Memories of Ralphie
On March 7, 1987, I didn't want another puppy, Ralphie, but God had other plans. When I saw you I thought you were sick - the salesperson at Merryfield Kennel was carrying you in one hand and you were so small you didn't look real. I asked her what was wrong with you and she said "come with me" and off we went into a "puppy room". She put you down on the floor and you attacked all the toys around you. You were having such a good time with all the toys until she picked you up in one hand and you just quieted down and looked tiny and fragile again. We were hooked - you went home with us that day.
The next three years were the darkest years of my life and yours in what became a very abusive marriage for me, and sadly, for you too. But again God had other plans and we escaped one morning like I had promised you we would.
It was rough at first but we had a lot of loving support from my family and we had each other. Life became sweet for us Ralphie and we had so many good times, a lot of adventures and as time went by you developed some health problems but Dr. Gordon and I took care of you. We were so happy for eight years, just the two of us, and then God surprised us again with a wonderful man who loved us both unconditionally.
I never thought you would ever love anyone as much as you loved me but I was wrong because you loved your Daddy with all your Yorkie heart. He was a big dog person, never thought little dogs were real dogs, until he met you. You won him over -who could resist love wrapped in beautiful gold and silver fur!
Your Daddy misses you, his little buddy. Without him you would not have lived as long as you did - he was your special "in-home" vet tech! How many times did he stick you with that nasty needle! He hated doing it but I'm so thankful he did. You were the bravest little boy enduring so much and, yet you seldom cried.
We watched your health deteriorate more this past year but your Daddy knew you had to make one more move with us. You did and enjoyed ten days in your new home before you, the independent little guy you always were, decided it was time to leave for Rainbow Bridge.
You did not allow us to be with you when you died but waited until we had left you with Dr. Gordon. We were just minutes away Ralphie, when Dr. Gordon called me and said you were dying. We drove right back to the animal hospital but you were gone! All we could do was cry and kiss you, we gave you lots of kisses.
Five weeks have passed but the pain is still overwhelming. I miss you and can't get used to the emptiness we feel in the house. You were the child I never had, my only friend and reason to live during the lowest point in my life.
Some people have tried to comfort me by saying that having you for over 18 years was special in itself. I don't know how to explain to them how I feel so I don't say anything. But your Daddy knows how it feels to lose one's child, so when I know I'm going to start crying I go to him and say "I need a hug".
Ralphie, please forgive me for the times I lost my patience during the last weeks you were here. I was frustrated because I didn't know what you needed, what to feed you or how to make your health problems disappear. I knew in my spirit that you were going to leave me soon and I was scared, sad and angry and wanted to make you young and healthy again.
Be happy, playful and at peace. Please, let us always feel your presence and your love. I will come and write some more soon. I love you, my sweet, sweet Ralphie.
I bought you a windchime with butterflies - orange butterflies like the ones you sent me the first two weeks you were gone. When I hear it chime I will know it's you, letting me know you are happy.
I love you, Ralphie, and I thank you for blessing my life with your sweetness, gentleness and devotion for so many years. Please come see me in my dreams and don't forget that you will always be my special one, my sunshine.
Your candle is lit reminding me of our bond and the love we have for one another - Ralphie and mommy forever. Someday I'll be able to brush your beautiful head and your little neck again just as you like and you'll be able to fall asleep in my arms once more. I love you and will write again soon.
9/30/05 - My sweet Ralphie, four months since you've been gone and I just want you to know that you're always in my thoughts - every day, all day. You're my Ralphmeister, my Pup-a-Dup and always, the Poohster! Your daddy and I miss you and love you and talk about you everyday - we never will cease to remember you and all the funny things you did that made us smile. Rest and be happy and visit me in my dreams again. Love to my Pooee-Booee!!!
10/31/05 - Your candle was lit early this morning before I went to work in memory of your beautiful life that ended five months ago today. You continue to fill my thoughts all day, every day and you visit my dreams but not often enough. You were the most precious gift God ever gave me and the emptiness you left behind is as immense as the love I have for you, little Ralphie. I can't write anymore right now, the pain is too raw and the tears are too many. I love you little Poohster!
11/25/05 - My precious Ralphmeister:
11/30/05 - My sweet Ralphie: Today marks six months since you left for Rainbows Bridge and not a day goes by without me missing you, loving you and talking to you. You will always be a part of me - the best part - and neither time nor distance can erase your memories and the lessons you taught me.
Your candle was lit early this morning and it will burn all day as a reminder of your precious soul, your gentleness, devotion and unconditional love.
