Ralph Thomas, furry partner and fellow adventurer, died peacefully this afternoon after a long and beautiful life with his family. He was nearly 11 years old.
He started out the size of a potato, plucked from a breeder’s litter at 8 weeks, deemed “unfit for sale” because his brain literally was too big for his head. Clearly intelligent from the start, Ralph’s God-given purpose was to guide me on the journey from single to married to my first years of motherhood. We will not easily forget his side-eye glances when Penny would do something wrong, nor how much he judged when my husband when his spot in the bed was taken, much less when our kiddo installed himself as a whirlwind in his usually calm bubble. I will not forget the look on his face when Penny tried to sit on him during our road trip, his Paul Bunyan-esque stature when playing with the big dogs, and his stealth ability to snatch snacks off of an unwatched plate.
In the final days of his life he was surrounded by his family, watching tv, eating sausage and continuing to be curmudgeonly as he had taken to during his last years of life. He leaves behind his sister, Penny, who even in his absence, will make sure to annoy the dogs in the other yards, and insure that all bunny rabbits are chased appropriately out of the gardens. He joins his brother Oliver and wife Alice in heaven, where I no doubt know that they are keeping many angelic children entertained with their antics.
My husband’s lap will be less warm as he drinks his coffee this weekend, our child will undoubtedly wonder where his favorite lego buddy went and I will miss the little ball of fur who taught me that I have to keep caring – even when life seems pretty empty. While our own hearts will hurt, we know that his pain is not something we wanted him to bear. I am honored to have known him nearly his entire life, and I won’t forget him for the rest of mine. Night night Ralphie.
July 10, 2009 – June 1, 2020..