Ralph is one remarkable canine. This dog has turned the life of a young car crash survivor into one of meaning, freedom and joy. Read on for more.
Ralph The Golden Retriever Is A Friend And A Hero
Three year-old Ralph, the Golden Retriever, has been honored with the title of Animal Of The Year at the House of Lords granted by the International Fund For Animal Welfare (IFAW) and supported by the Daily Express. He was celebrated at this special gathering because of his enormous contribution to the quality of life now enjoyed by his constant companion, Paul Phillips. This young man suffered a severe spinal chord injury in a car accident, which paralyzed him from the chest down. Ralph not only saved him from a solitary life, he also helped him to develop and nurture a new-found freedom by assisting with everyday tasks. (See: Cat Becomes Night Nurse.)
Ralph Is Always There For Paul
Battling depression as a result of his limited mobility at such a young age, it was difficult for Paul to latch onto a reason to live until he met Ralph and vice versa. They were matched in 2016 and the rest is dramatic history with no end in sight. See: Kelsey The Hero Retriever.)
Paul Phillips told The Sun: "I had just gotten my dream job when I became paralyzed. After two months intensive care, I spent a further six in the hospital. When I was released, I moved back in with my parents and became very depressed. I was at an Arsenal game in 2014 when I saw someone with an assistance dog and got curious about whether I'd qualify. Ralph and I instantly connected. He has improved my quality of life massively...We're a team." (See: Lulu The Pot-Belied Pig Saves Owner From Heart Attack.)
Ralph Helps With Important Tasks
Paul's all-purpose, off-road wheelchair allows for tremendous mobility. This coupled with Ralph's ability to press buttons so that he can cross the street, take off his jacket if he feels hot or or get into an elevator, grants him a freedom he would never have otherwise. In his own words: "People don't know how to react to someone with a disability, but everyone loves Ralph and he's made me so much more social. It's all a game to him and that's hugely infectious." See:Cat Saves Yacht Owner From Drowning.)
Canine Partners Special Annual Affair
Baroness Gale hosted the special annual affair and naturalist and broadcaster, Bill Oddie, presented the awards. Paul Phillips, aged 26, and Ralph were among other heroes awaiting their honors at the feted ceremony. Canine Partners, a UK charity, made it possible for the dog to enter Paul's life after his accident some two years ago. Ralph's assistance is invaluable as now Paul can move into his own apartment in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. (See: Half-Breed Wolf Saves Couple In Snowstorm.)
In the words of Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW: "It's an honor to be able to highlight the fantastic work carried out by all the winners of IFAW's 2018 Animal Action Awards. Each story is inspirational and we hope that these examples will encourage others to do all they can to help protect animals." (See: Pit Bull Takes Bullet For Owner.)
Here's to Paul Philips, Ralph and the 7,000 service dogs throughout England who aid the disabled every day of every year!
Way to go, Ralph!