Greeting from a log cabin outside of Rochester, NY! This week we meet 5-year old Asher who has a peculiar habit of eating his house.
Everyone. . .meet Ash-Potato!
BFP: Tell us about the rescue you were part of?
Asher: I was rescued in October 2016 from a lab in New York State. I wish I could tell you more, but for the protection of my friends still in captivity and in the hopes they will be released, I remain silent on all other information.
BFP: How did your family find you?
Asher: My family applied to adopt a Beagle Freedom rescue in October 2016. They were paired with me in March 2017. I was still in foster care with a wonderful family because I had some health problems. That lab didn’t realize it, but my bum was hurting. As soon as I was released, I developed painful anal fistulas and needed surgery. It took me a long time to recover, which is why I was in foster care so long. Had the lab known I didn’t feel well they probably would have killed me since they don’t like to release beagles with health issues.
BFP: How did you get your name?
Asher: My family got the call to adopt me during Passover of 2017. So, they wanted to give me a Hebrew name. Mom picked Asher because it means, “happy, blessed.” My Mom picked the perfect name for me and I love hearing my family members call me Asher. I never had a name before. I always wanted a name.
BFP: How long were you in the lab?
Asher: I was born in the lab spent four years. My veterinarian thinks my beagle mom was given drugs while pregnant with me because I was subjected to a painful biopsy procedure when I was born that removed a small piece of one of my joints. I also had the inside of my ears tattooed with a number when I was a baby.
BFP: Tell us about your adjustment after spending four years in a research lab?
Asher: My parents told me that my first few days with them I was like a newborn baby. I just wanted to be held. They spent a weekend not putting me down. Mom said that first weekend with me reminded her of taking care of my human-brother when he was born early. The doctors told her to give him “kangaroo care” and lots of skin-to-skin contact to initiate bonding and stimulate breathing. That’s what Mom did for me too. I quickly realized nobody would ever hurt me again. I was safe with my family. There are still some things that spook me and remind me of my time in the lab – like sudden movements, white clothing, electrical cords and flashlights – but for the most part, I don’t get scared. One thing that has never changed for me since I left the lab is my voice. I don’t make noise. I don’t bark or growl. I’m silent (although I do make a purring sound when people rub my belly). My veterinarian told my parents that my voice box appears to be intact (sometimes labs will damage our voice boxes so we can’t talk). Mom believes I chose silence in the lab to protect and preserve myself. I don’t remember really. Maybe someday I will bark, but maybe not. My family doesn’t care and loves me just the way I am. They tell me that I do have a voice – a powerful voice – because I’m a Beagle Freedom Project rescue.
BFP: Tell us about your family?
Asher: I love my family so much, and they tell me they love me all the time! They are Mom (Caurie), Dad (Eric) and my human brothers Brice (14) and Brady (10). I also have three dog siblings! There’s Hattie the standard poodle, Otto the boxer and Wilbur. Wilbur is a beagle too! He’s only 2 and was rescued from a small shelter near our house before I was adopted.
BFP: Where do you live?
Asher: I live in a log home outside of Rochester, New York. When I get nervous, I try to eat the logs and my family tells me, “Ash, don’t eat the house!” They never get mad or yell at me, though, they love me so much!
BFP: What is your best trick?
Asher: Because my ears are so big, people assume I can fly with them. I can’t, but I can jump really high!
BFP: What is your worst habit?
Asher: I would say my worst habit is probably trying to eat our house.
BFP: Who is your best friend?
Asher: My best human friend is my Mom. She works from home so she is with me all of the time! I love that! I’m her little shadow and follow her everywhere. My best doggie friend is Wilbur. He has taught me how to be a free beagle (a “freagle”). We play together and cuddle together on my favorite chair or the couch. Even though he’s younger, he’s always watching out for me.
BFP: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Asher: Grass is my biggest pet peeve. I don’t like grass. It scares me and feels yucky on my paws. My family understands this and never pressures me to go on the grass if I don’t want to. They understand I didn’t step on grass for the first time until I was 4. I do my business on the back porch and sunbath on the concrete driveway. I also don’t like riding in the car. It’s scary and makes me drool.
BFP: Any Favorites things?
Asher: Well, it took me a long time to warm up to treats and toys. I was scared of them both at first, but now I like tennis balls and cruelty-free peanut butter treats. My favorite place is on a big, comfy chair in Mom’s office. She works from home, so I get to hang out with her all day! I also love human beds. When Brady goes to sleep, I lay with him every night. He has some health problems and needs oxygen to sleep. His machine scares the other dogs in the house, but not me. I know what it’s like to have health problems and I like being there for Brady. At my bedtime I sleep in between Mom and Dad – it makes me feel so safe and happy.
BFP: Nicknames?
Asher: Yes! I also go by Ash, Ash-Potato or Asher The Kibble Smasher.
BFP: One word to describe you
Asher: Loved.
BFP: Anything else you’d like us to know?
Asher: Yes, I have a message from my Mom: Adopting Asher has truly been one of the most amazing and important experiences of our family’s life. He has made us all better people. We are so grateful to the Beagle Freedom Project and everyone who supports it for giving us this most precious gift. It’s an honor and privilege to be Asher’s family. Like his name, he is our happy boy, and we are his blessed family.
Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2018 with another BFP survivor story!