Meet Ralphie

Ralphie is a young Golden Retriever who was introduced to us through Ann Woodford, RMHC Marketing Manager. Soon after Ann joined the RMHC team, it was learned that Ralphie would be joining her family. After some discovery work, Ralphie also joined the team at RMHC as the Chief Cheer Officer and House Therapy Dog. 

The mission of RMHC is to create and operate programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children and we believe that in many cases, Ralphie can help us complete that mission. 

Not only does Ralphie bring a fun-loving, energetic energy to the House, he provides a silent comfort for kids and adults alike. In his young life, he knows how to nurture, how to provide a smile, and how to simply be a companion. He knows how to be a playful puppy and relate to the kids staying in our House, but he also knows how to be a silent warrior for the parents who are quietly missing their pets back home.

As Ralphie grows into his role of Chief Cheer Officer here at Ronald McDonald House, he will rely on many local partners.

Pups With A Purpose – Therapy Dog Readiness and Facility Animal Training Program

When Ralphie was just four months old, our team connected with Jessica Gleason, Owner of Pups With A Purpose. Jessica started Pups With A Purpose in an effort to combine her passion for helping people, as well as her love for helping dogs. The nonprofit was formed to help people and their dogs work as a team to make an impact in their community. They are a relationship centered, balanced training company that focuses on elevating behavior expectations by teaching dogs to have a calm state of mind. Their various training programs are designed to teach people and their dogs the skills needed to be successful in pet therapy, facilities dog work, classroom settings, and much more.

Pups with a Purpose training is more than just learning basic obedience. Jessica will guide you through gaining the tools and knowledge to navigate the world with peace and confidence. This training is centered in clear communication, mutual respect, and leadership so humans and pups can work as a team to do incredible things.

Ralphie has made incredible strides throughout the Therapy Dog and Readiness program. Basic obedience commands were focused on in Jessica’s private studio. In recent months, our training sessions have moved to the Ronald McDonald House, where real-life scenarios can be practiced in the place where Ralphie will work. Ralphie can become a certified Therapy Dog when he turns one year old in March of 2020. Once fully trained and confident in his roles ar Ronald McDonald House, we plan to also take him to visit our local hospital systems where he can also provide for kids who are in-patient. 

We highly recommend working with Jessica and Pups With A Purpose. To learn more about their services, please visit https://www.pupswithapurpose.com/ or follow them on Facebook. 

Dogtography by Kala Howard – Professional Photos 

Now that Ralphie is an official team member of Ronald McDonald House, we felt it was necessary for him to have professional photos taken to be used on his social media sites and business cards. The best photographer to fit this tall order was Kala Howard, local pet photographer extraordinaire. Kala was thrilled to meet Ralphie and visit RMHC to see our facility. When she arrived, duck treats in hand, Ralphie was beyond ecstatic. Kala was not only incredibly sweet and professional, but was very clearly experienced in her craft. 

We toured the House with Ralphie to scout out our photo locations, chatting along the way about the mission of RMHC and how we help families from across the country. 

When it came time to photos Kala brought out her bag of tricks… a slim leash, pungent duck treats, and a necklace made of sound-makers. Ralphie knew it was go-time. Kala knew many tricks in getting Ralphie to pose for photos and where Ralphie couldn’t stop thinking about duck treats, she quickly maneuvered tactics to get the shot. 

We will be releasing the final photos on Ralphie’s Facebook and Instagram page soon so be sure to follow along! If you or someone you know would like to have professional photos of your pet taken, please contact Kala. Her professionalism and talent are un-matched. You can visit her website here or follow her on Facebook

Dogtopia West Center – Grooming by Alyssa

One of our newest partners includes Alyssa Doke, Expert Groomer at Dogtopia West Center. After experiencing her own childhood battles, Alyssa very quickly wanted to support Ralphie’s cause by providing him with grooming services. Not only will she provide her expertise in keeping Ralphie looking like the sharp professional he is, Ralphie will also get a little relaxation time after all the hard work each month. We highly recommend Alyssa for all of your grooming needs. You can learn more and contact Alyssa by visiting her Facebook page here.  

Interested in supporting Ralphie?

We have sponsorship opportunities available! We have a variety of ways in which you or your business can support Ralphie, whether that be financial contributions or donated services and products. To learn more or discuss ideas, please contact Ann Woodford at awoodford@rmhcomaha.org or 402.346.9377.