Ralphie, Always Loved is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.
About Ralphie, Always Loved
This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.
Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.
He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.
He loves pretty much everything and everyone.
And they love him back.
And that’s how it is all through his life.
Read the book and fall in love with him too.
Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie’s human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralphie, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love’s power to uplift and transform.
About the Author
Andrea has always been an avid reader and that jumpstarted her imagination at a very early age. In fact she escaped to the Land of Make Believe more often than her mother liked.
She is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids both with and without fur. Andrea says that it helps to have one foot planted firmly in reality while the other is foot loose and fancy free in Imagination Land. She enjoys the best of both worlds.
In 2013, Andrea and her husband started About Something Good (ASG) as a vehicle to curate, inspire and share goodness in the world. In a world where negative images flood the media, and words like “hate” get tossed around so easily, Andrea felt she needed a space that encouraged and focused on the words like “love” and the beauty that is life. Andrea is committed to finding the good in everything, and believes: that a sense of belonging to someone’s heart is what makes us feel complete, that kindness goes a long way, and that keeping your mind and heart open can help when things happen that you don’t understand.
Question and Answer with Andrea
Q: How did you come up with the character of Ralphie?
A: Ralphie is based on my real-life dog named Ralphie. He was a rescue dog, and we were his fourth and forever family. Ralphie was a character: full of life and love, and always up to something. He made us laugh and stressed us out by “exploring the neighborhood” on a regular basis. Thankfully we always found him and brought him home. He was always underfoot, demanding attention and treats and never giving up till he got some. Ralphie loved everyone he ever met. He was an amazing dog and was very, very loved.
Q: But he’s no longer with you?
A: Ralphie passed away in October 2016, from cancer. He was diagnosed at age sixteen and was unable to be treated in any of the traditional ways. He lived for three months after he was diagnosed, and those are some of my most treasured memories. I will always love my Ralphie.
Q: Why did you write a picture book?
A: Ralphie had a very animated face. It’s almost like you could tell what he was thinking by looking at him. When it came time to writing his story, it was easy for me to visualize it in picture form, and that is why a picture book made sense to me. Picture books also have a way of eliciting emotions from children and the parents who read the books to them. I think any parent who has loved and lost a dog would understand the story on a deeper level and be able to associate with the book.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for the story?
A: I always wrote little stories about Ralphie. When I had children, I told them those stories. As Ralphie got older, I felt the need to make his story official and enduring, so I decided to write an actual book. The beginning of the book was pure imagination, based on the real-life Ralphie’s actual markings. The rest of the book was based on what actually happened. The ending was shaped by the fact that Ralphie’s long life was coming to an end, and I wanted a chance for closure. Also, the way the book ends, the reader can assume that Ralphie is still with us or that he is back up with the angels, painting clouds.
Q: Would you consider yourself to be a dog person?
A: I am definitely a dog person. I have rarely if ever met a dog I didn’t like. Over the past twenty years I have been a dog mom, and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Q: Rescue or buy?
A: There is no real right answer; to each his own. However, I am a proponent of rescuing. There are so many dogs abandoned in shelters around the world, not to mention strays who could enrich any home. When you rescue, you save a life; you give hope and love a chance. I would always rescue. I hope everyone who is considering getting a new puppy would consider it too.
Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.