by Sandy Kirby Quandt
This past Saturday, we said good-bye to our 12-year, 11-month-old German Shepherd/Golden Retriever, Kirby, for the last time. We said our last “Good-bye”, without adding our usual, “We’ll be back soon.”
For those of you who have put an animal to sleep, you understand what an incredibly difficult, painful thing it is to do. You understand the tears. The sorrow. The hurt. The love.
Kirby was a real sweetheart. She faithfully watched Pilot drive off to work every morning, and was the first to greet him when he returned in the evening. She was our protector. She guarded us day and night. She knew friend from foe.
Her death came at the hands of a quickly spreading, incurable, cancer. Her last days reduced Kirby to needing to be hand-fed by Pilot. Even in her pain, the cancer couldn’t keep her tail from wagging when she saw us approach.
Instead of remembering the cancer, I choose to remember how Kirby captured my heart the first time I saw her at the pet adoption. We weren’t even looking to add another dog to the two we already had, but once I picked Kirby up, I refused to put her down until we walked out the store with her.
I choose to remember how Kirby strode into the house that very first day and established the fact she was alpha to her two unsuspecting brothers.
I choose to remember how smart Kirby was. How she herded us to bed every night at precisely the exact time. No matter the seasonal time changes.
I choose to remember how her soft fur shone in the sunlight. How she looked when she found a mud puddle. And how she barely tolerated the introduction of a new puppy, Bear, into the family two years ago.
Kirby was a wonderful companion. We were privileged to share our home with her all these years. Although we wish there had been more good days for her, we are thankful for the almost 13 years we did have.
She will live on in our hearts.
I wish you well.
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