Archive for the ‘Remembering Ralphie’ Category

Cockapoo part 1

December 28th, 2016 1 comment

This is dedicated to Delia, an animal rescuer, and friend.

The Call

It was Christmas vacation.  I was sleeping in when the phone rang.  It was Delia.

“Mary, could you do me a favor?”

I moan.  Her favors usually involve caring for an animal that she’s rescued.  She hopes I’ll fall in love with the little critter and adopt it. I resist.

As much as I miss my sweet kitty cat, Catalina, I tell myself that I don’t want another pet. The pain of losing one is terrible.  Besides, animals are expensive and a long term responsibility.

Sure, I know they give unconditional love, but who needs that?  Yeah, who needs total acceptance, uncritical affection,  loyalty and devotion?   Hmmm , actually that sounds pretty good. . . NO, forget it!  Be strong!

An hour later Delia arrives in the rain, wet dog in hand.  “Thank you, Mary.  I’ve been feeding him at work, but he keeps running into the street. I’m afraid he’ll get killed.  I thought of your gated backyard. He’s really a sweet puppy.”

“Uh huh,” I growl. “Just a couple of days, right?”

“Right. I’ll take a picture and post it.  Maybe we’ll find his owner.”

Who is she kidding? We both know this pup is as homeless as the guy with the shopping cart at the corner of Sepulveda and LaTijera.  No one is going to claim him either.

She puts flea medication on his neck and leaves. Big brown eyes peer up at me.

“Now what, dawg?” I ask the bundle of black fur.  He sits dejectedly as if he knows I don’t want him.img379

“Stay outside. I don’t even know if you are house broken! I can’t believe I let her talk me into keeping you while I’m on vacation!”  He looked apologetic.

“Two days Delia, two days!”  I bark into the air.

Cockapoo part 2

December 28th, 2016 Comments off

I want to forget him but can’t.  He’s by the sliding door wanting in.  He’s not coming in my house! No use even starting that.  I am not keeping that dog!  There will be no falling in love!  Don’t look at me that way. Food and water, yes, but no falling in love! 

His big brown eyes answer, “But you are the most wonderful human being I have ever had the privilege to know.  Can’t I come in for just a few minutes?  Did I mention that I  think you are radiantly beautiful, look much younger than your age and have exquisite taste?”

I hate myself for being weak and falling for his trash talk. “Okay, come in but only to sleep on the kitchen floor. During the day, out you go buddy boy.”

Delia calls, no luck in finding his owner.  “He may not have anyone.  Can you keep him a few more days? I’ll ask around to see if anyone will take him.”  I reluctantly agree.

The neighbors hear of the dog I have christened Ralphie.  (From the Christmas Story which was playing when I got him.) 

 “He’s CUTE!” I keep hearing over and over.  I look at him through their eyes. I guess he is. My neighbor brings a friend and her two kids over to see him. They are thinking of adding another dog to their family.  

“He’s so cute,” the woman and daughter echo.  Ralphie runs away from them and runs to me. I can feel him shaking in fear as he presses against my leg.  img380

I push him away, “Go on Ralphie, go to the little girl.”  He hides behind me.  I kneel and awkwardly pet him. “It’s okay boy, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”  I feel sorry for him.

Oh, oh!  I feel my resistance weakening.




Cockapoo part 3

December 28th, 2016 Comments off

“Are you sure you don’t want him?” 

“No, I don’t want him. “ If I did want a dog,” I hear myself say, “he is the right size and disposition. He’s a very nice little dog.”

 I think to myself, he IS a nice little dog.   I feel him lean a little closer as if he’s reading my mind.

My neighbor looks at her friend and adds, “And he’s FREE!”  

That catches my attention.  Knowing that a dog can cost several hundred dollars, I realize that here is a dog I already have, who matches the kind of dog I would want if I wanted one, and I’m about to give him away!  

“He sure likes you,” the woman says, “I think you’ve already bonded.”  

Ralphie pushes himself under my arm, refuses to go to any of them, including the children  who love him at first sight. 

“No, no,” I laugh less confidently. Then I look at the scruffy 15 lbs. of hair nudging to get as close to me as possible. He likes me better than them? Cool. 

“I think you were meant to be together. Cockapoos are wonderful little dogs,” she says as she leaves. 

Three days pass and I’m back at work.  I’ve been to the pet store and bought him a few things.  It has been quite a while since anyone was waiting for me at  home, and no one has ever shown such joy at seeing me walk in the door.  img381

 Giving him away becomes less of an option as I realize that just thinking about him makes me smile. Yep, I’m hooked.  

I call Delia.  “Oh Mary, I’m so glad you called, I found the cutest kitten today.”

“No, no, Delia.  I’m just calling to thank you for Ralphie.”

“Oh, I’m so glad you are happy together.  But wouldn’t you like a little kitty cat too?  

Hello, hello, Mary are you there?”



From a puppy to a senior, cockapoo Ralph E. Boy brought us joy.

September 25th, 2016 Comments off

Tim and Ralphie.img_01221

Ralph E. Boy

August 1st, 2016 Comments off

REBSometmes I make myself sad thinking about Ralphie.  Yeah, I know, he was just a dog.  Just 16 lbs of wiggling, barking, demanding energy. But he also accepted people without reservation and had no limit to his affection. AND . . . he thought I was the center of the universe, and looked fabulous even when I rolled out of bed tossed and tumbled.  How do I know that he thought that?  Why he told me.  Would a dog lie?   

I posted this in 2009. Now it is coming true. I just wish little Ralphie could be here to greet Juliana.

December 2nd, 2014 Comments off


What we have here is a cry for help folks . . .

this woman is desperately in need of a grandchild!

Remembering Ralphie

August 12th, 2014 Comments off

I am not the only one who loved Ralph E. Boy.  This is what Tim put on FB in August, 2012

Farewell, my sweet Ralphie. Thank you for eight years of unconditional love, for always letting me beat you at chess, and most of all, for teaching me that I am in fact a “dog person”. You left us too soon, but you will never, ever be forgotten.



Yeah, I still miss my sweet, funny, little Ralph E. Boy!

May 31st, 2014 Comments off


I still miss you little buddy, Ralph E. Boy.

December 2nd, 2013 Comments off

Remembering My Ralph E. Boy

September 15th, 2013 Comments off

ME RafieEven in his declining days, at only 8 years of age,  he could make me smile and laugh out loud, as well as sigh and shed a tear knowing I was going to lose him early to congestive heart failure.

 I realize that this picture doesn’t show him as the handsome boy he was, the cute puppy-looking mature dog that caused people to say ahhh when they saw him.

It may not allow anyone to feel the sweetness of personality and the gentle spirit that caused so many to say, “I just love Ralphie.”

 Nevertheless, he was all those things,  a wonderful little dog, sixteen pounds of  affection, an ambassador of goodwill.

I believe Ralphie was in my life to teach me what it felt like to have unconditional love,  a rare and supremely divine gift.  I’m not sure we humans are capable of it, but we can try, can’t we?

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