Your sisters, Maggie & Aggie, have been told all about you and they both exhibit some of your behavior. Aggie has your playfulness and she loves to put the ball under the couch so I can get it for her - did you teach her to do that? Maggie is calm and gentle like you, and behaves so well at the vet, just as you did. I know you're teaching them, even though they're cats, you communicate with them very well.
I can see you running through green meadows, your beautiful silver and gold fur glistening in the sunshine, your soft, warm eyes full of health and love. Chase those butterflies and lizards that always intrigued you and wait for me to join you when I'm called home. I love you - your mom forever.
12/24/05 - Feliz Nochebuena! Merry Christmas little angel, how I miss you and wish I could hold you and give you your special Christmas kisses. Have a wonderful Christmas day in heaven with your friends - D-Max, Boo Boo, Lucy, Gizzy, Precious, Harley Bones, Reba, Burt-Burt, Tabitha, Buddy, Wallybeans, Charity, Burton your older brother, Sedoso, and all the other precious Bridge kids you spend time with. Love you, my fat belly boy, my Sunshine baby!
12/31/05 - "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine
My sunshine baby, I sang that chorus to you countless times during our years together and everytime I did you would look at me with those soft, loving eyes and my heart would melt. It was our song, a happy song except for that last line that would always choke me up because I knew the day would come when my sunshine would be taken away.
And here we are today, Ralphie, the seven month anniversary of the saddest day of my life and I'm trying very hard to think of all the happy memories but instead, all I can do is cry and miss you like crazy.
To wish for one more time to hold you and kiss your little head would be foolish because I really want 18 more years. One more time would not be enough for me, I'm greedy for those Yorkie kisses and our special time together to brush you and rock you to sleep in my arms.
I will kiss your picture at midnight tonight but I won't say "Happy New Year, Ralphie" because there is no concept of time where you are, it's just eternal joy and happiness. I will be wishing you a "happy brief moment" while you wait for me to be called home, for that's how long our separation will seem when we are together again.
Remember the last few weeks of your life and how I rocked you to sleep in my arms every night? Your little head would be on my chest and I know you were listening to my heart beat. It was beating with love for you, and it still is, and it always will. Goodnight, Ralphie, I love you intensely and profusely.
1/31/06 - My precious four-legged son:
Can it really be eight months today since I last saw you and felt your last little kiss on my nose? Somehow today feels like the first day again, nothing but pain and tears this morning and no Ralphie to lick the tears away like you always did.
My brain acknowledges you were ready to go, your body was worn out and tired and I believe you were already seeing glimpses of paradise. But the brain and the heart do not communicate all the time, Ralphie, and today I am having a difficult time dealing with the fact that you are gone from this life.
I will think of you always, will love you forever and will look for you in every beautiful sunrise, rainbow, sunset, flower - in all the wonders of nature I will always see you, my Ralphmeister.
You were the best, the greatest gift God ever bestowed upon me and I will always thank Him for blessing me with your love. Now go run like the wind, little one!
2/28/06 - Hello my sweet Ralphie - tomorrow will be nine months since you went on that journey that awaits all of us. You were greeted by your nana, by Sedoso ... a Silky Terrier brother you never met, and by many, many sweet and lovely fur and feather babies. You left behind so much love and memories and a very broken and sad mom who, to this day, can't understand how she's lived without her Ralphmeister for nine months. I will not write a long message to you this time, Ralphie, I'll just say this ... there's immense love between you and me ... from the first time I held you on March 7, 1987 to the last time I held you and kissed you on May 31, 2005 and until today ... immense love, my puppy, my Ralphmeister.
3/31/06 - Ralphie, mi cosita linda:
Ten months ago today you left for a better place where your body could be renewed...you can see, hear and be young again...how wonderful that my little boy is running and jumping...no worn out, tired body to keep you from being the puppy you always were. I know your fur is pure silk, shining silver and gold flowing in the breeze as you run...I've seen it! I know you spend your time giving love and receiving love...you've told me! And I know there is, and always will be, intense love between you and me...I feel it!
I still have many tears to cry and the pain in my heart is still heavy and unbearable...but the pain of grief is the price I happily pay for having been loved by you, the most gentle and noble soul I will ever meet, carefully packaged by God especially for me in a little Yorkie doggie named Ralphie.
Tonight before I go to sleep, I will tell you what I told you every night for so many years...Good night, Ralphie, I love you intensely and profusely!
4/30/06 - Eleven months without you...my little Ralphie, my heart is overflowing with so many emotions tonight...I can't express how I feel except to say that I miss you so very much and I've spent the whole week thinking about this time last year...you had been diagnosed with kidney failure and I was watching you slowly slip away from me. For so many years I had dreaded the time when you'd leave me it and it was finally upon me...I was in the process of losing my four-legged child, my best friend...the sweetest soul I'll ever meet.
