Preface – This is Ralph – Ralph Roister Doister, or Ralph the Wonder dog. A foundling, he became the close companion of my brother. Ralph was a wonderful dog. He understood many words, likely had a PhD in English, was on voice command (no lease), loved music, literature, long walks, and girls. He sired 7 litters (I think) and now has great grand puppies. He died in 2006.
This is Ralph Jr. so called because he has the most white of the great grand pups. He’s about 3 weeks here. He will likely take more after his uncle Sumo, a gentle giant, than his great grandfather Ralph. Sumo was a son of Ralph and Vicky, a mixed breed of Cocapoo (we think) and Dachshund German Shepherd. NO I don’t know how that happened.
Here is Sumo with a very young Sashka.
Anyway, Sumo, son of Ralph, while a bigger dog than his mother or father, was gentle. He had a soft soul, and manner about him. Ralph Jr. reminds me of him, gentle and will likely be big.
Little Ralph was born 9 weeks ago and he has had a very sheltered life. He’s a smart sensitive pup, and one day recently he was standing behind me in the kitchen and I stepped on him. I heard this yelp and looked about, but at first I was not sure who I had stepped on. The critter had run away so fast, and there are 6 of them. As I called the puppies, Ralph would not come. I felt bad because I had not meant to hurt him.
The next day I was handing out treats as I was leaving the house and all the puppies save Ralph came to get their treat. (it usually works, treats – cookies or carrots). I became frustrated (which of course doesn’t make anyone want to be near you) and threw the treat in the general direction I thought he’d be in. I left the house and went about my day in a foul mood.
When I returned home that night ALL 9 dogs were waiting for me. (I have 3 adults, mom and dad dog and Auntie Sashka. Tails wagging, barks of glee. I let the adult dogs out, puppies are not allowed out until the have ALL their puppy shots. The puppies and I retired to their playroom and I watched them for awhile. Ralph really likes to play, romping, wrestling, running, but no barking. I tried to get a picture of me with the pups on the stairs the way I did with their ancestors –
Bottom to Top – Ralph, his wife Vicki, their first son Sumo, their daughter Brownie (same litter), daughters of Ralph and Fluffy – Neffer, and Kimmy on my lap.
… but this did not work. It’s easier to get adult dogs to sit still than puppies who are 9 weeks old. You can kinda see Ralph sitting with his hind feet laid back – I got Ralph Jr. doing this –
So little Ralph forgave me, and I enjoy that. I wish we humans could forgive better, but you know I had to take the first step I think, in throwing the dog treat, maybe……………
Soooooooo – Once upon a time there were these 6 puppies. There was Ginger 1 and Ginger 2, Little Guy 1 and Little Guy 2, Linda, and then Ralph Jr. They had spend their young days upstairs in the back room, but at 5 weeks they came downstairs. The adult dogs didn’t like this much, but tolerated the tikes. With lots of room to run the grow, they played, and learned how to climb tall stairs (they love to leap, yes leap, off the bottom stair onto the little dog bed). They play hide and seek, wrestle, pull, chew, and trip the owner.
One day Ralph was minding his own business watching the owner making their meal when all of a sudden he was crushed under a vicious foot. That foot came out from nowhere. He ran for cover, crying the whole way. The vicious foot called for him, but he would not ever let that foot hurt him again, no, never. Many hours passed.
The owner did put the food down, and Ralph joined his siblings in eating, but always watching that foot, nasty foot.
The owner’s smell was “stay away from owner” so the puppies knew to stay away, except she was handing out treats. Oh but Ralph would not come out. He hated that smell.
Many hours later the owner came home, and Ralph was happy to see, and smell “good” vibs from her. He and his siblings greeted her, as well as the adults. She always let the adults go through a mysterious door to the wonder world of “outside”. Little Guy 1 had been the closest to make the travels to outside, but was always caught and put over the tall wall of cardboard. They all longed to know what outside was.
The owner came in, fed them some food, and then sat on the bottom stair watching all the little pups play. Ralph was happy, so were Little Guy 1 and 2, Ginger Snap 1 and 2, and Linda. Ralph climbed that first step and gave the owner a small kiss, she loved this, and did not grab him, but let him be. All was well.
Moira Levant/COCOA2.com ©2017
Robert Browning (1812-1889)
from Pippa Passes
The year’s at the spring
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn:
God’s in His heaven—
All’s right with the world!