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We Remember Ralphie

by Luella May

(The Best Years in Life) Many of us have already had our hearts touched by Ralphie through emails that flooded the internet a few years ago. We posted the story we received and the touching pictures on our website:

http://www.tbyil.com/Friends.htm

The email depicted Ralphie and his friends being rescued from a tornado in Kansas.  However, this is not Ralphie’s real story.  Ralphie’s pictures were taken from his furmom’s Flicker account and sent throughout the internet.  Like many stories that get repeated over and over, somehow Ralphie's story morphed into a story that was different from what really happened.

Ralphie was indeed rescued, but it was from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina and not the Kansas City tornado which the email we received indicated (and we have since corrected our initial website page). Before I continue with the fascinating account of this most special companion, I would like you to meet Ralphie.

Ralphie was a Hurricane Katrina survivor.  As so many other pets, we can only assume that he was separated from his loving family.  On September 12, 2005, Ralphie was found, scared and alone, in a flooded-out junk yard in New Orleans.  He was soaked through with contaminated water, and covered in oil and dirt. Yet, there was a happy ending to Ralphie’s plight, as he was found by no other than one of the founders of an animal rescue.  Instantly, dog and human connected, forming that special bond that so many of us are familiar with.

Unsuccessful attempts were made to find Ralphie’s family.  The next step was to adopt him out to a loving home.  However, when his family couldn’t be found, the bonds between Ralphie and his new caregiver were unmistakable.  Ralphie did, indeed, have a new loving home.  His caregiver became his new mom.

   

While under his new mom’s care, Ralphie touched many lives, both four-legged and two-legged. He went to work every day alongside his mom, taking an active part, assisting in the rescue of other animals, even showing them the ropes.   It was not an unusual sight to see Ralphie riding in the passenger seat bringing other animals to the safety of the rescue.  Ralphie was also an animal rights advocate, actively taking part in protests against puppy mills.  Ralphie and his mom were inseparable, playing, relaxing, and even working together.

Sadly, Ralphie was an older dog when he was rescued and only spent four years touching other lives.  Two years after starting his life-saving work, he started to lose mobility in his hind legs and slowly deteriorated.  On March 27, 2010, Ralphie left this plane for the next.  Although it may seem as though Ralphie’s time helping others was not long enough, Ralphie accomplished much more than the average human does in their lifetime.  It’s all about love.  Ralphie knew love and gave of himself to every creature he encountered, both four-legged, and two-legged.  Want a lesson in unconditional love?  Meet Ralphie.

Today the rescue carries his name – Ralphie’s Place.  Ralphie is not gone, he is in another dimension, somehow making a great contribution.  After all, Ralphie was an “old soul” and old souls, never die, they go on loving and giving of themselves.

I cannot end this article without paying tribute to Ralphie’s mom, Dana Deutsch.  When Ralphie met Dana, he met his soulmate, as Dana’s sole purpose in life has been to save those without a voice – the lost, the homeless, the throw-aways, the mistreated.  Dana embodies all that Ralphie was, it’s all about loving all creatures, great and small.

I urge my readers to visit Ralphie’s Place where Ralphie’s heart resides.  The work of saving those who need help goes on, but now, in memory of Ralphie.

You can also keep track of these precious souls at Ralphie’s Facebook Page.

Ralphie, you still go on touching hearts.  You have most certainly touched mine.  I never met you, but I wish I had.  God speed my friend.

For more articles about pets and animals, click HERE.

     

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