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.
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!
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.
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
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).
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.
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.
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