Typically, after three attempts, you’re considered unsuccessful. However, for Ralphie, a French bulldog labeled as a “jerk” at a New York animal shelter, the fourth time was the charm! The Niagara SPCA has announced that Ralphie has found a new home in Tennessee after three unsuccessful adoptions.
Ralphie’s most recent adoption ended in disappointment when the adopter realized that he “proved to be more than she could handle.” But the animal shelter knew it would be challenging to find a family who could manage a dog they described as a “fire-breathing demon.”
Ralphie gained viral fame in the media a few months ago after the Niagara SPCA highlighted his troublesome behavior. He bites, is territorial, and thinks he’s the boss in every situation. Not the easiest pet to handle, that’s for sure.
However, the Niagara SPCA shared in a recent Facebook post that they had found a “unicorn adopter” among the 700 plus applications they received. Initially, the rescue organization had a policy of not considering homes with other dogs for Ralphie. But this adopter, named Jason, is a professional dog trainer for the Department of Energy in Tennessee. Ralphie has now joined Jason’s pack, which includes a French bulldog, a Jack Russell, and a German shepherd.
The shelter revised their requirements after Ralphie performed well in a six-week boarding and training program. They explained their decision to select Jason’s home, saying, “Some of that has to do with learning more about Ralphie through training – particularly addressing his reactivity around other dogs. The rest – well, that has to do with Jason being a unicorn adopter.”
“Jason is exceptionally well-suited because both his French Bulldog and Dachshund [actually Jack Russell] had a history of biting before coming to live with him,” they elaborated. “As for the German Shepherd – well, he is simply delightful and very welcoming to everyone.”
“Jason will provide Ralphie with structure and give him an outlet for all that French Bulldog energy,” wrote the shelter. Jason takes his dogs on marathons and competes in agility and flyball with them. “He dedicates his life to dogs, and that’s what makes him a perfect match for Ralphie,” the Niagara SPCA continued.
Jason has already shared several updates about life with Ralphie on his new social media pages.
Ralphie has met his new brothers and sisters. “First up is my big sister Cookie. She’s also from Buffalo! And she was also adopted with a bite history, but we don’t need to talk about that. Her favorite food is pizza, and she loves to run, hike, and play with her Jolly Egg,” wrote “Ralphie” (i.e., Jason).
And then there’s Tizzy. She’s a Jack Russell who is currently 10 years old. “She was born in a puppy mill and was subsequently rescued by some very kind individuals in Georgia. My dad adopted her when she was 3, and they competed in agility for 4 years before she retired at 7. Her favorite thing is food, and she has kindly agreed to be my agility coach. We’re heading out for my first lesson later today!”
Ralphie’s already diligently learning to excel on the agility course. Tizzy will guide him. “And even though it was my initial attempt, I amazed Dad by swiftly navigating through tunnels and climbing the A frame,” a recent post on Facebook reads. He says I certainly have the potential, and with continued training, I might even be able to compete in the Novice division later this year. I’m prepared! Let’s get to work!”
And lastly, Ralphie finally got to meet his older brother, Lery, a 13-year-old German Shepherd. “He was the first canine my dad ever trained for the department. Lery served as a tracking patrol dog for 8 years, and when it was time for retirement, my dad brought him home. His preferred treat is popcorn, and his former favorite duty was guarding nuclear facilities.”
The Niagara SPCA is already delighted to witness Ralphie’s progress with his new family. “We extend our best wishes to our once-terrifying little one as he embarks on new adventures,” they wrote. “Will agility become his forte, or perhaps he will surpass his new sibling, Cookie’s 5k time of 36:06??? Regardless of his next pursuit, we are confident that he is poised for a bright future!”