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KingsleyThe Kings.  Kingsman.  Kingsbert.  Kingslerama.  Full name: Kingsley Windermere Brooks.  We met Kingsley in October 2005, three months after Will and I were married, five months after we bought our house, two years after I told Will I couldn’t be with someone who didn’t want dogs, and thankfully, he relented.

We find ourselves at the SPCA.  I see Kingsley, then known as “Dodge.”  He’s quiet, doesn’t bark like the others, but there’s sign on his cage – “I’ve been adopted!”  We go home without a dog.  Next week, we try again.  Lo and behold, he’s still there.  His adoption didn’t go through.  We take him for a walk and when we come back, I sit on the floor and he rolls overs into my arms.  Done.

On his behavioural assessment it says he is a “submissive peer,” which I take to mean that he’s not the dominant dog of the pack.  When we get home, I find out it should have read “submissive pee-er,” meaning when he feels dominated or threatened, he rolls over on his back and pees.  It takes a few months, but that behaviour eventually recedes, and a happy, confident, smart, and loving dog emerges.

He even became an actor, like his mama, appearing onstage as Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (and got the part after crying during the audition and peeing on the director – actors, take note!)

The Kings.  King of the Yard.  King of my Heart.