Nineteen Little Ralphie Things

October 10th, 2016 12:00 pm by Kelly Garbato

2002-06-17 - RalphieAtTheGame-12

Oh, Ralphie.

Can you believe that fifteen years ago today we were celebrating your first birthday with us?

Last month was the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11. It’s silly and incidental, but my memories of that day will forever be bound up in you. I was on the phone scheduling an appointment with the dermatologist when I heard the news. We must have gotten into poison ivy while walking the trails next to our house, and I was covered in the stuff. Well, not covered by today’s standards, but by Fairport only semi-rural standards. (Egads, I didn’t know what “covered in poison ivy” meant back then, with one dog and limited green space.) Anyway, the news coverage and photos of search and rescue dogs? Always makes me think of you, and our first years together. Before we became a pack of two and three and five and finally seven.

Your dad and I miss you so much, buddy. Whenever we get a new foster, I wonder what you’d think of her. I picture you with Daisy’s curlicue tail, and we compare the size of Brutus’s paws to yours. (I think they’re nowhere near as big, fwiw.) Every time we find a new trail to explore, my heart shatters for a split second, on account of we’ll never be able to walk it with you.

I don’t want to get all depressive on your big day, though. So instead of saying I miss you (again!), I’ll just say thank you: for being the first in an era, my Other Boyfriend, by little Ralphie Bear. The very first dog I adopted on my own; the very first dog all my own. For being the leader of our little pack, for nearly twelve years. They were the best. You were the best.

Love you so, so much,

– Mom

2002-06-17 - Kelly&RalphieAtTheGame-11

 

Nineteen 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 sorta pounce on them, 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.

  • His ginormous (metaphorical) balls. He was always friendly enough towards strange dogs, but if they showed him any sass, he was not afraid to take a motherfucker down. Or try, anyway; his damn woman (that would be me) was always getting in the way.

    2006-12-26 - Ralphie and Rennie - 0017

    2006-12-26 - Ralphie and Rennie - 0011

    Like that time he cornered a badger in the shed and it took an oversized push broom to break them apart.

  • How hard he rocked the one-eyed wiener dog look (and just generally took the loss of one eye in stride, much better than his hoomans).

    2013-01-22 - Ralphie - 0017

    2011-10-09 - Ralphie's (pre-) Birthday Dig - 0005

    2012-03-14 - Dogs Outside - 0056

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