He had a handsome face, long velvet ears, beautiful markings on a strong body of short fur and a nose that was always experiencing the wonderful smells of nature. His rather large 4 paws and a tail curled high above his back showed him to be a Beagle even to those with limited knowledge of dogs. He was full bred and the largest Beagle that most have ever seen. When he introduced himself to me at 6 weeks old, he became my boy. I was not his master and he was not my pet. He was stubborn and taught me how to be a good dad. I learned a lot from my furry boy. His love for his home and family was far reaching and anyone who knew me also knew that my furry boy was near by.
For some he was just a big Beagle and they would ask if he was a good rabbit dog. I would let them know that he had a remarkable nose and loved to sing in the woods near home and occasionally he would bring a rabbit home proud and prancing and unwilling to release his catch. He was not a rabbit dog. He was my boy who was having fun experiencing life with his human dad. He talked with his eyes with expressions that I soon learned what each glance meant. He would be saying take me for a ride in the old jeep, or let’s go out on the boat where he loved to speed with those velvet ears flapping in the wind or he would just want to go in the yard and roll in the sun.
My Beagle, my boy Oakietubbs was a constant pleasure of love and worry. He was the king and he knew it. When he wanted to show his love he needed your full face for several licks and his big brown eyes would connect, and you knew instantly that you were special. He also knew that his dad was always there to protect him and love him. When he was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes at age 6, he didn’t know why the many trips to the vet or why the many injections to bring him into remission. His big sparkling brown eyes would be asking me why he didn’t feel good at times and why I had to make sure he took his pills. I was always his dad who protected him and explained with loving conversations to him and to God that I would protect him and he would get better. He was strong at times and wanted to be his old self, but month after month he became weaker.
His love never failed and he was always anxious to let me know how special I was to him for he knew that he was my boy. I never wanted to believe that my strong furry boy would have his wonderful joy for life cut short by such a horrible disease that seems to attack at will with little exception to humans or animals. Oakietubbs was strong to the end and never lost his dignity or respect for his human family. He was in my arms by the wood stove that he loved on New Years Day when God took him. He was only eight years old. The only protection I had for him was prayer and I truly believe because of the impact he had on 4 human family members with his undeniable love that God has him in a special place. It is not farewell my little boy but only a moment in time until we are together again.
Your Human Dad, Rick Reynolds