A Tribute

Over the forty years that Cindy and I have been married, we have had a variety of animals as part of our family.   Our girls grew up with a Mutt, an Old English Sheep dog, a Cocker Spaniel, and the last two have been Siberian Huskies.  Of all these breeds, probably our favorite is the Husky.  They are gentle with children and very much a family dog because they want to be part of a pack.  They were bred to be work animals, and to pull a sled through the ice and snow of the great north.  As a result, they love to run, and as a result are very hard to contain.

We adopted our Ralphie a little over 11 years ago.  She was a Christmas present for our daughter Emily.   We always thought (mistakenly) that when Emily went off to college or whatever after high school, that Ralphie would go with her.  Unfortunately, Ralphie has one characteristic that would not allow that.  She loves to bolt and run, which we just mentioned.  However, Ralphie can’t find her way home.  Our first Husky would get out every once in awhile, but she would come back home eventually.  Not Ralphie!

We built a 4’ fence, and she learned to climb it.  We put an invisible fence wire on top of the fence, and she still went over it. Yelping from the pain of the shock from the wire, but she still went.  When we lived in Bowling Green, Ohio, Ralphie received more than one ride home in the back of a squad car.   When she did run, we would jump into the car and go looking for her.  When we would find her, we opened the car door and she would jump in with this look on her face of “Thank God you found me.”

Another of her quirky habits is that she likes to scold you.  All of our girls have been met at the door, when they come home for a visit, by Ralphie scolding them with what sounds like “where have you been,” or “why haven’t called me,” or “it’s about time you came home.”  Even when I get home at night, she is usually there at the door with her scolding greetings.

I am going to miss that.  You see our Ralphie is very sick and won’t be with us much longer.   As it happens, our daughter who lives in Florida is home for a visit this week, and all of her sisters have been here this weekend.  It will be our family’s last time to be together with our beloved Ralphie.  If I didn’t know better, I think Ralphie planned it that way.

Does your family have a favorite pet? How did you handle it when they went to Pet Heaven?

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One thought on “A Tribute

  1. What a beautiful tribute, dad! The bolting reminded me of the time I was pregnant with Avery and Ralphie escaped out the front door. With no one else home, Lee chased after her. He jumped fences and ran through yards and a couple of kids yelled “You are fast for an old guy!” He was 29. Lee wasnt happy when he returned, dog in tow, but the rest of us were!

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