~ Claire and Ralphie ~

Five years ago, Claire met her companion and fur baby, Ralphie. Ever since then, the two have become inseparable and have become the best of friends.

At 17 years old, Claire sustained a severe spinal injury. This resulted in her having tetraplegia, meaning all four of her limbs have been affected and that she uses a wheelchair to get around. Following a medical misadventure, she sustained paralysis in her arms and hands.  

Many years later, as Claire was studying for her design degree, she was struggling with the loss of her dog. It was a heartbreaking loss for her and felt that she could never have another dog. That was until she met Ralphie in 2015.

Ralphie, a gryphon x pug, is a small, mischievous ball of joy. He bounced into Claire’s life with enthusiasm and a lot of love to share. From the first moment they met, the two formed a strong bond. Wherever Claire went, Ralphie would try to follow.  Because of this, she had to make the fence a bit higher to ensure he couldn’t escape.  

One of Ralphie’s favourite things is simply being with Claire. Whether they are at home or out and about, Ralphie can often be found happily sitting on her lap. Claire has dubbed him a ‘velcro dog’, as he is quite content sitting on her lap for as long as he can.  

At times, Claire can find her mental health to be a challenge. One time, she recalls feeling very down and was crying. Ralphie became disconcerted and wanted to comfort his human. He climbed onto her lap, licked away her tears, and wiggled his way into her arms. No matter what may be happening in Claire’s life, Ralphie can always bring a smile to her face.  

When out and about, Ralphie is always happy to sit on Claire’s lap. It allows a relaxed way to interact with people within the community. Through this, Claire and Ralphie have met some great friends. Ralphie is very social and enjoys meeting people, but he is very protective of Claire. He is always right there, taking his job of protecting her very seriously.  

Ever since adopting Ralphie, Claire’s life has changed immensely. Claire is working on a PhD, has modelled, is a strong advocate, and is a talented artist. Through everything, Ralphie is right there to offer support and companionship. 

The bond between Claire and Ralphie is very special. It is evident how much they each care for one another. Claire’s life has improved with Ralphie’s unconditional love. While sometimes life can get complicated, Claire knows she will always have Ralphie to help her through it.