There’s something about Reuben


For Reuben April 2007 – May 9th 2012

Today I lost a very dear friend and family member of the four legged kind, I know I won’t sleep tonight, dreading waking up in the morning, knowing the realisation will hit me all over again, words may help.

There is Reuben’s story and the story behind Reuben.

Before Reuben came bounding into our life, we had Desmond, a handsome leggy Parson Russell with a curly tail who would ‘sing’ with me. He was an incredibly loyal dog and constantly wagged his tail. Unfortunately we lost him in October 2007 very suddenly to some weird stomach problem he had. The vets had never seen anything like it, and they couldn’t figure out what it was. We only had him 4 months. I was heartbroken and I still miss him to this day.

DSC00284 2

Our other dog, Abi, needed a friend (I was fostering a dog at the time but he didn’t like to play) so we went searching and found ‘Eddie’, a terrier mix in a rescue near Charleville. We passed our homecheck and went to meet this Eddie. Straight away we fell in love with him, he was about 6-8 months old and full of energy, he played with Abi in Pauline’s kitchen, hopping from one couch to another. Perfect, we brought him home. He didn’t do cars very well though. We learned that the hard way!

Squished up in the tiny bed

Abi and Reuben inseperable, people always asked if they were from the same litter

We had renamed him before we collected him. We wanted to connect him to Desmond so we did some research. As we were living near Kinsale at the time, Desmond Castle kept popping up in our search and we came across a Quaker Merchant called Reuben Harvey. During the American War of Independence, prisoners from many American vessels were held in Desmond Castle in extremely poor conditions. Through the influence of Reuben Harvey and Rev. William Hazlett they improved the conditions these prisoners had to endure. Reuben seemed quite fitting for our new dog as he helped us with the loss of our Desmond.



Reuben was a funny pup, full of beans so quickly his nickname became ‘Beans’ or ‘Reubeans’. I think he had some kind of beagle in his breeding so I invented a new breed, a ‘ReuBeagle’ as he really was one of a kind. He was very strong, built like a tank. 10kg of pure muscle and so very strong. He had terrible recall, loved chasing birds and rabbits but couldn’t so much as catch a dead fly. He had big floppy soft velvety ears that I would rub and he would close his big brown eyes. He cuddled, actually he spooned. He would lie with his back against my belly. His paws smelled like biscuits. He had an amazing bark, sounded like great big dog, always making me feel very safe. He would sit on your feet, where ever you were. Sometimes he would rest his head on on your knees, then a paw, then another paw and then try and discretely climb up on your lap, there was nothing discrete about this dog but his tactics always worked.

Crazy dog lady

Tabitha adored him, he was so patient with her, letting her dress him up in scarves and even placing bracelets on his head while he was having a bath. He never once knocked her over with excitement and he used to lie in his bed while Tabitha tried her best to clip the lead onto his collar. When Tabitha was learning to walk and we would stroll down the road he would walk quietly and never pull, stopping when she stopped, walking when she walked, never tripping her up with his lead. He would wait patiently by her high chair waiting for food, which she would offer and he would take, making her giggle without fail every single time.

Any dog who is this patient with a toddler is not just any dog, he’s part of the family too

He even let me dye him with blackberries

Then there was the time I had put him in a green doggy anorak as a joke (which was a present, I did not purchase it!) and he escaped and I had to knock on neighbour’s doors asking had they seen a dog in green anorak, I did get strange looks. When he would travel in the boot of the car, he would pop his head up every time we stopped at traffic lights, bringing a smile to the person in the car behind. He was goofy, handsome but not a very clever dog but he was Reuben, he was mine. I always said if he were human, I would marry him (yes I am that crazy dog lady).

Abi, Reuben and my foster collie at the time Feabhra

Playing with a tiny Lester last May

He was not without his faults or quirks! He would gently gnaw teddy bears, hated the rain, bridges, stairs. He even sat down to eat his food but he would escape for hours, coming back in the early hours of the morning, standing outside the front door barking and barking. We always thought he was from another planet, on earth on a mission and that he was building a spaceship but he always came back.

Probably should have given him a chair

Caught mid escape on one of the 6ft walls around our garden

But tonight, I am without my Reuben as last night he did not come back. He jumped out of my garden straight into a car, yelped and ran. Today, my neighbour’s found him, curled up by their garage. His lip curled up, as if he were grinning and bearing pain. I hope he didn’t suffer, he didn’t deserve to suffer.

Abi and Reuben

Tomorrow, I will bury him at the top of my parents field under a tree, next to Desmond.

I am heartbroken. I don’t understand how something that you love so much can be taken away from you.

I know some may read this thinking he was just a dog, that’s true, but he was my dog. He had place in my life, my home and most importantly my heart, where his pawprint will forever remain.

My dad sent me this poem, I don’t know who it is by, I tried to google it.


