Not all of our stories are easy to tell. KIngston is a tough one. Kingston has walked in darkness for much of his life. Slowly, we’re walking him into the light.
I do not claim to be an animal communicator. I’m pretty good at figuring what Luna is trying to tell me but she’s also very good at using body language to tell me what she wants. We know each other well.
But the just in red standard poodle sitting on the floor of my office was talking to me in my head in a way I had never heard before. I realized when he walked in that I had been hearing him all the way from Pennsylvania. A steady metronome beat of an emotional, unspoken but very loud cry.
“Help me. Don’t hurt me. Help me. Don’t hurt me.”
I had not been able to figure out why I had been hearing that voice all day until he walked in.
Please understand. I had said no to KIngston. I had plainly told the people campaigning for him to come to CPR that until I talked to his young owner directly, I would not say yes and that even if I did talk to her, no was most likely going to be the answer. We had enough behavior challenges. Yet they set up his transport anyway and I did not know he was even coming until the transporter rolled in the gate at the farm. I was honestly furious at first and thought seriously of turning the transporter around and sending her back north even though I knew what his fate would be. No one else would touch this boy.
But that voice was in my head saying over and over. “Help me. Don’t hurt me.”
Kingston laid teeth on the first person at the farm less than 15 minutes after arriving. A caregiver opened the door to my office. Kingston was laying in the floor near the door while I was working at my desk. He jumped up snatched her hand pressed down hard enough to draw blood but did not shake or tear, let go and sat back down. It was a warning. He was completely silent during the whole thing. It was scary.
Then he looked at me and I very clearly heard his next request. “Drugs.“
The very next morning we drove to our veterinarian. The vet came in, looked at the poodle once again reclining on the floor, looked at me, made out a script for Prozac and never touched the dog. The look in the dog’s eyes was enough. His professional assessment took under one minute.
He did tell me good luck.
I took him home. I did a lot of talking over the next few days with the previous owner who I was finally able to reach, and with the trainer who had worked with him for about a year and cared very much for him. Together they painted a picture of a life of inconsistencies. I learned how Kingston could not protect himself or the owner he adored. How he went from cherished and nurtured in his first year to a second year of change, abuse, chaos, pain and disaster for both of them and when all that finally changed for the better, the damage was done. For a creature that thrives on routine, consistency, structure, and most importantly of all, love. Kingston was a product of his mixed up, ever changing, never stable environment. There is no other way to put it. Man-made him what he is today.
We placed Kingston once. They are a caring and compassionate couple who thought they could give him what he needed. He loved them at first meet. They tried to give him the stable home he craved but sadly, after just a few months, they realized that stable for Kingston was not and would never be a normal home. The other dogs in the home were walking on edge. The friends and family stopped coming by to visit. Regular homes in suburbia are happy places full of fun changes – weekends and holidays, friends and family over and vacations and more. Kingston could not handle it and with a lot of tears, they returned him to us. They still visit with him and when they can and are part of his supporters. They still call him by the name they hoped he would grow to love and grow into. They still call him Buddy. He loves seeing them and always responds when he hears their voices calling out to him when they come in the kennel.
For many of you, the question of why we allow Kingston to live will be in your mind. We know he will bite. He will bite other dogs and he will bite humans. So why do we continue to harbor him?
Because life is precious. All life. You can’t say life is precious – if the dog is well behaved. You can’t say life is precious – if the dog is healthy. You can’t say life is precious – if the dog is under 10. You can’t say life is precious and not mean all life. There are no if’s or but’s.
We believe Kingston will live with us for the rest of his life. He enjoys his life at the poodle farm. He has his own private suite with a king size bed. He has a minimum of 20 stuffed toys at any time that he keeps carefully arranged all around him, his own small army of comforters to keep him company. He has special food and treats to handle his allergies. He adores his caregivers and inside our walls, he is a cherished, much loved dog. But understand that his caregivers are consistent, careful people who understand that you don’t hit, you don’t yell, you don’t lock him in a crate for 24 hours at a time with no food and no water. That you speak with kindness and compassion in your voice and you pet and hold and touch with soft caring caresses. At the poodle farm, Kingston knows that food is always on time. Walkies are always on time. Going outside is always on time. That the people who hold his leash do not fear him but do respect what he has been through. His grooming will always come. And when he needs it, the drugs will come too. To help him live better inside the fear that man created.
One day, after a long long time in rehab, we have hope that the good side of Kingston will come out and will stay out even when he goes outside his comfortable world. In the meantime, we will give him what he needs right here. With your help, we will keep slowing walking Kingston towards the light, one step at a time.
Our goal is 12 or more sponsors donating $20 per month to help us support each of our dogs in our sanctuary program. If you would like to see Kingston keep walking towards the light, please become one of his sponsors and join his virtual family. To become a sponsor,
Text cprsos to 41444 for a smart phone link
Or visit here for a direct credit card link – https://app.mobilecause.com/form/S9ihCQ
To learn more about our SOS program and meet more of our fabulous SOS dogs, please visit our webpage at
Welcome to our family – thank you for virtually walking alongside Kingston.
Donna Ezzell, Director
Jennifer Reel, SOS Coordinator