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Posts: 9
I put my beloved dog Kirby down a week ago tonight.  I am haunted by the event.  He was 17 and a half, blind, fairly deaf and had severe athritis.  He had been vomiting the night before and I couldn't bear the thought of anyone doing tests on him at this stage.  I did what I believed was correct, the doctor agreed, but it has devastated me.  I find myself recalling events that took place years ago and I miss him so.  I hate coming home. 


Posts: 11,059
I am sorry Kirby has passed on.  Letting go of our precious little ones so they are no longer suffering is very painful.  We know in our heart that it is the right decision, but we miss them so much and wish they were still sharing our lives.  You were blessed with many years with Kirby and many wonderful times.  I hope you will share a story or two about Kirby. 

precious Christoph ~ my sweet bunny boy ~


Posts: 10

We just endured the first full week of being without our dog Elway.  Perhaps a full week is a "milestone" of sorts as yesterday, 11/14/10 was exactly a week since we had to put him to sleep.  I was absolutely miserable, broke down in tears on several occasions and had a very restless night of sleep.

I also hate coming home because EVERYTHING reminds me of him.  I will tell you that in time, your heart will mend but I haven't experienced that on my own just yet.

I know Elway and Kirby are both completely healthy and running around happy as can be.  They miss us dearly and we miss them.  I still talk to my dog and I imagine I will for a good, long time.  In some weird way, it helps me a little.  I've also been trying to stay extremely busy while at home and that has also helped in small amounts as well.

Hang in there, Neal.  We all know your pain and I will say a prayer for you and your family and also for Kirby.  


Posts: 356
Neal, I am so sorry for your loss of Kirby. It is so unbelievably hard to make the decision and let them go, yet so right, respectful and caring to help them to pass on with dignity and without unnecessary pain and suffering. Kirby lived long and good life with you and loves you beyond. The grief you are going through is truly a roller-coaster ride of emotions that only get easier over time. Please share Kirby's stories, memories and try to concentrate on the wonderful lifetime you spent together. Not his passing.

Thinking of you and Kirby.



Posts: 9
Thank you to all who were kind enough to send supportive thoughts and wishes to me. I would like to tell a story about Kirby, who was a primarily white Jack Russell Terrier.

When he was about two, I went to the Catskills with him and some friends. It was summertime and we were hiking. We came upon a ledge that was, maybe twenty feet high. I ran and leapt off. After I came to the surface I heard voices calling, "oh, my God, Kirby!". He hadn't even hesitated, he'd followed right behind. The current caught him, and I can still see his little legs feverishly churning away.

It was so long ago, as time passed, and life changed, I had son, went through a painful separation, I was not able to give Kirby the best of myself at all times. For that, I am terribly guilt ridden.

Posts: 16

Do not be sad about what you percieved to be a lack of connection with Kirby at times. The wonderful and special gift our animals give us is support and unconditional love. Kirby knew what you were going through at those times, he was connnected and although you felt you did not give him the direct attention you wanted too, His happiness came frome being there for you. That is the magical thing about our loved ones, they are there and always will be. That makes them happy. My Phoebe passed on 11/06 and I am devastated, but I am also happy to have gone through what I did and with her. I also went through the birth of my child, I also went through a seperation and I was not always present for Phoebe. She knew what I was going through and there when I needed her. I am in awe of the support an dloved our little sweethearts give us through the good and bad times. God bless. And I hope that Kirby and Phobe meet in heaven-


Posts: 596
I too have a JRT named Kirby. I hope your little guy is in heaven with Bubba, Sassy and all of my babies who have passed, running like crazy.


Posts: 438

No matter what, Kirby knows how much you loved him.  You proved it in the end.  You gave him the diginity he deserved and did the one last thing for him that he needed of you.  I wrestled with it myself when I did this, but years have passed and I know I made the right decision.  I knew it then, but it hurt so badly I couldn't deal with it and was hounded by guilt.  You fought the one last battle for him he could not.  You are his angel and you are loved for it.  I will keep you in my heart, because even after 6 years I read the posts and it makes me cry.  My heart is so sad for you but know that you did the right thing.  God bless you .


Posts: 452
Neal... name is Debbie.  My condolences on losing dear Kirby.  It it so very obvious to those of us reading,  that the Love between the 2 of you was mutual.

   What a wonderful Story of his devotion to you...the "warmest" of affections.  However, what you cannot see in this earliest of grieving is the same you did and felt,  for his Golden Years.

   There is alot of guilt/haunting in early grieving. My 3 pets,  who have passed this year,  went thru an abusive relationship,  with me.  I couldn't afford extensive Vet care for 'Manda,  my doggie,  who passed in July.  I couldn't afford to bring her Ashes home...she was cremated communally.  All of these thoughts,  caused horrendous guilt for me.

   While I still grieve my Furries...farther down the road of grieving..I realize now,  that I did the best I could,  for them.  As far as Love...there was none Stronger than we had for each other.  Feel it, cry about it and share with us. We truly care and understand.

    Please stay with us to Heal....