Dear sweet Ruben

In the sky

I loved you so

Why did you die

I heard you yap

And bark and whine

And then I knew

That you were mine

I’ll miss your face

Those big brown eyes so bright

The cosy way you

Snuggled in at night

Now you are gone

Up in the sky

I’ll think of you

And smile and sigh

Sleep tight Beans x

Walk in the woods


Beach Walks



21 responses to “There’s something about Reuben

  1. Oh no. This is a terrible end to your search. I hope you are ok and that Ruben gets the send off he deserves…. This really touched me – your dedication to him was so lovely.


  2. Pets are never ‘just’ a dog etc. They are little souls, with personality and the ability to make our lives so much richer and full of love and laughter. As I sit here with my wee Maggie I can not and selfishly do not want to feel your pain – it must be almost unbareable to cope with.
    He was seemingly a fabulous friend, I guess all we can do to rationalise loss is to be thankful that we knew the soul in the first place xxxxxxxxxxx


    • Thank you for your kind words Carrie. Sometimes people find it hard to understand the bond we can have with our animals. Reuben always knew when I was upset and would sit by me, he was my protector. The house is so strange without him, I never realised how much he featured in my every day life – usually telling my daughter to give him a cuddle or show him a teddy, he was a great friend for her. I’m so very glad we had a lovely last few weeks with extra cuddles in bed and on the couch and sneaky treats from my plate and enjoying walks with just him. Treasure your little Maggie, we never have them long enough xxx


  3. This post bought a tear to my eye. It’s never easy loosing a beloved pet. We lost a dog, Sandy, on a Duel carridge way, horrific. It still makes me teary thinking of him all these years later. Rueben looks like he was a handsome character of a doggie. Sweet dreams Rueben. x


      • He was a little Labbe Beagledour, I was only 12 at the time. We never got another dog after that. Upset us too
        Much. Your right pets are big parts of our families, especially special doggies like Rueben. x


  4. I’m so sorry to read about your loss. I’ve always considered my animals members of the family, so when I’ve lost them, I, too, have felt it deeply. I hope that soon, your memories bring a smile to your face rather than tears.



    • Thank you for your kind words Mandy. When ever I have been this sad before I’ve had Reuben for cuddles so I am feeling a little lost without him 😦 x


  5. I sit here in floods of tears for you and reuban…i understand how a dog can be so loved and hold such a big place in your heart and i hope time heals that pain you feel a volunteer at paulines rescue helping her as she performs miracles with all the abandoned dogs…i have lost dogs over the years through old age ..emigrating etc and still find myself crying over my first dog bowser x great dane/ridgeback 15 years later but its because we loved them for the dogs they were and how they enriched our lives..we were blessed to have them and we will always carry a piece of them with us…i will keep u in my thoughts hope the universe minds you …x x


    • Thank you for your kind words Freda. I miss him so much. He was such a great day. I will never forget the day we collected him from Pauline’s. The cuddles we had that night with him. He was such a super dog. I text Pauline and she said she has a video of Reuben that day. He was such a fun dog, always bounding places. xxx


  6. I am Leslie and i am in work with tears running down my face ,tears of saddness for you and tears of joy that another lovely dog got such a good home and was loved sooooo much by you unfortunately for so short a time though . Your tribute to him is amazing and i am sure he has read it from doggy heaven and showing to all his buddies up there . I have two dogs ZOEY AND KIA . i had another little one called DIESEL i got him from Paulines rescue 7 months ago and believe it or not his name was RUEBENS in paulines ,unfortunetely my little ZOE has a new illness ,along with her epelepsy and a young lively dog would be too much for her as this new disease is to do with the pancreas . I was so sad returning him back to Paulines last saturday but she assures me he is doing well . He is the image of your ruebens maybe a bit bigger and i think he is meant for you , plese have a look at him on Paulines facebook . I have him neutered , vaccinated for the year and micro chipped . I would feel so good if you loved him … fingers crossed he will be the one to heal your heart
    love from me and all animals should be treated the way you do xxxxxx


    • Hi Leslie, thank you for taking the time to comment. I had a look at Diesel on Pauline’s facebook page. He’s gorgeous, he looks like a big Reuben. I suddenly feel very sad and lonely for Reuben and wishing he was here. I have two dogs at the moment, and I think Lester would get on with him but I’m not ready for another dog so soon. I’m also on my own with my 16 month old daughter and adding another dog may mess up the dynamics with everyone. He truly is a beautiful dog and I’m sorry you couldn’t keep him. If he is meant for me, he won’t pass me by xxx


      • Thankyou Issabel for looking at Diesel and as they say whats meant for you wont pass you. Hope you are feeling a little better though i know it takes a long time to get over such a big loss that was such a huge part of your life , hope Lester is ok too by the way your daughter is gorgeous xxxxx


  7. Reuben Harvey was my great great great great grandfather. My nephew is also called Reuben. Did we have this conversation before? Great name. Sorry for your loss.


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