Seventeen Little Ralphie Things

October 10th, 2014 2:05 pm by Kelly Garbato

2007-04-12 - Doggie Dirt Pile - 0007 [1024x768]

April 2007. Ralphie in his element.
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Oh, Ralphie. Last year I was so convinced that he’d live to see sixteen. He was so healthy, especially for a senior dog, right up until those last few weeks.

Seventeen, on the other hand? Seventeen would have been a stretch, even by Ralphie standards. Still, a girl can dream. Today would have been the day. Happy birthday, old friend.

So let me tell you about Ralphie. We adopted him while we were still living in New York; he hailed from Indiana, and found his way to us by way of the Wiener Dog Parade. He was a fat fucking banana who loved his pit bull friend Shadow and frequently was a star guest at my younger brother’s baseball games. He dropped a ton of lbs. after we moved to Kansas, where he discovered his true passion: digging for critters (and occasionally catching a hapless one or two). Digging is like Tae Bo for dogs, I tell you what. We got him a dog friend, Peedee; and when Ralphie tired of Peedee after exactly two days of dealing with his puppyfied nonsense, we adopted Peedee his own playmate (that would be Rennie!). He was tolerant of the dogs who came later – Kaylee & Jayne and Mags & Finnick – but Ralphie, Peedee, and Rennie formed their own little clique. But he was my little boyfriend first and foremost.

He took the loss of one eye with incredible grace; the loss of his eyesight, a little less so. Still, he was happy and active and a totally stubborn d-bag right up until the end. His last days were pretty awesome, all things considered. He got the kind of exit we all should wish for. A little piece of him lives in my heart, forever.

2007-04-06 - Lazy Dogday Friday - 0020 [1024x768]

2007-04-06 - Lazy Dogday Friday - 0019 [1024x768]

Deep conversations followed by sloppy kisses
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When I decided to extend these “little things” birthday lists postmortem, I was afraid that I’d run out of items to keep them going. But with Ralphie, as was the case with Kaylee, I was quickly reminded that this isn’t the case; if anything, there are so many things I love and remember and love to remember about them that I should be able to continue the tradition for at least another twenty years. Assuming that this blog (or blogs, period) are still around then.

Seventeen Little Ralphie Things

  • That beautiful red fur. (I wish my hair was that color!)

    2008-03-11 - Dogs Outside - 0096 [1024x768]

    2003-10-10 - RalphieBDay-006

    2012-12-04 - Ralphie - 0004

  • His musk. “Ralphie stink.” eau de Ralphie.

    2007-06-28 - Dirty Ralphie - 0004

    2009-12-01 - Ralphie Pizza - 0006

  • My Other Boyfriend ™.

    2002-06-17 - Kelly&RalphieAtTheGame-0019

    2002-09-02 - WhiteLake-Day04Shot139 - Hiking-Kelly&Ralphie

    2006-09-24 - RevisitingFairport-0049 [modified-square2]

  • How he tears up chunks of dirt by mouth when he’s digging (and especially excited).

    2006-12-06 - MuddyRalphie-0003

    2011-04-13 - Ralphie & Rennie Digging - 0026

  • Always insisting on licking my hands when I’m trying to use the keyboard.

    2012-05-27 - Patio Office - 0012

  • Ears!

    2004-01-11 - RalphieTire2-010

    2012-09-12 - Ralphie - 0003

    2006-09-24 - RevisitingFairport-0044

  • His prematurely white snout.

    2006-12-26 - Ralphie (Croc Hunter) - 0012

    2007-02-04 - Opening X-Mas Presents - 0118

    2012-09-24 - Outside with the Dogs - 0011

    He grew into it, okay.

  • Stubborn, just like mom.

    2007-12-05 - Cpt Ralphie's Booty - 0022

    2006-12-02 - RalphieFestivus-0011

    2004-08-06 - RalphieTop-006 [1024x768]

  • Panty-chewing underwear thief!

    2001-Summer - Ralphie'MightyDog'

  • Trying to hump dogs three times his size.

    2003-11-28 - Mike&Dogs-002

    Or just his size, in lieu of.

    2005-08-01 - RalphiePeedeeORen-0026

    And also vice versa.

    2006-09-30 - PM-Kaylee&JayneMake5-0308

  • How he only plays with toys when another dog shows an interest in them. What a jerk!

    2004-03-25 - PreyTime-009 [1024x768]

    2004-03-25 - PreyTime-027 [1024x768]

    2004-03-25 - PreyTime-030 [1024x768]

  • The superhair that used to grow under his armpit.

    2011-02-21 - Dogs! - 0024

    (I’m afraid we plucked it to death!)

  • Paws like paddles.

    2011-09-11 - Another Afternoon Sunbathing - 0126

    2012-10-03 - A lazy afternoon with the dogs - 0037

    2012-05-27 - Ralphie - 0005

  • Ralphie + Shadow 4ever!

    2002-01-13 - Ralphie&ShadowPlaying - Shot18 [1024x768]

    2002-09-01 - WhiteLake-02-039

    DogJoy Cover 2

  • Nighttime snuggles.

    2003-02-12 - RalphieKellyBed03

    2007-12-22 - Kelly & the Babies - 0014

    2003-09-19 - KellyRalphie&Peedee-04

    And occasionally daytime, too.

  • Digging for squirrels in trees.

    2006-05-11 - RalphieDigging0004

    2007-08-26 - Dogs Outside - 0050

    2007-08-26 - Dogs Outside - 0065

    Wrong direction, goober!

  • That silly little game where I’d bat and slap the area in front of him with my hands and he’d kinda sort pounce on but, but without actually moving his body – instead it was just the two of us slapping at each other, making little whoof whoof noises.

    Sadly I don’t have any photos of this, so instead here’s a video of Ralphie attempting to pick my pocket of tissue with his ridiculous t-rex arms. Enjoy.

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    Previous years: 2013, 2012

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