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I Still Wish His Name Was Ralph
Two years ago, July. 14 years old and I can remember it like it was yesterday.
“Jon lets go, we have to go to Burlington to get a new dog cage for Shawn.”
“Mom, it’s my birthday and I don’t want to spend it driving to Burlington and back just to get a dog cag for someone who I don’t even like!”
“You’re coming with me; I don’t care if I have to drag you by your ear to the car, YOUR COMING!!”
I gazed out of the fogged up window of the passenger side door. I had my headphones in, not caring about anything else in the world except to get home. Not looking at her once, the ride got a little awkward.
Just as I was about to say how much I hated that we were going to pick up some stupid guys dog kennel because he was too lazy to do it, she stopped me.
“We’re not going to get a dog cage for Shawn. The reason I brought you with me is so that you can pick out a new puppy for your birthday. The kennel in the back isn’t Shawn’s broken kennel, it’s our new one! So cheer up squirt, I’m sure your new puppy isn’t going to want to see you like that!”
I looked at her with a halfhearted smile and said “Really!? So you tricked me into coming all the way to Burlington just to surprise me with a new puppy for my birthday!!”
“Yep, so I hope you put a smile on your face now.”
Mad that she tricked me but so happy I was getting a dog! So many emotions running through me I could hardly stand it! Names, names, names, all I could think of, Simon, Crag, Riley, Ralph, Eugene, or Tim.
“Hey mom, I got the naming situation down to Riley or Ralph. I like Ralph more but I’m going to let you have the final call on the name.”
“Well Jon, although they are both good names I think Ralph is a little too much, so I’m going to have to say Riley.”
Although disappointed I replied “Riley it is.”
The first time I saw him was at the kennel. He looked so adorable with his little beaty eyes, big perky ears, a long snout, fluffy tail and a small fuzzy body. At first I thought it was a Collie but then my mom told me it was a Sheltie, which is a smaller version of a Collie. I walked him out to the car and sat down on the seat. With his tiny little legs he leaped up onto the seat into my lap. He stayed there in my lap, with his tiny head resting in my leg as his body sat on the felt seat until we got home.
The next three weeks were the hardest. Getting him house trained, stopping his chewing stage, and getting him to stop freaking out at the vacuum, bathroom, and microwave. It felt like months after cleaning up his messes and fixing everything he chewed became a daily task. But I loved him and nothing was going to change that.
After those three weeks he stopped the chewing and was housetrained like a pro but he still had the disorder of freaking out. It was quite funny actually, so I didn’t even mind it. He would run around the house barking whenever we flushed a toilet, opened the microwave, or vacuumed. It just gave you a nice ending to the day if you were having a bad one.
He was like my best friend, he still is. I would sacrifice almost anything for him. He’s there for me when I’m sad, when I’m mad, and always there to play. Although my mom tricked me when getting him, I’m so glad she got him. He has brought me many great memories and I’m looking forward to all the fun that is still awaiting us ahead.