We Lost Our Battle – Kirby

I am heartbroken to report that my little buddy Kirby has gone on to cross Rainbow Bridge. He’ll be helping me battle Big Pet Food and regulations from another place now.

Kirby began having seizures months ago. We battled the seizures in multiple ways – every step along the way helped lessen the severity. And then we found something that worked. He was seizure free for about 5 months using food as our treatment plan (ketogenic diet).

As life does to us sometimes, just when we think we have something figured out – everything gets dumped upside down. About a week ago Kirby’s seizures started again. One a day at first, but quickly they escalated to 5 in a day. And then he didn’t come out of the after seizure haze. He was in a semi-conscious state for the last day. And then I made the call – it was time to tell him good-bye. My very kind veterinarian – Dr. Joel Murphy – helped us say good-by to our little best friend.

I knew that Kirby had a heart murmur, and as it turns out the murmur had escalated severely. Dr. Murphy believed his heart disease could have been the cause of the end stage seizures. There was absolutely nothing we could do but to provide him with an easy passing.

We are blessed sometimes to have a very special dog or cat come into our lives. Kirby was one of those very special animals. He was my dog – and I was his person. He did not want to leave me. No matter his condition, he did not want to leave me. In his last day – even in his semi-conscious haze – he only raised up if I would leave the room. He wanted to be with me. That’s the thing about our pets – the ones we love so, so much – they often fight to stay with us because they love us so, so much too. That love made my decision that much harder, but I know Kirby understands I was doing the best thing for him.

My heart is more than broken – a piece of it is gone with Kirby. But I know that piece of my heart is being well cared for, Kirby is guarding it closely.


My thanks to the many people who supported me along the way with Kirby’s seizures and end of life.

Susan Thixton

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Comments 200

  1. Michelle Collie Mom says:

    So sorry, Susan. We so know how this feels. There are tears in my eyes for you and darling Kirby. Puppy hugs to you.

    • Millie says:

      My sentiments exactly. All the best to you Susan.

    • Puppy hugs <3

    • Joan says:

      Susan…….. so very sorry about Kirby. He was so very lucky to have you, and you– him. We all feel your pain, and no one understands unless they’ve been there. You took time out of your busy schedule to reply to my email in 2011 when I was struggling with the same loss. Raider was that very special boy that somehow had an indescribable connection with me. You sent me a poem that starts out “I am standing upon the seashore…” I still have it my email, and read it many, many times. It took us 2 yrs to open our hearts again, and feel we should not have waited that long. I’m sure you will open your heart sooner to some rescue just waiting for you. Thank you for all you do for the welfare of our pets. You are as special as Kirby knew you were & he’ll be in your heart forever. Joan

  2. Jorge Regueiro says:

    To Kirby’s owner I say that I know that pain because I too have lost a little friend in the past . It is a pain that is so deep you just can’t explain it to anyone, and it doesn’t seem like it’s gonna go away, but little by little it will lessen. After months of suffering my wife and I decided that we wanted, that we needed to have the love of a dog in our home again, and though no other animal can ever replace the one you lost, it brings back that joy into your life. We now have two beautiful healthy little Corgies that we adore. Maybe you too will find it possible when the time is right to bring another little one into your life.
    I wish you the best, and may God Bless you and your family.
    Sincerely, J.R

    • Dawn says:

      Oh my dear Susan. I’m so so so sorry. kirby was so lucky to have you. As you were to have little kirby. I think having to make “the decision” is probably the hardest thing one ever has to do in life. The fact that our dear little loves leave us so soon is truly one of the biggest unfairnesses of life. Peace sister.

  3. Holly Rist says:

    So sorry. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a beloved pet. Hugs

  4. Sandra Short says:

    Oh Susan please accept my dearest, most sincere condolences. There really are no words but many tears. Kirby will be remembered. Bless you.

  5. Dee Cochrane says:

    So very sorry, susan my heart goes out to you. God bless you

  6. Martha j says:

    Hugs and tears.

  7. Penelope Tremblay-Landry says:

    My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved family member, Kirby.

  8. Cindy says:

    Susan, I am so sorry for your loss! I’m so glad he had you as a guardian and loving provider.

  9. Jude says:

    There’s no other heartbreak quite like this, is there… It feels like losing your child, your parent, and your best friend all at once… My heart is with you, Susan.

    • Boy, you said that right Jude – I just lost my dog 2 weeks ago & the pain is great – just as losing a human… It hits me hard on & off and is so, so sad. Sorry Susan – everyone is feeling your lose and isn’t it nice to have such great friends & advice here! It seems everyone’s caring really helps.

  10. Cynthia Redmond says:

    There are no words. We have all been through this. So so sorry.

  11. Vicky Crawford says:

    So very sorry for your loss.

  12. Macy Penna says:

    Sorry to hear about your beloved Kirby. Having gone through this myself, I know you will never forget Kirby, but do as I did – Open your heart to another fur baby. It will NEVER replace Kirby, but it will help dry your tears, and I’ll bet Kirby will be happy for you. You were a great Mom to Kirby and another little fur baby out there is waiting for you.

  13. Nancylynn L says:

    I am so sorry. It was heaven there with you…

  14. Jan says:

    I too am so, so very sorry. I think of how well-cared for he was to have a mother like you. I wish we could have them for many years more. One of the hardest things is to lose a beloved pet. God’s grace and peace be with you, Susan.

