Jul 27, 2011 8:00 PM by Danielle Lerner
Seniors often make great pet owners because they are able to provide so much love and companionship, but in the sad event they should pass away, what happens to the pets they leave behind? One local family is finding that out the tough way.
"There's no other way to explain it really, he's just sad and lonely and misses his mom," said Dave Wills, who lives in Atascadero.
Kirby's mom was Dave Wills' grandmother, Sharon Rattery. She inherited the dog from her daughter, Susan, who passed away just two weeks after bringing him home in 2003.
"It was pretty much meant to be because I mean she lost both her kids, my dad and my aunt, so that's why Kirby was so special to her," said Wills.
Sharon spoiled her dogs with unlimited amounts of love and affection, often spending hours with them in her favorite blue chair. They were right by her side when she passed away in April.
"She's had him since he was a little puppy so it's got to be pretty hard on him," Wills said.
Since then Kirby has been moved from home to home, often being passed along because of his ability to escape. Last week, Matthew Cadaret became the latest person to find Kirby wandering around town.
"We were actually just getting ready for lunch and he ran down the hill and ran right up to us," said Cadaret.
Cadaret's aunt, Peggy Deardorff, just happened to be walking by and she took it upon herself to have Kirby's microchip checked.
"They scanned him and gave me the name of Sharon Rattery who I had known years ago through church," Deardorff said. "It was kind of disbelief, I was just in shock."
"I've never seen a pet come up to visit a grave, just people," said Cadaret, who works as the grounds foreman at the Atascadero Cemetery.
Turns out, Kirby wandered several miles from home, to the exact place where Sharon, and her daughter Susan, are buried side by side. The very site Kirby stood when both women were laid to rest.
"Everybody feels pain, all the way down to our pets," said Cadaret.
Dave Wills and his family know they cannot give Kirby the lifestyle he is used to, so now the search is on for someone who can.
"He hasn't been the same since my grandma died," Wills said.
Someone not looking to replace what Kirby had, but to give him a new place to call home.
"I think he knows, I really do, he's got to," said Wills.
Kirby is looking for a home preferably with a senior so he can get back to that low-key lifestyle. Hospice SLO is also helping with this through its new Pet Peace of Mind Program. Anyone interested should head to the Newslinks section of ksby.com.
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