(The two lovebirds: Dora (left), Ralph (right))
Another casualty has unexpectedly occurred. Today my family's much loved pet Staffy, "Ralph" passed away. The rest of this eulogy is dedicated to some of my cute, funny, and mischievous memories of him.
1. Ralph, or "Nuggy" as he was more commonly known, possessed a knack for escaping. He had a history of scrambling over 6 foot tall fences (which is remarkably impressive considering his bulbous body with twiggy leg supports). It became clear relatively early in our ownership of "the wombat" that he was destined to escape the dreaded backyard at any cost. He became quite receptive, and began using his crocodile-like jaw muscles to tear 4 mm gauge wire mesh to shreds and frequently breakout.
Dad was the least bit troubled, openly sanctioning this dilemma as a challenge, and not a problem. Having said this, countless late evenings at the local hardware store evoked some pretty interesting conversations. The way we described the situation to Bunnings employees must have given them the impression that we were hippopotamus breeders.
Yes, in the end Houdini was finally contained. He looks as relieved as we did!
2. Ralph had an inconceivable food obsession. He could chew through the thigh knuckle of a cow leg effortlessly, and would do anything for an apple core. One day while dad and I were in the backyard gardening, we dug up the largest, juiciest, pulsating Witchetty grub imaginable. We both looked at each other questioningly, then took a look at Ralph who was staring at us expectantly. We threw the grub to him, but he wasn't interested...until we smothered it in barbecue sauce! *GULP* Haha.
3. For a while we had a suspicion that one of the dogs was eating poo from the cat litter tray... well, either that, or the cat had some serious bowel problems. The myth was quickly confirmed when Ralph returned to the living room one night. His tail was tucked between his bony legs in shame, whilst the sound of him crunching on white cat litter crystals resonated throughout the room. We couldn't help but laugh.
4. Ralph was the team mascot for dad's soccer team. He established a dangerous reputation when he became labelled the notorious "ball destroyer". He had a frightening initiative to deflate any ball within range. Once he was accidentally let off his lead. He sprinted across half the soccer field and snatched up the game ball in one rapid motion, popping it with his incredible jaw. Dad and I stood on the sideline sheepishly, "that wasn't our ball was it?!".
5. He really was quite affectionate. A few years ago, I bent over to give him a back scratch. In the most heartwarming way possible he jumped up playfully; his front canine collided with my central incisor, chipping it. Damn dog!
6. He did inflict his fair share of destruction on the local fauna also. Prior to our residence at Wahroonga, there was an abundance of brushtail possums and blue tongue lizards. But Ralph made short work of that... Several mornings we emerged to the backyard to find a gruesome crime scene of entrails; and enough fur to knit a dog blanket.
7. Here's where I drop a bombshell. There are reasons to believe that Ralph may have been homosexually orientated. His evocative nature with the other male dogs at the local dog park presents remarkably subtle evidence. It's not as if he didn't try female dogs, it's just that his... "physique" didn't really allow for it. Not that there's anything wrong with that of course!
This video shows how much he loved to be pampered, compared to Dora (Need sound!).
Dora seems to be handling all this pretty well, I wonder what she's thinking..."Two beds all to myself?!". Or in dog language: "Rhoo reds rhall to rhyself?!".
Thanks for awesome memories buddy. <3 "Nom, Nom".