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Dog paying respects at grave site

3:29 PM, Jul 28, 2011   |    comments
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(NBC) -- After a California woman passed away, her missing dog was found at her gravesite. Kirby the dog escaped his recent home and wandered miles until he was reunited with his owner.

"There's no other way to explain it really," said Dave Wills, grandson of the dog's owner. "He's just sad and lonely and misses his mom."

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," Dave said.

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," Dave said.

Since then, Kirby has been moved from home to home -- often being passed along because of his ability to escape.

"We were actually just getting ready for lunch, and he was around here and then he ran down the hill and ran right up to us," said Matthew Cadaret, who found Kirby.

Last week, Matthew was the latest person who found Kirby wandering around town.

His Aunt Peggy just happened to be walking by, and she took it upon herself to have his microchip checked.

"The scanned him and gave me the name of Sharon Rattery," who I had known years ago through church," Peggy said. "It was kind of disbelief. I was in shock."

"I've never seen a pet come up to visit a grave," Matthew said. "Just people."

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," Matthew said.

Dave and his family know they can't give Kirby the lifestyle he's used to.

"He hasn't been the same since my grandma died," Dave said.

So now the search is on for someone who can. 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," said Dave. "He's got to."

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