  15. Duncan Ness says:

    I am so very sorry. You have done so well by him: Kirby was a fortunate little fellow.

  16. Deborah Stone says:

    So very sorry Susan-I have been where you are so many times with all my babies-He is at peace now-Although the missing part can be trying at times, remembering all the memories can help you through. With much sympathy and loving thoughts-

  17. Aimee Hodge says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Susan. My heart is with you. Aimee

  18. Rebecca Wilson says:

    So sorry to hear this, Susan. God bless sweet Kirby, and you all too!

  19. Jacqueline Bessette says:

    so sorry for your loss. Kirby sounds like a sweet little dude. so glad you had each other.

  20. Susan says:

    My heart hurts for you. Sending you peace and hugs.

  21. Mary says:

    My heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry.
    I know you feel broken. These losses are indescribable. Huggs to you Susan.

  22. Bren says:

    I’m so terribly sorry for your loss. 🙁 Hugs from Titan, Zue, and me.

  23. Marcie says:

    So sorry, Susan.

  24. Rhea says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I know how you feel even though it doesn’t lessen the loss.

  25. Jean StJohn says:

    I’m so very sorry to read this, Susan. We’ve been in your position so many times … it never gets easier. Kirby sounds like he was a wonderful pup … he had good taste in making sure you were never far from his side … a real treasure. It also sounds like you have a wonderful vet, a practical vet, an understanding vet. We have been so blessed over the years to have a vet who understands the heartache involved with the decision to help a beloved pet, a member of the family, to the Rainbow Bridge. Deepest sympathies to you, I totally understand. Gentle hugs …

  26. kirsihepworth@hotmail.com says:

    Deeply sorry for the loss of your beloved, precious Kirby. Sending you hugs and lots of strength.

  27. Marisa Siconolfi says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Susan and you are right he will look after you for always.

  28. soozyb2013 says:

    My little girl Bea began having seizures that were brought on by liver disease, so hard on her wee body that was a mere skeleton of herself. I miss her everyday. She was my little protector, my cuddle buddy. If it wasn’t for my other dogs, I would be hurting so much still. She passed in October 2016. I am sorry you are dealing with this kind of pain, but thank goodness for photographs and sweet memories. I can smile now at her pictures, but some days…
    Kirby will always be with you. Again truly sorry for your loss.

  29. Meg says:

    Healing thoughts and prayers for you Susan, that ‘last act of love’ is so very tough. Hopefully soon those fond memories and pictures will make you smile and remember all the good times, and bring comfort knowing he is doing fabulous while waiting for you…..

  30. Debbie T. says:

    Sending sympathy and condolences for your loss.

  31. Terri Christenson Janson says:

    Aww… Susan I’m so very very sorry to hear this. I am crying typing this. I wish there were something I could say or do to help but I don’t know what that would be except to send you a hug..

  32. Carol MacPherson says:

    So so sorry for your loss. I know mere words can never heal the hurt in your heart, but at least he is seizure free now. He looked like an absolute sweetheart!

  33. DJL says:

    Dear Susan, I am so sorry you have lost your dear Kirby. There is never enough time with them.

  34. Healing prayers and thoughts for you Susan. That final ‘act of love’ is so very difficult. Hoping that peace and comfort replace the tears with smiles and fond memories knowing he is in a fabulous place while waiting for you.

  35. Cinda Lautenschlegar says:

    I’m so sorry for your tragic loss.

  36. bonnie0718 says:

    I am so deeply sorry for your loss, Susan and know how you’re feeling now. You now have an angel in your corner watching over and protecting you,

  37. Brenda Rion says:

    What you have just been through is the hardest part of a pet parent’s life, and you have my deepest sympathy. Susan. As you said, pets like Kirby fight hard to stay with us regardless of their own discomfort, but I’m convinced that when all is said and done, they are grateful that we have chosen to help them to the Rainbow Bridge and free them from bodies that no longer can support their beautiful souls. Hugs.

  38. P Ramsay says:

    SO sorry, we know what a difficult time this can be. Kirby will be helping now from the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

  39. Debbie says:

    So very sorry to hear about Kirby, Susan. It is so heartbreaking to lose our fur babies. Have been there 3 times and it never gets easier. Sending lots of love and healing to you. (((HUGS)))

  40. Tina says:

    I am so very sorry, Susan. I’ve had to make that awful decision to say goodbye a few times, and I know how much it hurts. Thank you for sharing with us and for everything you do to help our precious pets.

  41. Elizabeth I. says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Susan. I know it is so hard, what a lucky baby he was to have you.

  42. so sorry, my heart breaks for you

  43. Dianne Thornton says:

    Susan, I am so very sorry you lost precious Kirby. I too, read your message with tears for you both. It is uplifting to remember that you both had that special relationship that every dog dreams of.

  44. Linda Kelly says:

    So sorry Susan and your words too make my heat sad as we feel our loss as well with each and every dog family member; I wish God gave us more time with them as their life is so short but I remember reading they don’t need much time on earth as they are perfect unlike their human companions! Maybe a dog’s job is to remind us of the importance of love and devotion!

