Our sweet dog Reuben died last night. I have not been able to sleep. I don’t know if I will ever hit publish on this but I need to get it out.. I’ve been up all night crying. In turn, I’ve also been weeping for my children who are in incredible pain. They are devastated. I have no words for them to offer comfort. It happened so unexpectedly and my own heart is shattered. I can’t stop the tears from flowing. He was fine when Dale put him out one last time to pee. He came in all happy, playful and excited for his treat. We never had a thought for a moment that anything was wrong. There was no indication.
That all changed sometime after midnight when he began to bark. It was a different kind of bark that screamed pain. He was whimpering. I picked him and held him and he was trembling. His little heart pounding. I could see the fear in his eyes. He was so scared. I wasn’t able to hold onto him for long because he wanted down. And he soiled all over me…and then as he scampered away he couldn’t walk at first. We noticed that he had thrown up in the night and had had diareha. He just couldn´t seem to get comfy. Something was wrong and we didn’t know what to do to help him. He was crying and running around all frantic like, trying to get under our bed…and of course he didn´t fit. In hind site I think he wanted to go there to die. Maybe he knew he was leaving us. I’ve heard dogs like to hide when they die. We put him in our bathroom to confine him and sat helplessly with him while he had a major seizure that seemed to go on forever and then his heart gave out and he passed away in our arms. Before he left us we told him what a good boy he was and how much we loved him. While the seizure was continuing we prayed over him that God would breathe life into him, stop the pain, stop the seizures…because we knew God could and we did not want to lose him. Not now, when we were not ready. Not when we were not expecting it or our hearts had not had time to prepare for it.. He was here one moment then gone. He left us suddenly, and painfully. It was the most horrible thing I have ever watched. We were helpless to do anything but scratch his ears and watch him die. People have told us that they think he got into poison…All the signs indicate that….but how or where? If he did we did not notice. As we are always with him in the house or if we are out walking. We will probably never know.
I don’t know what we will do without him. He was my walking companion. Oh how he loved walking! Most of the time, that is. Sometimes it was just too hot out to walk. And he would run away when I called him to go for a walk. He was my little guard dog, growling when strangers talked to me or came near. I guess he thought he was protecting me. He was my devo buddy in the morning. We had our routine down. I would make coffee and then sit on the couch and read my Bible and do my devotions. He would either be right beside me or at my feet. And he absolutely loved car rides! He went nuts over them. And he ALWAYS knew when it was Tuesday morning. The day when I would leave for the ladies Bible study. He would get so impatient waiting to for his weekly car ride!
How he loved us all unconditionally. He was always so excited and happy to see us when we came home from somewhere. He would smother us with kisses and bring us his ball. He loved to play all the time. We had him for almost two years but he was still in puppy mode. We have his toys sitting on the table under the mirror in our living room and Reuben would often just sit there looking at his toys and glance back at us. Play with me! His latest game was at bedtime and he would play catch with Dale’s socks. He could have played 24/7. He was so happy-go-lucky.
He loved sitting out on the balcony with the breeze and he loved sitting with Dale.
He always sat at Ben’s bedroom door, wanting in. He and Ben loved to play together. Yesterday Ben and I were at Espresso Americano for our “date” when Ben told me that Reuben was the best pet he had ever had and how much he loved him and what fun he was. And now…the best pet ever is gone. Taken so suddenly. He was Jake’s best bud too…always sitting by him when he played on the x box. He loved to be chased by the boys all through the house. My heart is screaming out that it isn´t fair! And I want to know, why God? Why did Reuben have to die? And he just had his hair cut on Friday…He looked so handsome. His fur always grew so long and bushy, so we had it cut short for the warm weather even though in my opinion he was cuter when he was so scruffy. The lady who cut his hair said he was a happy dog. And that he was…and he will be so missed by our family. It’s a loss we didn’t see coming and it’s hitting us so hard.
I so remember the day we got him. We went to the Puppy Mcdonald’s here in the city. It’s a McDonalds’ where people stand outside on the sidewalk and sell their puppy’s. He was such a tiny little thing. He was really one of the best decisions we ever made. He was the glue that bonded us together as a family. He drew us closer to each other in a culture that was still so new to us. He brought a lot of joy and FUN to our lives. We all loved him and were loved by him. Elisa adored him…She liked to pick him up as if he were a doll.
Back when he was a pup he loved to chew toothbrushes and dirty underware. It was so gross. He would knock over the hamper just to get at them. And he would have accidents in the house. Which was frustrating…not gonna lie…Except in the past couple weeks those had stopped. Finally… It was like he got it!
My how we will miss him. I still can’t believe he is gone and not just asleep. I keep expecting to walk in a room and find him there, tail wagging a toy hanging out of his mouth…but that isn´t going to happen. He is gone and we have to try to grieve and move forward without him. I know there are some who might think he was “just” a dog…But to us he was family.