Most people who post stories here are about rescued pets. This one is about a rescued owner.

My little guy Kirby – an energetic spunky Shih Tzu – was given to me by my parents when I got out of college.

I was in my twenties, and enjoying life like all twentysomethings do — however, after several brushes of not doing the right thing, not only with myself, but Kirby, one day I just woke up and stop.

Kirby was born in 1993 — and it would be 2002 before I totally calmed down.

I could say Kirby waited nine long years to have his owner be there, but it was like discovering this little jewel all over again since that day.

By 2007, Kirby was starting to go blind and develop arthritis. He even lived through the dog food poison scare that he almost became victim to.

This little guy was resiliant to the end. Three weeks ago he developed glaucoma — and badly. We put him on medication, and i was putting drops in his eye seven times a day.

Last Monday, I took him into the vet after he stopped eating, and we discovered the swelling in his went down, which was great news, but because the glaucoma stretched out the membrane, his eye was basically split into two (basically it herniated). That happened during the day while i was at work.

The doctor told me to either remove his eye, or put him to sleep. I didn’t want my little guy to go through removing a body part every time something failed – so we did it right then.

Kirby was 17.5 years old – I miss him so deeply. He was more than my pet – he saved me in more ways than I can count.

— Eric from Pflugerville, TX