  45. Terry Meyer says:

    Susan, my father often reminds me that when we leave this life, every dog who we have ever known will be waiting for us. May time allow the wonderful memories to take the place of your grief. You are not alone in this.

  46. greyhound lover says:

    So sorry to read this, Susan. Having had several seizure dogs, I was so happy to read recently that you had the seizures under control. My sympathies for your loss.

  47. Sally Roberts says:

    Oh Susan I am so very sorry. Yes we all know how this feels and it is like a piece of your soul has left you too and will never heal. . We all are crying with you and feel your pain. I wish I could say or do something to help you but I know it just takes time, a lot of time. My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend !

  48. Sharon Liptak says:

    So sorry for you loss of your precious companion Kirby. May his fond memories of companionship and joy bring you comfort at this very sad time.

  49. Marie Chandler says:

    Many hugs for you. I feel your pain. Losing our pets is so very sad. Please find comfort in knowing that all pets DO go to heaven and await our arrival when we will once again be reunited with them forever and forever. I recently lost my sweet kitty to cancer. By the grace of God I was with him when he took his last breath here on earth and his first breath in heaven and I literally saw peace enter his body.
    I wanted to believe whole heartedly and without a doubt that my sweet Sylvester was truly in the real heaven of our Lord God. I searched for answers and found some amazing books and would encourage all pet owners to read them. There is much comfort in knowing that we will once again see our beloved pets; fully restored and strong. Here are my favorites; Cold Noses At The Pearly Gates by Gary Kurz, The Rainbow Bridge: Pet Loss Is Heaven’s Gain by Niki Behrikis Shanahan, There is Eternal Life for Animals by Niki Behrikis Shanahan, Will I See Fido in Heaven? by Mary Buddemeyer-Porter.

    Hugs and blessing to you! Thank you for all your wonderful work that do for our beloved pets!
    Sincerely, Marie

    ” In his hand is the life of every creature” Job 12:10
    ” You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.” Psalm 36:6

  50. Trish says:

    Very heartbreaking to hear this news. Hugs to you during this very difficult time. <3

  51. joan johnston says:

    He took a piece of your soul and left a piece of his soul. Please find comfort that he is with you in your heart.

  52. thomastryon says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss of Kirby. That is the one thing that we as pet parents have to do for them for they won’t leave us voluntarily. Please look for a sign that Kirby is still with you. I have always had a sign from my beloved companion animal family members that they are still with me as furry angels.

  53. Anne says:

    I am very sorry. I know how you feel about losing Kirby as a loving and dedicated animal lover myself. Know that you are not alone. Sincerely, Hugs, Anne.

  54. I have been fighting this kind of horrendous battle along with you the last few months. My almost 15-year-old boy, Marco, is battling several end-of-life medical issues, and I too, will be faced with making the dreaded decision in the near future. Opening your heart about this struggle was courageous and inspiring to me, and to all the animal lovers who follow you and your invaluable work on behalf of our pets. I applaud your decision to allow Kirby to move on peacefully knowing that he will be with you as your guardian angel through eternity. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  55. Alida says:

    I’m very sorry, Susan. It’s so terribly painful. Only your love for him could have outweighed your own heartache, and I’m sure he always knew that…

  56. Aimee says:

    I’m so sorry Susan… 🙁 You have the support of many…

  57. Diana says:

    My deepest condolences, Susan. Been there, it’s a hard thing to see them go and make that decision. Much love, comfort, and peace to you.

  58. Dyan Kirkpatrick says:

    I am so very sorry. I understand how you can be missing a piece of your heart. It is unimaginably painful. I will keep you in my prayers.

  59. I am so sorry for your loss. He’ll be watching you continue to fight the good fight from above. 🐕❤️

  60. I’m so sorry Susan for your loss. Kirby is now an angel watching over you. RIP sweet Kirby💔😇

  61. So very sorry. Kirby is free to run and play now. He will always be with you!

  62. Anne says:

    Oh Susan, my heart breaks for you. It is so hard to lose a beloved companion like Kirby. Sending you a big hug at this difficult time.

  63. Georgia says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Play hard at the Rainbow Bridge, sweet Kirby!

  64. Pat says:

    so very sorry – the love you shared will always be in your heart

  65. Debbie Perkins says:

    Susan, I just want to say how very sorry I am to hear of Kirby’s passing. I will be thinking of you.

  66. My sincere sympathy to you Susan. The pain of losing a beloved pet is like no other. One week ago today I had my dear sweet 5 year old Yorkie Idgy euthanized and the greatest difficulty was knowing she was only 5 years old. Bless you and your family and RIP sweet Kirby❤️💙❤️💙❤️💔😢😭

  67. Diane says:

    So sorry, Susan for your loss… NEVER easy.. 🙁

  68. Janice says:

    Tears and prayers– for strength and warm memories of the good times.

  69. Dianna says:

    I am SO sorry, Susan. Losing a fur child is one of the most heartbreaking of life’s experience. I just lost my third and last kitty at 17 years old. Perhaps little Kirby is romping around with my babies. You did so much for him, so I hope you will never have the “woulds,shoulda”s. I believe that animals, just as humans do, choose our death date before we incarnate here, and that for as much as we try to save them, the Bigger Picture has its own plan. I hope your heart is comforted by knowing that Kirby is very aware how much you did for him and big your love for him is. We will all keep you close during this difficult time. And thank you again for all you do for us. You are an amazing human being.

