Without You – Iain Thomas

This is a poetry book of open ended questions, statements and prompts. If it’s bold – It’s Iain’s words. The rest are my own.

Fill in the blanks.

This book belongs to Ashley

When they were young, they always dreamed of being normal and outgoing.

They wished upon a star that one day, someone would love me. Not that people didn’t but I always wished for a special love. Growing up with no father for a time as a child always made me question if there was something wrong with me that made people leave.

Wherever they go, they take their water bottle with them. I cannot for the life of me think of something besides water. I always always have water with me.

Now, even thought they have grown up and hurt and loved and have broken, they still have a blind faith in the world and the good that lives in people.

Every. Single. Day.

Because that’s what being hopeful means

Smile Direct Club -End of Month 1


Please ignore my crappy early morning face 🙂 I started Month 2 Week 1 of my smile direct aligners yesterday. The only tooth I noticed moving in the past month was this guy


But he moved a fair amount and is almost inline with the rest of my front teeth now. Yay! My bottom teeth aren’t really moving with the program from what I saw in my treatment plan. The bottom aligner this week rubbed the side of my tongue so much it formed little painful bumps. So I said screw that and went back to my previous bottom aligner. I still had to trim the top piece a lot to make it comfortable but it seems to be going quicker since I know how it’s supposed to look now.

He saved me in a way only a dog could save a girl.


Oswald “Ozzy” Beauregard March 2004 – January 2016

Ozzy was a shepherd/chow possibly black bear mix.
He was always exactly what I needed him to be.
When I was a moody teenager he scouted ahead of me in the woods and protected me from running headlong into danger when I was trying to escape the world.
When I was scared of my parents fighting, he sat on the back deck with me and let me push my head into his chest to drown out the sounds.
When I was sad he’d always let me use him as a tissue and lick the tears away. The only time he licked actually.
When my dad died, he was what kept me here.
When I was happy…well my childhood/teenage-hood wasn’t happy so he was always this calm presence in  my life. Looking back he was probably my version of a therapy dog.
When I left for college and came home every weekend he was always happy to see me and always chased me down the driveway when I left.


I finally was able to move into the house in front of my mothers. I was happy. He was happy. And we had an amazing 3 1/2 years of girl and dog time. But I was happy and I think he started to see that his job was done. Momma was happy. On Janurary 10, 2016 I called him in for the night. He would never stay in a kennel or in the house except when it was raining or night time, we lived in the country and I was never too worried. We called and called. So I hopped in my car knowing that when he hear my car he always came out from where ever he was hiding. He didn’t. I found my sweet boy on the side of the road. And I shattered. He’d been hit by a car and who ever hit him drug him out of the way. I screamed. I cried. I couldn’t remember my house number to call my husband to come help me. I could only remember my mom’s number. I called screaming. I couldn’t string words together. I had to get in my car and leave him. I collapsed in my carport in my husband’s arms and all I could say was Ozzy over and over again.


I had to say goodbye to the only constant thing in my life and the only thing that had ever kept me together. I had to show my one year old dog her older bother’s body and watch her accept his death easier than I ever could.


My family showed up and helped dig his grave. I sat at the edge and said goodbye. My mom’s old cat came up from her house and sat next to the grave. He had known Oz his whole life. And then He watched something, someone walked to the edge and this his eyes followed that same something away. The anniversary of my Dad’s death is January 8th. I fully believe my dad came and got Ozzy and my mom’s cat watched everything.


Ozzy dying has been the hardest moment of my life and that’s bad considering I’ve lost a parent. But him dying forced me into therapy to deal with not only his death but my dad’s death. He saved me again even when he wasn’t physically here.

His death profoundly changed something in me. Because of that I have molded my life around dogs. I rescued a dog in his honor. I’ve put in applications to be a foster mom for dogs. His legacy will live on as me saving the ones the world has forgotten, just like he saved me when I thought the world had forgotten.


“Some people are afraid of dogs but I’m afraid of the opposite of dogs. The absence of dogs. Dogless space.”

Smile Direct Club Month 1

I’ve always hated my teeth but braces were out of the question at $7200. I wouldn’t say they’re horrible – just one wonky tooth and some unevenness but enough to make me self conscious. I kept seeing Smile Direct Club pop up and finally looked into it. The Impression kit was on sale for $35 on black Friday and I decided why not. Here’s what’s happened so far.


November 25th: I ordered my impression kit and signed my consent forms.

December 2nd: I received my impression kit.

December 4th: I sent the photos of my mouth with the stretchers.

December 5th: My photos were approved.

December 12th: I sent off my impression kit. I also called customer service this day to change my credit card on file.  (My credit card company offered me 0% interest until 2018 so I paid in full for my aligners instead of the payment plan.) I know many of the reviews about SDC’s customer service are bad – but I had a great experience. I called around 12:30 pm and was off the phone in less than 10 minutes.

December 14th: My impression kit was delivered to Smile Direct in Tennessee.

December 20th: I was sent an email saying they were building my treatment plan and it would be ready to view in the next 7 to 10 business days.

December 27th: My treatment plan was emailed to me (quicker than 7 business days considering the holidays).

January  2nd: My aligners started printing.

January 3rd: My aligners shipped via USPS.

January 7th: My aligners were delivered.

My bottom try fit perfectly but my top tray required A LOT of filing, the plastic was digging into the roof of my mouth and there was no way they were going in. I started filling them and eventually ended up cutting them with a small pair of scissors and nippers since filing was a very slow going process. I was shipped 3 sets of aligners and I’ll have to cut all of them before putting them in. A few hours later I did have some tooth pain, biting down on my finger worked fairly well. Along with ice water and Ibuprofen the pain/discomfort went away after about an hour.

Sleeping in them is weird but not too bad and today I haven’t had any pain from them at all. So I’m thinking a day adjustment period is normal and them you’re fine. I will say I feel like I’ll be eating a lot less. It’s hassle to take them out, eat a hand full of nuts, brush, floss, and then put aligners back in. I don’t see mindless snacking in my next 4-5.5 months.

Treatment Plan

 Top/Bottom/Side. I acutally don’t think my bottom teeth are going to move at all – just my top teeth.



This post is NOT sponsored by Smile Direct Club, nor was I asked/contacted by the company in any way to write this post. All opinions and experience are 100% my own.