Kingston of Life

The day we got Kingston in 2012, it was the most random day and the most random decision. My sisters and I were chilling with friends at the beach when a local man and a little boy walked by us holding the cutest puppy ever. Before everyone knew it, Bee and I had parted with cash and we had a new puppy. Naming him was even more random. We left him with a friend (all he did was sleep that afternoon; no indication of all the drama we were about to encounter with him) and went closer to the water. As we played in the sand, another local man came up to us for the usual “hello girls. ‘Nice girls’, where are you from” and we randomly answered that we were visiting from Jamaica. Our new friend was ecstatic to hear that and asked exactly where in Jamaica. Only place I knew was Kingston and so that was our answer. And the name of our new puppy.

The controversy that was Kingston begun before we even left the beach that day. My older sister who does not feel about dogs the same way Bee and I do, got really offended by our rash decision to get a puppy and left the beach without a word to us. We felt bad about how affected she was but we had already gotten Kingston, gotten attached to him, and she didn’t live with us so we went ahead and took him home.

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Cutest little dog now our responsibility in a stuffy one room apartment, it was probably the most stupid thing we ever did but also the best. Back then when he was really little, going to work sucked cause I felt so bad leaving him alone in the room. He would whine and look like the world was coming to an end but whenever we would come back home to him, his joy was infectious. You felt like a superhero every time you went out and came back because of the way Kingston would greet you at the door. Still it wasn’t all roses in the park. Just as he was the cutest dog ever, he was also probably the most high-maintenance dog ever; though Bee and I could be partly to blame for that. He was spoiled! He was smart too and he knew Bee was the softest so anytime he did something wrong, he took cover with Bee. And boy did Kingston do so many things wrong! Eating 7 out of 9 sandwiches we made for ourselves as dinner right off our plates, important books, favorite shoes, my boyfriend’s memory card and even oranges. He liked to sit down with an orange in between his paws and eat it with all seriousness. I always teased him that he looked like he was doing homework when eating an orange.

Kingston stressed not just us, but everyone in our old compound. He did annoying things like poop right in front of our Lebanese neighbor’s door. Actually he pooped everywhere and anywhere he felt like it. It was really infuriating. But he was also the funniest and most animated pet we had ever had. There was never a dull moment with Kingston. Even how our Ghanaian neighbors and all the children in the neighborhood would call him “Kingsley” instead of Kingston was always a trip.

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Watching him grow and become a crazy, annoying and hilarious dog was a job but still so much fun. We took him to our friends’ house often and he bonded with everyone there including our friends’ dogs. Mind you Kingston is a small Jack Russel terrier but I don’t think he knew or cared what size he was. Our friends have a huge Boar bull (Amber) and another huge Ridgeback (Coco) but little Kingston would play with them, try to hump them and we always teased him about it. More recently, Kingston happily ran up to another friend’s crazy American pitbull who isn’t as friendly as Amber and Coco, and he nearly got himself killed. In his mind, he probably expected to play with the dog, not get his head bitten off.

Another place we often took Kingston was the beach and just this year, we finally forced him to swim in the water. Being the diva that he is, he hated the water but we made him swim anyway. He always made me feel like one of those mothers you see out somewhere with a badly behaved child she can’t control. Let Kingston off his leash and he would wander so far from you, give you a headache but eventually, especially after he would probably have done something he shouldn’t have and gotten chased away, he would come running to you, tongue out, crazy and happy with himself and life.

Truly the liveliest dog ever, he was also the most annoying dog ever. On at least two occasions I took him over to his dads so they could deal with the drama for a change. We often joked that Bee and I were his mums and our boyfriends his dads and that is how he even got one of his names “Kingston MOO”; MOO was the initials of our last names put together because he really belonged to all four of us.

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I had always planned to do this post telling the story of the most intense dog ever and it sucks that I’m finally doing it now; the day after we found his lifeless body lying out back, the day after Bee’s boyfriend had to bury Kingston in our backyard, a place he liked to play and explore to my unamusement.

I always knew Kingston would die but I really thought it was at least 8 years from now. I thought he would get to meet my first kid at least and although in the past few months he was so hard to live with (house-trained yet he got so used to peeing and pooping everywhere in the house!), I never imagined not having him. In my very angry moments, I made comments about giving him up, letting him run free cause he obviously isn’t a stay-in dog, but just this Tuesday I still went to his vet to get him a new chain and a new leash. Even when he would be on punishment, I would go behind everyone to pet him and feed him some treats. Actually I’m sure we all did that at least once. Like I said, he really was the cutest dog ever.

Trust Wingy to go out with a bang. The last day we all saw him alive, this Wednesday, he was adorable, chained outside with pleading eyes begging to come back in the house. I nearly budged but I had had enough of his over-active excretory system. I fed him, petted him and went out. By evening when Bee went home, she called me to say Kingston seemed really sick, on the verge of dying, and she was really worried about him. I panicked and told her to bring him over to our friends’ house, where I was and planned to spend the night. If he was sick, we couldn’t leave him at our house by himself. We would watch him and take him to the vet’s in the morning if need be. Kingston had other plans though. He always preferred to do things his way and not the way we wanted or expected. Bee says she let him off the chain and went inside to get water for him and by the time she came back outside, he was gone. She looked everywhere for him before she had to give up and come to meet me without Kingston.

We spent Thursday trying not to worry and telling ourselves Kingston is the master wanderer/ explorer and he would be home eventually. No one wanted to accept or voice out that we might never see him again. By Friday, we were really worried and spent the day looking for him and waiting for him to come home. Meanwhile, he had never left. He had crawled under a pile of wood at the back of our house, laid there with his paws crossed, till he died. Like a real G.

Kingston would never ever normally be where we eventually found him on Friday night and I truly believe he went to hide himself from Bee that Wednesday night because he didn’t want to die on her. He went out like a hero, like the special and incredible dog he was.

So here is to Kingston, the pet of my life. My baby, cuddle buddy, headache, and most importantly, friend.

Always in my heart, Wingy. Always.

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