  70. Merry says:


  71. marie@lightspirit.org says:

    Susan, I am so very sorry. You and Kirby fought well. He didn’t leave you. He only left his body, and while I know how deeply that hurts you, he’s free from his seizures and will always love you. He’ll always feel your love too. You’ll feel him sleeping on your shoulder. You’ll think it’s wishful thinking, but it’s not. He really will always be with you. Love is the bridge that connects us. And Kirby is such a beautiful spirit filled with the joy that can only come when liberated from a body that’s no fun to be in anymore. God bless you both.

  72. Elyse Poppers says:

    Sending you so much love Susan. Thank you and Kirby for your immense energy and efforts on behalf of us all and all beings. It’s massively important and enlightened work that you do. Take care of yourself at this tender time. You have all the support in the world from your community here.

  73. D. Haven says:


    My deepest sympathy to you on the death of your beloved dog Kirby. It’s heartbreaking to hear what he endured for such a long time…

  74. Francine Atkins says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Kirby. I feel your pain.

  75. Suzanne says:

    I sit here in tears reading about Kirby.. So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family who all loved him and will miss him greatly.

  76. Caron says:

    The heartbreak of losing a beloved fur child is unlike anything. I’m so sorry for your loss Susan. Blessings to you and Kirby. Forever United through love. ❤️

  77. Rick says:

    So sorry for your loss!

  78. Anthony Hepton. says:

    Dearest Susan, We understand your loss and share in your pain. It will gradually subside and when the time is right you will find a new baby to rescue. We will follow you closely as you mean so much to so many.

  79. Hello Susan, Although I am not vocal in the forums, I read everything via email as often as possible. I’d attempted to send you a personal email and not sure it got through so I want to make sure to say that my heart aches for you and my spirit is there with you as tears pour down my face here in Boston. I’ve been there 4 times myself and along side so many times with my customers and friend’s little families and even those friend’s I’ve never met from online groups. It never gets ‘easier’. Never. My heart hurts for you and I send you hope and love for a gentle recorvery during this time of loss. I’m having trouble seeing the screen thru tears so I end with Love from, Holly SnoopDogg & FuzzyCatt (Snoop will be 14,June7, Fuzzy turned 14 in Feb.- both street rescues). Two of my pets got very sick from that awful recall affecting 1000’s , 10 years ago.

  80. Kathi Parks says:

    Prayers to your family. So sorry for your loss.

  81. JRM says:

    My heart goes out to you in this very difficult time of the loss of your precious Kirby. Know that you did everything possible in his time of need. In time there will be another Kirby to steal your heart. My God bless you and give you peace of mind. Also know that in your work you are helping save many other Kirby’s. We all love you and appreciate what you do.

  82. judith zimbalist says:

    Breaks your heart. Sending warm thoughts.Kirby will be forever with you.

  83. Janet Pratt says:

    I know he meant the world to you and you meant the world to him. So sorry to hear of your loss.

  84. Maura Rogich says:

    Prayers for you , It never is easy… my condolences

  85. Debbie Ames says:

    Sending you all my love, I am so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for all you do to help our “Kirbies”… My heart breaks for you…

  86. Jenn Lasko says:

    I’m sorry for the loss of Kirby. Last year we lost three animals 🙁 Blackie was our cat who was at least 16.5 and had thyroid disease. Sadie was our dog who was around 10 years old and had thyroid and liver problems and then developed diabetes. And then we lost Rory, our feral cat that lived in our crawl space. She was only about 19 months old. She left her 7 week old male kitten for us. He’s a year old now. It’s always hard to let them cross the rainbow bridge 🙁 Today our dog Mike would have been 17 years old if he were still here, but sadly we lost him in June 2015.

  87. Ellen O'Connor says:

    Our prayers and blessings for you and Kirby. Thank you for letting us know, it is a grief we all suffer.

  88. Becky Rao says:

    so very sorry for your loss. RIP Kirby

  89. Darlene says:

    The loss of a beloved pet is heartbreaking, but you had enough courage and love to stop his suffering. i feel so sorry for you, I have just lost a special needs cat who was only 3 yrs last month. Tears still come and go, but as time goes on, good memories replace the loss

  90. Robin Quinlan says:

    So very sorry for your loss! My eyes filled with tears as I read your post. You are in my thoughts and prayers,

  91. MaryAnn Bomarito says:

    Dear Susan, my heart goes out to you as I read about your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Only someone who has grieved for a companion like Kirby fully understands how deeply the pain is felt, it hurts your heart and soul. Many of your faithful readers are weeping with you.

  92. mykka says:

    I’m so very sorry. You do so much for all and it is that much sadder to hear this news. Please know that you are so incredibly supported by vocal and silent admirers. I found your site after discovering we were feeding our kitties food that had killed others… they survived. Sending prayers and healing energy to you and your family during this fragile time. RIP little one, your are pain free now. Your mom and your family loves you forever and will never forget you.

  93. Eileen Crosby says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Kirby, Susan. Sending you lots of love from Arizona.

  94. Donna Breda says:

    Susan: I am so sorry for the loss of your best friend. As owners, just know, that we all feel your pain and the difficulty in making the best decision for Kirby. God Bless you and your family and all the work that you do for us!

