Thousand Words: March 27, 2012

William Kirby, 67, of Bowling Green, takes a drag from a cigarette as his rat terrier, Little Bit, briefly gnaws on his shoe outside their home. Kirby moved to the new residence about a month ago with the nine-month-old dog.

Christian Randolph

If you’re walking down East Third Street, at some point, you’re probably going to get an earful from a small brown and white dog named Little Bit.

But to his owner, William Kirby, 67, the rat terrier is his sole companion during a time of transition into a new home.

“As long as the wind blows, he’ll sit there and bark at it,” Kirby said.

Kirby decided to move across town to the new home with more space after all the friends he knew either moved away or passed away.

Most of his time is spent outside with a cigarette or a drink while Little Bit explores as far his leash allows for something to chew or bark at.

“There’s nothing good on TV, so I might as well waste the time here,” Kirby said.

Unable to walk very far because of a bad back, Kirby’s only way around town is with an electric scooter that can only take him a few miles on a full battery, so he prefers just to spend his time at home.

Kirby says he has two phones to stay in contact with people, but neither of them does him any good right now. One is out of minutes, and the other has been cut off by the phone company.

Without a phone, Kirby’s interactions are limited to waves at every passing vehicle and the occasional visit from friends like Larry Franklin. Franklin stopped by in his car to catch up on the activities and whereabouts of several old friends.

At the end of the conversation, Franklin, who works at Burnam & Sons Mortuary, Inc., said that one of their friends was being prepared for a funeral service after his dog had discovered he had passed away.

“I’m just not ready to go yet,” Kirby said between drags off a cigarette after Franklin had left. Little Bit sat quietly gnawing on a patch of grass.