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Ralphie

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Ralphie the Mayor

 

Ralphie came into my life in August of 2012. I knew it was love at first sight. My three older children had gone to the SPCA and mentioned they had found this 12-pound pitbull mix.  Ralphie was hiding behind the bench, so shy and scared at first. After playing with him, my kids felt a strong connection and knew he was the dog to bring home. They adopted little Ralphie, but had to wait three days before they could bring him home. My son said Ralphie was barking and so excited when they returned to pick him up. Ralphie simply could not wait to be brought to his forever home. 

 

I knew Ralphie was the perfect fur baby as soon as they brought him home. He was so playful and loved being around all of us. Unfortunately soon after bringing him home, Ralphie became sick with Bordetella, also known as “kennel cough.” I brought him back to the SPCA for medical care, carrying him all wrapped in blankets as if he was a baby. I was already attached to my sweet fur baby, cuddling him and crying to hear that he was ill. In the short time that I had Ralphie, we had the beginnings of a strong bond, and I just needed my baby to be healthy and live a full and happy life. The associate at the SPCA said to me, “I wish they all could be like you.” Thank goodness he recovered and did have a beautiful life. 

 

Ralphie loved peanut butter and had chosen his favorite kind of bone. I would put peanut butter on the bones and his tail would wag furiously at the sight, then he would sit calmly waiting for it, then happily enjoyed his special treat. Ralphie also loved to play hide and seek. I would hide his bones around the house and then he would run around searching and smelling for the peanut butter. When he would discover the hiding place of his special treat, Ralphie would run back to me excitedly to show me, then enjoy his peanut butter bone. Everyday I came home I brought a toy for him. He waited every time for me to present his new toy of the day. If Ralphie did not receive his toy quick enough, he would start talking and bark as if to say, “I am waiting, I want my toy.” My truck was full of toys to always be prepared for my return home. Ralphie also loved going through the car wash with me.

 

Ralphie had such a calm demeanor. We never had a fence, which was never an issue as Ralphie never wanted to leave our side. He loved us fiercely and we loved him back just as passionately. I discovered that Ralphie hated water, so when I decided to buy a kiddie pool for him it turned out to be not as good of an idea as I originally thought. All the neighbors loved him as well. He had such a gentle soul and loved all the belly rubs and the attention from everyone.

 

Ralphie and I went on several walks a day. We met a lot of people along the way.  Parents would run outside with their kids because they all wanted to see Ralphie and give him love. I would hear people honking their car horns and screaming “Ralphie!” He got so excited when that happened and would wag his tail at the attention. Ralphie was nicknamed “the Mayor” since he was loved by all in the neighborhood, as well as all who would interact with him. He also loved parks and looking at the water. He enjoyed our trips to Niagara Falls.

 

On April 9, 2024, I was given horrible news. Ralphie was diagnosed with sarcoma, a type of cancer. I cried when I received the terrible news. I was in such shock as to how such a lovable, popular fur baby could have such a horrendous illness. Ralphie was given the best care possible and never missed a vet visit. That precious boy always received the best of the best, including weekly baths, nails trimmed monthly, and was given preventative vitamins and medicine.  The vet and her staff all cried at the news alongside me. They all said, “we love Ralphie” and they crowded around him. I was told to go home and love on him as much as I could. Ralphie was given an estimate of four to six weeks to live.

 

I cried every day and decided to take time off of work. I cooked my baby anything I could think of to help keep him strong and never left his side. Ralphie continued his walks, yet not as far as he would in the past but he never stopped trying. People would visit him as he positively impacted so many lives. There was not a dry eye in the neighborhood.

 

Ralphie passed on May 19,2024. The shock of this loss has been staggering and heart breaking. I break down every day that he has not been by my side. I received flowers and gifts from so many people showing their love and condolences of such a profound loss. They all said, “No, not the Mayor! He loved all the children so much.” The kids who were so used to seeing him were crying and so upset that he was not here to greet them. Ralphie was truly a special fur baby.

 

I have my precious Ralphie’s ashes at home. I kiss his urn everyday. He was so loved by all. Ralphie was my soulmate. We are so connected in heart and soul. A leash was never needed, as all Ralphie desired was to be next to his mamma. My life is forever changed. 

 

I love and miss you so much Ralphie. Until we meet again.

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