  95. Debra says:

    Tears in my eyes for you and your loss of Kirby. We are lucky as humans to have such faithfulness and love from our dog. I experienced the same in my rescued greyhound Brandy. She hung on for me only until she was almost 14.

  96. Michelle says:

    So sorry Susan. Rest in peace little man.

  97. Herb Kaufman says:

    A loss to one is a loss to us all.

    With tears in my eyes,

    Herb Kaufman

  98. Sharon Johnson says:

    I wish there were something I could say to take away the deep loss that you feel other than I am truly very sorry for your loss. At some point in the future, hopefully his adorable image in your logo arms will warm your heart with every effort you continue on behalf of so many others and the love we feel for our own companions. He has been your partner all the way.

  99. Liz Ramsey says:

    So very sorry for your loss of sweet Kirby. Life would not be as beautiful without the love of our heartdogs. Run free little one and wait for Mommie at the bridge.

  100. Denise Moitoza says:

    Oh goodness, I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you hugs from California.

  101. Pat P. says:

    Both you and Kirby were fortunate to have experienced the intense and unique bond, only possible between a beloved animal and his/her human parent (especially, when a long-term life-draining illness is present).
    A closeness and inner dependence often develops that is difficult to describe. So, when it ends, it seems to tear your heart in two, sometimes questioning the sanity of having another sweet soul join your family, in the future.

    Most people will, however, eventually, chose another cat, dog or other precious companion to experience another delightful journey into the love relationship between human and, surprisingly, similar non-human being.

    Although I know this loss has been very painful, and it will continue for a while, but realize that, in time the fond memories will occupy your thoughts, as the troublesome ones wane. Lovely associations will be constant reminders of your sweet Kirby.

  102. Andrea says:

    My condolences to you Susan. A piece of our heart goes with each fur baby we lose. The beauty of each and every fur baby we share our lives with stays with us always.

  103. Lisa says:

    In time, may your heartache lessen and your thoughts be replaced with warm memories of Kirby. He’ll always be a part of you, helping you to wake up and continue each day in his own special way. And in time, when you least expect it, Kirby will send another cold nose to warm your heart.

  104. George says:

    You don’t know me but I recently bought your 2017 recommended dog food list for our own special girl. I share your pain. My wife and I have been more than fortunate to have had several wonderful furry family members but have also been repeatedly reminded of how unfair it is that their short life spans are so short. If we have one “lifetime” dog that stands just a little above the rest, I lost mine in 2013 and it was so very hard and still is from time to time. The only consolation is that each time we say we can’t get that attached and go through the loss again we last a few months and get another dog, usually a rescue, and discover that there is still room left in our hearts. Our current dog, for whom you helped us buy the best dog food that we can, is a treasure and once again the light of our life. It is hard to imagine anything more wonderful than being reunited with all of our lost best friends at the rainbow bridge when it is our time. Our thoughts are with you.

  105. Laurie says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss Susan. Hugs.

  106. Linda Saslow says:

    so very sorry for your loss. may your happy memories be a comfort.

  107. Mary Lynn Bartram says:

    So sorry for your loss Susan. My heart goes out to you. Life is so full when they are around and it leaves such a void and quietness in a home without them. Thinking of you as you grieve the loss of your buddy

  108. Joy Coleman says:

    Susan, we understand all too much how sometimes the lost of a very special pet will change our lives. Every now and then as they enter and leave our lives we’re left empty. Your loss is so profound, and we feel so much for you. Thanks for all you do. Know there’s another very special pet waiting for you when you’re ready. The love you have is never meant to be withheld and can only compound.

  109. Melisse says:

    My heart aches for you and the pain you’re feeling. I lost my special girl 3 years ago and still miss her deeply. Kirby’s loving spirit will always be with you. Take care

  110. Jeri says:

    You have my deepest sympathies. No matter how long they are with us, it is never long enough. May you find each day less sorrowful and may you find a little joy and peace with each new day. So very sorry, Susan.

  111. Mirsades says:

    Oh Susan I’m so sorry your little Kirby had to leave you. Tears were shed as I read your post. Losing a furbaby member of our family is never easy, I’ve been through it many, many times. The last one in 2010, my precious Mungkee (cat) was devastating to me. With her diagnosis of breast cancer, I cried for two weeks. Then started having vision issues and I had a stroke in my eye. I am now blind in that eye but I wouldn’t change a thing. Having her in my life was heaven. Your emotions and tears will ebb and flow like the waves of the sea. Time will lessen the pain, and increase the memories. You have saved so many pets by all your hard work for us consumers, to expose what is really in the pet food we feed our furbabies. Thank you for all you do.


    If it should be that I grow weak,
    And pain should keep me from my sleep,
    Then you must do what must be done,
    For this last battle cannot be won.

    You will be sad, I understand;
    Don’t let your grief then stay your hand.
    For this day more than all the rest,
    Your love for me must stand the test.

    We’ve had so many happy years –
    What is to come can hold no fears.
    You’d not want me to suffer so;
    The time has come, so let me go.

    Take me where my needs they’ll tend
    And please stay with me until the end.
    Hold me firm and speak to me
    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time that you will see
    The kindness that you did for me.
    Although my tail its last has waved,
    From pain and suffering I’ve been saved.

