New Farm Park, Brisbane

Sunday, March 1, 2009

DR RALPH TO THE RESCUE

In 1962 I went the Australian School of Pacific Administration to train to be a teacher for Papua/ New Guinea. There were about 60 students in my year, most of us in our 20's, a few younger and older. After we were posted to P/NG many of us lost contact with each other. Some stayed for many years others moved on. In 2002, 40 years later, a couple of ex students took it upon themselves to find everyone and organise a reunion. It was a hilarious 3 day event, ex students came from all over Australia and the world. It took us the first day to recognise each other and renew friendships. It was interesting catching up with every one's life over the past 40 years.

One of our group was Howie Ralph, he and his wife brought a baby wombat to the reunion. Naturally that became a topic for conversation. It turned out that Howie left the teaching profession and returned to university and studied to be a Doctor of Medicine and a Veterinarian. He and his wife were caring for the orphaned wombat that needed bottle feeding regularly consequently it attended the reunion and won everybody's heart.

It wasn't surprising to read this news story recently, written by Josephine Asher for ninemsn. (I have shortened the article)

Dr Howard Ralph has taken time away from his vet surgery in NSW to treat animal victims of the Victorian bush fires. He has treated horses, dogs, dingos. goats, koalas, wallabies, a turtle, a duck and a peacock.
Most were treated for burns and injuries sustained while frantically trying to escape the fire, like puncture wounds, eye injuries and head injuries. Some animals had to be euthanased as the burns to their eyes and faces were too severe.
Dr Ralph was very sad to see these animals suffering and he does his best to alleviate their stress.
Dr Ralph is a volunteer with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and he has attended wildlife rescue operations all over the world including in Borneo but he has also worked as doctor and an anesthetist in Sydney and Canberra.
He is currently setting up Southern Cross Wildlife Care in Braidwood in southern NSW.
I feel honoured to know this compassionate man.

We saw many heart warming scenes on TV of owners being reunited with their pets including the peacock pictured above.

13 comments:

  1. I saw that news bit and I myself was upset to see and think about the poor animals, sometimes people forget about the animals when there is so much suffering.

    He sounded like a great caring man.

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  2. You are indeed fortunate to know Dr Howard Ralph. I was thrilled with the baby wombat he brought along at the Port Macquarie reunion in 2004

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  3. What an amazing group of friends you have - and you know what they say - bird of a feather flock together- thank you for highlighting his work and also the plight of the victims of this fire..

    Blessings! Oh, BFF is Best Friend Forever - a product of the texting generation - KWIM? (know what I mean?) TTFN ( tata for now) :-)

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  4. Thank Heavens there are people in the world who take precious time to do that. I will never understand how people can be cruel to any animal and it happens every day. It is wonderful to read about somebody like this.

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  5. All these animal stories of the babes being hurt or killed in the fire are just tearing my heart out! Nice that so many are willing to lend a hand!

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  6. Oh Diane, what a wonderful man. Hey I don't see a wedding band on his hand. Is he available? If so, the old Southern woman may be heading over there to meet this man after her heart. This is my type of guy for sure!

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  7. Wow, that is really cool. Good for Dr Ralph.

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  8. Kathleen, soory to tell you, yes he has a wife.

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  9. What an amazingly kind man! It is good to know of his work with the poor animals injured in the fires.

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  10. Great story Diane...It`s wonderful to see that there are some caring people who put animals as a priority...

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  11. That's so sad to read ! The poor animals in this tragedy !

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  12. What a beautiful man. You are indeed lucky to know such a compassionate soul.

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  13. I was fortunate enough to have Howard as my teacher whilst studying vet. nursing at Richmond/NSW. He cares a lot about animals and humans alike, a great man indeed!

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