Posts: 541
Neal, I am very sorry that you lost your boy, Kirby. It is so horrible to have to face that dreadful decision, but you know it was best for Kirby and that you set him free from his pain and disabilities. He loves you and appreciates your final act of love for him. Afterwards of course we are left with guilt, doubts and second-guessing ourselves, and this gut-wrenching pain of loss and grief.

I love the story you told about Kirby. He obviously adored you and would literally follow you into any situation you dove into! Our dogs' love and total devotion is truly remarkable, huh. Don't feel bad about not giving 100% to Kirby in the rough times of your 17 years together. I am sure he understood completely. Dogs are much more in tune with our emotions and thoughts than we give them credit for. They read us like a book. Kirby knew what you were going through and was happy just to be your companion and friend during difficult times. I'm sure you gave him all the love a dog could ever want. Your being here on Petloss says that.

Take care of yourself, Neal. Come here as much as you need to. This Petloss family helped me so very much when I lost my Chico in June. I don't know how I would have made it without them. We all understand what you are going through and are here for you. Please post a pic of Kirby when you are up to it.

Wishing you comfort soon.


Posts: 261


I hear nothing but love in the words you speak of your boy, Kirby!  He hears it too.  He felt it, or he wouldn't have followed you off that ledge!  What a dog! It's no wonder that you miss him so terribly.  As for not always giving him your best at all times.....I think we can all say that has happened at one time or another. What's important is that you gave him your love and he knew it! Alot of people from this wonderful family have given you their thoughts and feelings and they're right on target! You gave Kirby a wonderful, unselfish gift, in releasing him from his pain. For that he'll be forever grateful to you. It's you that suffers now with that awful thing called guilt. In time you'll come to realize it was the most compassionate, loving gift you could have given him.  He knows it, and someday you'll know it, better yet, you'll believe it! For Kirby, no matter what you gave him, it was always your best!  He never judged you.....don't judge yourself.  That's for the man upstairs!  As MandasMomma said, "Please stay with us to heal."

God Bless You and your boy (((Kirby)))!
Donna (Rudy & Rileysmom:)

Posts: 9
Once again,

Thanks to all of you for all of your kind words and compassion.  I suppose what is most difficult for me now is reconciling the guilt I feel. 

I look at pictures of Kirby and realize they were all taken before my son was born.  Logically, I know and understand that having a child is extremely demanding and that the relationship between Kirby and I had to change, but now I feel heartbroken miss that time.

In addition, I separated from my son's mother over a year ago and I was a wreck for a good while after.  I wasn't my most loving self to Kirby. 

It was not easy watching him lose his eye sight and hearing. 

Once again, thanks to to all for listening and sharing.

Posts: 5,100

Neal, I am so very sorry you had to say farewell to your beloved Kirby.  I had to put my little 17 y/o Min Pin, Ralphie, to sleep almost two years ago, so I know your sorrow so intimately.  Please don't feel guilty.  Kirby knows your heart.  He knows you loved him, even as your life changed.  To him, your love was one constant in his life.  He never doubted it. Take solace in knowing he will always love you.  How blessed you are to have belonged/still belong to each other.

Godspeed, sweet Kirby!  Come visit your Dad in his dreams.

Thinking of you,


Posts: 9
Once again, thanks to all of you who've taken the time to read my messages and respond with loving words of kindness and support.  Such deeply felt responses help me greatly.  

I just wanted to say a bit more about the guilt that is overwhelming me. 

As I mentioned previously, I went through a traumatic separation from my son's mother just over a year ago.  As a result, I would often rush home from work, walk Kirby, and rush to see my son for my allot-ed two hours with him. 

Kirby would be left once again after already being alone all day.  Since he was elderly, he could not longer "go" everywhere, especially the playground.  

I would do my best to not think about it, but it always killed me to leave him.

In the past year I was not always my best self.  I would come home, eat, try and read or something, and try and sleep.

Towards the end, as Kirby's eyes failed him and his hearing worsened, and he had severe arthritis.  But he would still love his two treats before bedtime each night.  Yet, sometimes I would find myself irritated at night when he would move around the apartment.  Also, the combination of the separation and his peeing constantly all over, became exhausting.

I'm grateful that I did give him love at night before sleep, but I feel sickened that I was not always there in spirit.

In truth, I have struggled with depression since the separation. 

I realize as I write this that it was very hard to witness Kirby's health fail and that I fear that I might have made a rash decision last week after he vomited all night. 

My aching heart asks, is there ever a right time?


Posts: 596
There is never a right time for us, but they expect us to do the right thing. Don't second guess yourself. Kirby loved you, you loved him and you did the best you could. It always hurts to see someone we love start to fail. It hurts because there is nothing we can do to prevent it.

Don't second guess yourself. My Kirby is also starting to slow down, and he's only 11. We always expect a JRT to be "on" all the time, and it's odd when they slow to a run instead of being all out and turbo charged.

You did right, and don't try to talk yourself out of believing that. Your heart will ache for a while. But don't let the guilt you're feeling overshadow your memories of Kirby. Prayers for you and Kirbby. I hope he shows you a sign.
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