    Please do not grieve – it must be you
    Who had this painful thing to do.
    We’ve been so close, we two, these years –
    Don’t let your heart hold back its tears.

  112. Wendy says:

    My heart breaks just reading your news. I hope you find some degree of comfort in knowing that your readers deeply understand the pain and grief you are experiencing and wish they could make it go away. RIP, dear Kirby. “How sweet it [was] to be loved by you.”

  113. Julie says:

    Susan, I never had the privilege of meeting Kirby; however, I write this message with tears in my eyes. I am so truly sorry for your monumental loss.
    God bless

  114. bob says:

    Susan, I managed not to get weepy until I read the part about Kirby rising up when you left the room. We’ve had seventeen cats in the last 28 years (although, like you the love of my life was a dog whom I lost 32 years ago). and I’m sorry to say that losing someone never gets any easier. I’m even sorrier to say that it took me WAY too long to learn how to be sufficiently unselfish to acknowledge when it’s time to let go. Kirby was lucky that you were willing to accept that the time had come.

  115. Helen Seppala says:

    Oh, Susan. I am so very sorry for your heartbreak. It is obvious how much you loved your sweet Kirby. You cared for him so well. So much better than most others would have or could have. He was blessed when he found you and you he. I am so glad you had each other to love. I believe you will see each other again. Til then, may your heart heal. So sorry.

  116. Marianne says:

    I lost my 17 year old Westie, Coconut last week too. She, as well, knew that I was so close to her that it would be a hard decision. I had a few scares over the last year, but she fought and fought to be here with me every time. I went on a cruise and a few days in received messages from my family. Their vet (she was staying with my parents) did everything he could and they kept her overnight with IV and antibiotics, but her little body couldn’t fight enough and combined with her diabetes, which anytime she’d get an infection would be impacted, she just didn’t have a fight in her. I think she took the decision out of my hands by having the last battle while I wasn’t at home. She knew me too well. I’m so sorry you lost your Kirby as well. They are family. I’m heartbroken and know you are as well. I know as days, months, and years pass, there will be smiles instead of tears more and more with the memories, but for now I only have tears. This is my 2nd pet loss and they are harder than the human ones, because you can never truly explain and comfort them in the same way. Hopefully Coconut & Kirby can keep each other company until we see them again one day. *hugs*

  117. So very sorry Susan for your loss of your precious little Kirby. He will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. Meanwhile he will live on in your heart and memories. 🐶🌈💖

  118. Ann says:

    I’m so sorry for your great oss, and hope he returns to you in dreams soon.

  119. Diane says:

    I cannot add to all the love and condolences which have already been sent; you have a world grieving with you, Susan. Through tears and wet tissues I have read every single post. I’m so glad I made it here to the end to read Mirsades’ beautiful poem. Fourteen years have passed since I lost my precious furry soulmate. People say it gets easier. It doesn’t.

  120. JaneeS says:

    My condolences, Susan. Thank you for sharing your sad news, as so many of us have been supporting you and Kirby in our hearts and thoughts. I’m very sorry for your loss. May his sweet little spirit always be with you.

  121. Marsha says:

    I am so very sorry Susan. I know what it is like, like many of us know. Seizures are very hard on us and the ones we love. Kirby runs free and happy at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for you.

  122. Henriette Pataki says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss.

  123. I’m so sorry, we all who have loved and lost a pet can understand how painful this is. Thank you for doing what you do and sharing your Kirby’s story with us. *hugs*

  124. So sorry, I think we all know how heartbreaking it is to lose a furry family member, it never gets easier only harder.

    You are right that a little piece of our heart is taken with every passing

  125. Ian says:

    Dear Susan, I am very sorry for your loss, and thank you again for the work you have done to raise the health of all the nation’s pets. When dealing with the inevitable loss of animal companions due to their relatively short lives, I try to take comfort in thinking that when one door closes, another opens— that Kirby’s passing means that a space in your home and heart has opened up for another little dog that desperately needs a good home. I know there are many creatures waiting and one will be very lucky when he or she finds you.

  126. Linda says:

    So sorry Susan, I lost Sadie (Keeshond) and couldn’t stand the loneliness and pain. Now I have Stella (Keeshond) with Tanner (Sheltie) and know the heartache that lingers on. Maybe Kirby will meet up with Sadie and they’ll dance to their hearts content. Kirby found a happy home when he found you.

  127. edithchase says:

    I am sorry for your loss.

  128. Karen Jones says:

    Beaming Reiki to Kirby for his spirit transition and for all concerned…love, light and blessings to you and yours Susan…..hugs!…

  129. Saying good-bye is the hardest part of loving. Your loss and your tears are yours but so many can relate. Sending peace and healing energy your way.

  130. smseattle says:

    I’m so sorry, Susan. Thank you for loving Angel Kirby and being his special person.

  131. fauxmaven says:

    I’m so sorry Susan. I used to have a standard schnauzer named Kirby. It’s sometimes harrd to accept how short their lives are.