In my heart I know nothing's changed between us except you've moved on to a better place....I'm your mommy and you're my Poohster...I love you intensely and profusely, always and forever.
5/31/06 - One year ago today we said goodbye to you as we left you with Dr.Gordon, the only vet you grew to love and trust. After spending the night at the emergency vet and after many phone calls from me to Dr.Gordon, I decided he needed to see you and care for you. We picked you up at the emergency clinic around 3:30pm and oh, Ralphie, when they handed you to me you were shivering and were damp with pee pee and my heart broke. I had your blanket and I wrapped you in it and held you close to my heart....you looked at me and kissed me! We left for the hour drive to Dr. Gordon's and all the way there you laid on my lap and looked so fragile and tired that at one point I told your daddy "I think he's gone"...he gently shook you and you opened your eyes and my heart started beating again.
Dr. Gordon examined you and we had the "this could be it" conversation again, but he told me that he would like to keep you under observation for 24 hrs., give you fluids and put you on a bed of circulating warm water to bring your temperature back up...you were so cold. As I handed you to the vet tech, I hugged you and kissed you, told you "I love you Ralphie" and daddy did the same. We were walking out of the room, and I felt you looking at me even though my back was to you...I went back and kissed you again. As we left the clinic I told your daddy "I didn't like that look, I think he was saying goodbye"...daddy tried to calm my fears again, but I knew...mommies always know.
Five minutes from the clinic my phone rang and it was Dr. Gordon...."Maria, Ralphie's made the decision for us, he's dying"...I'll never forget those words. I told him we were going right back and he said you'd be gone by the time we got there....and sure enough, you were gone and all we could do was cry and kiss you. You were so fragile I couldn't pick you up, I didn't want to disturb your eternal sleep...you were in a big cage, sleeping on your side covered with your "binkie" up to your little neck..sleeping peacefully. Oh, how we kissed you and cried....Dr. Gordon hugged me and said he was so sorry...everyone there knew you and loved you.
So here we are, one year later and although my heart will never completely heal I will treasure all our memories and rely on them to bring me smiles and joy for the rest of my life. We had an amazing journey together, 18 years, 2 months and 24 days of the purest love I'll ever experience...that was your gift to me.
Remember how I'd always say "I'll be right back, Ralphie" whenever I left for work in the morning? Well, my little baby, "I'll be right back", that's how it will seem to you when I join you someday....Mommy has work to do, but she'll be coming back to you, angel...I always did and next time, Mommy will never say goodbye again!
5/31/07 - My precious little boy, "do not fear that time will dim my loving light, just look within and you will see, it shines forever bright" ... You spoke these beautiful words to me yesterday and now I want to say them to you ... please know that you live in the center of my soul filling it with your sweet love and it will be like this until I hold you again. You saved my life in 1987 and in 1990 God gave me the opportunity to save your life, and mine, and we embarked on a wonderful journey that ended in 2005 ... but not really ended because as long as there is love, there is life and hope, and Ralphie, there is immense love between you and me. My heart is still broken and I've tried so hard to put it back together over the past two years but I haven't been able to find all the pieces ... I realized early this morning that I never will be able to because you took those pieces with you when you left for Rainbow Bridge. So, Ralphie you hold on to them and I will hold on to the love you left in my hear - I love you.
11/11/07 - My little boy, I have let you go so you can move on, I have not let go of your love, presence and memories ... It is very odd, but I feel you closer now that I've told you it's okay to leave the day of your death and to go on ... My grief was like a dark cloud surrounding you and me ... It was time for the cloud to lift and move away and for your beautiful sunshine to surround us - and it does now. I still miss you - I always will - but by releasing all that awful grief, I can truly feel the hope that I will see you again. Before, I used to say it but there was that little doubt in the back of my mind.
I know I was keeping you there, back on May 31, 2005. I figured out this week that you lived a total of 6758.5 days and I was just thinking about one day all the time - the day you died. But that's not where you are now, and you need to keep moving on and progressing through your new journey.
You're always here, in my heart and in our home. I feel you're finally at peace knowing that I'm okay with letting go of that day and allowing the grief to be replaced by smiles and happiness.
You will always have a candle burning and the day of your passing will be remembered with gratitude for who you were in this life and how much you mean to us.
You know I love you always and forever and nothing will ever change that. Thank you for the way you changed me ... you left me a better person, Ralphie, that's the gift you gave me, that and your beautiful love.
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