A royal new life for Kingston

31st May, 2024

Written by animal rescuer Emma King of The Thomas Jackson Foundation

Professional photography by Pet Focus Photography

Our gorgeous little man was picked up as a stray in Elsie’s River, near Cape Town, in September 2023 and taken to Tygerberg Animal Hospital in Rosmead Avenue, Kenilworth.

My partner, David, and I run an animal rescue (Feel Good Funding and @thomasjacksonfoundation on Instagram) and were contacted the following day to help network this beautiful black, cream and gold dog with the biggest and cutest personality.

A big name for a big personality

The moment we met him we just knew he had to have a big name, which is how we ended up with Kingston!

We started networking straight away, but Kingy already owned our hearts and I decided to take him home to meet my pack while we searched for his parents or a new forever home once the 10-day period* was up.

He fell in love with my dogs, my cats and my house keeper in minutes and it was almost like he’d always been there. He never seemed to have a bad day. He loved everyone and everything, and I’m pretty sure he even learnt how to pose for photographs!

Fixing broken bones

Kingston arrived with a bad limp, which wasn’t so obvious when he was in the cage at the vet, but when we saw him run around playing with everyone he never put his back right leg down. We took him back to another vet and after a series of X-rays we were given the bad news that his femur head and pelvis had been badly broken. We were given a quote of R40,000, after which it was suggested that we should perhaps consider putting him to sleep as he was a rescue.

I took one look at our gorgeous little man and just knew I was going to do anything I could to save him. That’s when we met the amazing Dr Brendan at Penzance Vets in Hout Bay who offered to operate and sterilise him at a ridiculously low rate. Kingston was operated on the next day.

Trying to keep our little man with the big personality contained was impossible. He was so used to not using his leg that he just held it off the ground and carried on as usual.

Meant to be

All of this took place at the beginning of October 2023, and I was preparing for a kidney transplant in November, so we weren’t in any rush to home him. He slotted in so well at home and I wasn’t wanting to part with him, but one part of running a rescue that you need to stick to is that you just can’t keep every fur kid that crosses your path. As much as I wanted to keep Kingston, my partner and I made the decision to do one more post, and if he wasn’t homed then it was meant to be, and Kingy would stay.

This is where Kingston’s Mommy comes in. Natasha reached out to me after her amazing pet sitter Alexa told them about him needing a home. She got in touch and we set up a day to meet up at Green Point Park. Moon, their gorgeous but anxious fur child, seemed almost immediately smitten and Kingston was his normal loving and cool self, just acting like he and Moonie were old friends. We went back to their lovely apartment with the most amazing outside space and we just knew that it was meant to be. We left Kingston with Natasha and her hubby and Moon for a trial and none of us have ever looked back.

David and I get the most amazing updates of their adventures in parks, at the beach, in the forest, on weekends away, walking with the dog walker, fast asleep on Mom and Dad’s bed, play dates with other doggies, and just the two besties loving life!

Yes, I still shed many tears with each and every update I get, but now the tears have turned to happy ones for my little man with the big personality that has won over his new incredibly loving family like only he knew how to. This is one homing I’ll always be so incredibly proud of. Sometimes you just have to let go and let them live their best life!

Natasha Kurten, Kingston’s owner, shares...

When Alexa, our pet sitter and dear friend, shared Emma’s post of Kingston with me, I couldn’t believe that such a beautiful baby hadn’t been adopted yet. He seemed like the perfect fit for our pack in every way.

Kingston’s injury didn’t put us off, but instead, it drew us to him. Having previously gone through the rehabilitation process with a beloved dog of ours who had knee surgery, we felt experienced enough to help Kingston on his journey to recovery. It felt like destiny that Kingston found us, just as much as we found him.

Initially, we were looking for a companion for our other rescue, Moon. We didn’t know just how seamlessly Kingston would fit into our lives. Their bond was immediate, filled with playful chaos followed by cosy snuggles. They’ve become inseparable since then, enjoying adventures, games, sunbathing, and cuddling together. These are two peas in a pod, who never leave each other’s side.

Witnessing their growing confidence together has been heart-warming. Kingston, with his affectionate and goofy personality, is the baby of the household, earning himself numerous nicknames. After just a few months, it’s impossible to imagine life without him.

We’re eternally grateful to the angels we have on this earth, such as Emma King, Alexa Sutcliffe, and Dr May Maritz, who’ve all played a role in Kingston’s journey. Without them, we wouldn’t have found our precious Kingston, and without Dr May’s expertise in rehabilitation, Kingston wouldn’t be thriving as he is now. Dr May’s sessions, including physiotherapy, acupuncture, and laser therapy, ensure Kingston’s ongoing comfort and quality of life. He now runs and plays on all four legs as if he never suffered an injury.

*Legally, found strays should be kept for 10 days and adverts placed to find their owner before they can be rehomed.

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