  132. Lori Palombo says:

    I am so sorry to hear about your precious Kirby…my eyes are filled with tears for you…I understand how you feel. It takes time, lots of time to learn how to cope without our best friends. Sending God’s blessings your way and it always gives me comfort to know that some day we will be reunited with our pets and I hope this will bring some comfort to you too!
    Lori Palombo (a recent member)

  133. Sherrie Ashenbremer says:

    I am sorry to hear this, it is so hard to loose one of our precious babies. Sending hugs

  134. Darcy Flynn says:

    There is a Monday Night Candle Ceremony at Rainbowsbridge.com at 9PM. I have added Kirby’s name to the Tribute List of those to be honored and remembered at this healing ceremony.
    Just take a look at all the messages of love sent to you–you and your work means so much to so many. Hope they help bolster your spirits in this difficult time.

  135. Julian says:

    Susan, very sorry to hear this news. We are thinking of both you and Kirby. From one of your friends and fans from ‘Over the Pond’.

  136. Pam Norris says:

    So very sorry for your loss. .. Run Free Little Kirby

  137. Kathy Pippig says:

    An Angel Walks Beside Us

    Angels live forever
    far beyond our days on earth,
    and every soul receives
    an angel guardian at birth.
    They know our fears and whisper,
    “Things are going to be all right.”
    They give us strength and purpose,
    keep our hope and courage strong,
    they fill our minds with wisdom
    and our spirits with a song.
    And when the time in this world comes
    to reach our journey’s end,
    our angel walks beside us
    like a kind, familiar friend.
    And as we leave behind
    the only place we’ve ever known,
    we see our angel’s smile
    at last and hear, “You’re home,
    you’re home…”



    If it seems we are worlds apart,
    the time between us years away;
    nestled there, in your heart
    is a place where I shall stay.
    And what may seem long,
    the distance from there to here,
    is naught but a breath away
    for I am always Heaven-near.


    It Came to Me

    It came to me that every time
    I lose a dog, they take a piece
    of my heart with them, and
    every dog who comes into
    my life gifts me with a piece of
    their heart. If I live long enough,
    all the components of my heart
    will be dog, and I will become as
    generous and loving as they are.


  138. Rachel says:

    I’m so very sorry to hear of your dear Kirby. I know the loss and it’s heartbreaking. Sending hugs to you.

  139. Debra Steinbaugh says:

    I saw this email and my heart sank. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Kirby was a doll! I lost my little 16 year old Chi Dottie from a seizure that she never really came out of either, so I know ur pain. It was awful 🙁 Kirby is now at peace and is ur little angel. Until u meet again… ♡

  140. Dear Susan, my heart is aching for you. There is no greater pain than the loss of a loved one. I wish Kirby well in his new adventures, and I send you hugs and blessings for your healing. And I send love to both of you.

  141. Lori Blitz says:

    We are so very sorry for your loss. We have been there too many times. Nothing can relieve that pain except time and love. I hope that knowing so many people care is some comfort to you and your family. RIP, little Kirby. 💔

  142. Lori Z. says:

    So very sad to hear you had to let your mascot/sweet companion Kirby go to the Rainbow Bridge. Let him continue to inspire the work you do for so many pet parents and their beloved pets.

  143. Batzion says:

    And a hard-fought battle it was, Susan. Little Kirby laid down his sword, and you graciously allowed him to stop fighting the unwinnable. I commend you for that, and I send you much love and many hugs.

    This is from the main page of “The Rainbow Bridge:”

    “Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    “When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    “All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    “The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    “They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    “You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    “Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    “Author unknown…”

    Rest in Peace, little Kirby, and remember that all of us here were in your corner, fighting with you every step of the way. Remember that we loved you and will always love you.

    Run fast now, little one, and jump in the lap of God.

    • Nancy Newcomb says:

      My Kenji is waiting to greet Kirby. He is at the Rainbow Bridge with the help of Best Friends Sanctuary.
      Believe me I know however long we have the babies it is not long enough.
      Love will be in your heart because forever is not long enough.

      • Batzion says:

        Nancy, it’s interesting that you mentioned your Kenji waiting for Kirby. I’ve had this picture in my mind that all of our fur babies who have passed were waiting for Kirby, and this is because of our heart connections with them, with Kirby and with Susan. I cannot describe this picture except to say that it’s vivid and real and glorious and that God’s Providence caused Kirby to not only still feel our earthly love but also heavenly love from our babies. I believe Kirby had one of the best homecomings ever.

  144. Joann Reisman says:

    Dear Susan,

    I am so sorry about Kirby. He was your baby. There are no words to comfort the pain; I know that.

    You of course made the most humane decision for him and for that he was blessed. He was and is a part of you and will continue to be through eternity and when you cross over; you know he will be there waiting for you.

    We that love our ‘babies’ know this heartache.

    My prayers are with you for comfort,

    Joann Reisman

  145. Gail says:

    My heart aches for you in the loss of your precious Kirby and for the emptiness that fills your heart for him. You are an amazing person…..God bless you for caring so much about our furry loved ones. May God give you the needed strength to carry on.

  146. mirella says:

    I am so sorry that you have to go through this sad time. Kirby will be yours forever and you will always belong to Kirby. That’s what I realized when I lost my beautiful cat… That for all eternity, nothing would and could change that she was mine.

  147. terrence ward says:

    So sorry for your loss. Till you meet again at the Rainbow Bridge… thank you for all you do.

