After Sue passed, we had a couple other dogs here and there, but none could compare to Sue. When my sister and I would get home and one of our dogs after Sue wasn't there, Mom would always say they ran away, but I'm pretty sure she gave them away. No dog could amount to Sue.
Seventeen years later I'm now married and don't have any parents at home to tell me that I can't get a dog... :] So at the time I was working at the hospital and one of my friends' Toy Australian Shepherds mated with a blue healer and made THE CUTEST little puppies. I couldn't resist. It was almost Christmas time so there wasn't a more perfect time to bring a sweet puppy into our family. Nick didn't really want a dog, but of course I talked him into it. We went to look at all the puppies one evening. I was set on getting a girl, but when we got there, I fell in love with this sweet soul pictured below.
How can that face not melt your heart! Like I said, it was almost Christmas time and my favorite Christmas movie is The Christmas Story, where the kid, Ralphie, almost shoots his eye out and gets a black eye. That's where I got the name Ralphie. Plus he literally looks like he has a black eye.
He was soooooo little! And too cute not to dress up in a Christmas sweater.
This was the first day we brought him home. Tee-tiny next to Nick!
Look at that face!
Nick and Ralph's birthday's are two days apart, so what a better way to celebrate than with a Ralph cake?
Ralphie is my first love after Sue. I never realized how much you can actually love a pet. Ralph is more than just a pet, though. He is my baby. Since he's half Toy Australian Shepherd half blue healer, he is SO DARN SMART. Literally. He can sit, speak, lay down, roll over, high five, play dead, play fetch, go get his ball and his toy (and know the difference between the two), give kisses on command, come, stay, and anything else I tell him to do. He loves learning new tricks and he picks up so fast. It amazes me at literally how smart he is. I could never imagine loving another dog as much as I love Ralphie. He's perfect, minus all the dog hair around the house. He knows when he's not supposed to be doing something and gets in trouble, and he knows when we are about to leave or go to work. He knows where home is, and he knows his dog buddies live right next door. He doesn't have the urge to adventure off into the woods, he stays very close to home. He stays awake and full of energy all day, and at night he knows when bed time is and he sleeps all night. He might be the best thing to ever happen to me. Ralph has shown me what selfless love is and true devotion and loyalty to another. He's unique. I don't think he could be any cuter, and I don't think you ever know what true love is until you love a dog, and he loves you back.