  148. Kelley says:

    Dear Susan,
    All the comments posting here, are from your supporters! Who’ve been changed by your work! Which exists because of the love you have for your companions! We know the inspiration for helping so many people and pets, comes from having a tight bond with your own. From the time you first shared the story about “Sam” to helping Kirby. There can be no doubt, during the history of all your effort, when you’ve been tempted to give up, and have gotten very tired, it’s been your companions (here and in spirit) who’ve forced you onward!

    In my opinion, there is little in our lives left to chance. We encounter and choose experiences filled with teaching moments. Your “Heart Dog” Kirby, has been another one of them. Leading you along a very special path of enlightenment. Where you found in yourself, unexpected strength and focus. Where your sensitivity grew. And your gratitude was preserved. In the face of a job of continuous struggle and disappointment, has been the unconditional love and encouragement provided by Kirby. There is no telling where you “might” be today, without him. So please know, we are just as thankful as you are, for a special little friend having been such a key part of your life. All we can say is, he will be incredibly missed.

  149. Eve says:

    My Dear friend, love and light. Kirby is always at your side♥

  150. Kim Willis says:

    I am really sorry to hear about your loss. We all love our dogs so deeply. My hope is when I go that I cross the rainbow bridge first to collect up all my dogs and then move on to my human pack. This would complete me. I know Kirby will be there for you as well, and you never know… if you believe in reincarnation, Kirby may come back to you.

    My thoughts are with you.

  151. Claire Moomjian says:

    No matter what our heads say, we know losing a loved one is never easy. Kirby will always be with you. I wish peace and healing and understand your grief. You do not walk this path alone.

  152. Helene Raacke says:

    Words can never express what our hearts feel when we lose our friends.
    In empathy,

  153. Kim wood says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  154. Susan….my heart is crying along with yours. I know how you feel, and I’m feeling your pain. I want you to know that you are not alone in your loss, and everyone here on this page is sharing your sadness. May your sweet baby rest in peace. Thank you for all that you do, and have done to make our fur babies happy and healthy.

  155. R. Robison says:

    We are so very sorry, we know the pain all too well.

  156. Bob says:

    I’m sorry, Susan…

  157. I often wonder if, at my life’s end, there will be any part of my heart left as with every animal that own’s a piece of it, takes it with them when they cross over. Years ago I had a German Shepherd with epilepsy that couldn’t come out of his last seizure and I had to release his soul. You know that you are doing the right thing but it tears your heart out, nonetheless. Kirby knows you loved him and he will be there to greet you when you get to the Rainbow Bridge.

  158. Catherine says:

    So very sorry for your loss; what a sweet pup; what a good life he had with you. Hugs,

  159. Karen Peterson says:

    Very sorry for your loss.

  160. Greg Swann says:

    Oh, Susan……………Lord, I’m so sorry. My heart goes out to you. My heart bleeds for you and Kirby. May God Bless the both of you, now and forever.

  161. Julz Kolar says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am a new follower/friend to your website. Until hearing the news today, I had no idea that you had a little guy that was struggling with health challenges. This breaks my heart. I wish I would have known sooner and perhaps we could have helped you and Kirby. I am soooo sorry for the loss of your little furry one.

    We work with dogs with all kinds of medical conditions including seizures and we actually have a 90%-95% success rate. Seizures are a common symptom of poor liver health. If the liver health is poor than the body has to call in some reinforcements to help the liver do its most important job – cleansing the blood of toxins and wastes. So, the endocrine system is brought in to help out. This means that the adrenal glands are often stimulated as well as the thyroid gland and the pituitary gland. When these glands are stimulated, blood flow is increased. The pituitary gland is at the base of the brain in a small boney cap that doesn’t give it much room to grow. When the blood flow through the pituitary gland is increased, it swells and puts pressure on the brain causing a seizure. So, the seizure is simply the body adapting to the toxicity and stress that it is under.

    Symptoms are actually nothing more than the body merely adapting to the fact that it is too toxic and/or deficient. When the intestinal tract is healed, the toxicity levels are removed and the body is fed properly the body can and does heal itself.

    If you know of anyone that would like our help…please feel free to get the word out. Here below is a few of our websites:


    Thanks for this awesome website and all your time and dedication in making this world a better place for all the furry ones out there. Kirby will definitely continue to be right by your side. WE LOVE YOU KIRBY. Huge hugs XX to you and your family at this difficult time.

  162. Susan Hayes says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Kirby, Susan. I feel your loss and pain. We lost our Kelly, a sweet Shepard/Lab mix, a week ago and we are so very devastated, as you must be. Thank you for all you do for our fur babies.

  163. Gee says:

    From your loving arms to Gods open heart, Kirby is home…

  164. May says:

    So sorry Susan. The pain is unbearable when we lose our special friends.
    Kirby is in your heart; he’ll be in your dreams. My hope, my wish is that we see our beloved pets again.
    My heaven is where the animals are.
    See you there.

  165. Sandy Cox says:

    Dear Susan,
    I am so very sorry for the painful loss of your sweet Kirby. Please be comforted knowing that he will always be with you, and I send my deepest sympathies and many hugs and love to you.

  166. Lauren Thibodeau says:

    I’m so sorry Susan for the loss of your dear pup Kirby, sending heart warming hugs <3

  167. Susan says:

    My heart goes out to you, it never gets any easier to say goodbye to our fur kids. They bring so much love to our lives and only with us for such a short time. Little Kirby will be with you now in spirit . Big hugs coming from Australia.