Calendar sales support on-going medical costs for Kingsley

ST. STEPHEN – Four-year-old Kingsley is a familiar sight in St. Stephen. The happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever can often be seen at lunch time, being taken for a walk by owner Amanda Dinsmore, who brings Kingsley to her office at Sweeney International Marine Corps. on Milltown Blvd.

“He knows when it’s a weekday as he’s an office dog,” says Dinsmore. “He gets pouty if we work from home or take a day-off.

“By 9:30 a.m., he sits in the main part of the office staring into my office, stomping his paw or huffing and puffing. It’s walk time, he says,” she laughs.

Having a dog wasn’t actually on Dinsmore’s radar; it was son Hunter Daigle who ultimately convinced her they and Dinsmore’s husband, Dave, should have a family pet.

“It was my son that asked for a golden retriever,” says Dinsmore, “but with hockey schedules we kept saying no.

“Then one day it clicked that we needed a family dog. Hunter picked him out. He was the runt. People often comment how lucky Kingsley was to become part of our family given his needs,” says Dinsmore.

“Truth is, I’ve needed him as much as he’s needed me. He’s therapeutic and I believe anyone that has met Kingsley will say the same.”

And Kingsley’s needs are serious. Kingsley had only been part of the Dinsmore family for less than a week when he had his first vet appointment, and weighed a mere four pounds.

“That’s when we learned of the leg,” says Dinsmore. It was discovered at that appointment Kingsley was missing the femoral head of his right hind leg. The femoral head is the ball joint of the long femur of the thigh that sits in the hip socket. When working correctly, it’s this socket that allows for free, pain-free movement of the hip joint.

“The vet’s advice was to let him grow, and monitor his mobility and pain,” says Dinsmore. “See a specialist in Riverview, and see what the options were in terms of surgery or amputation of the leg.

“Shortly after this vet visit, Kingsley stopped walking. We were advised at the time that he should be seen in (the veterinary college) PEI. Off we went. He was placed on a higher protein diet, supplements and pain meds.

“We were advised that we should consider neutering him once old enough because he was cryptorchid . At nine months we scheduled that appointment. His mobility at this time was good but the vet recommended a brace to assist with taking some pressure of his hip area. It also allows us to help him in and out of car.”

Prior to the neuter surgery, it was recommended to Dinsmore she have Kingsley’s blood work done.

“It’s optional, and I remember thinking at this time; I’ve spent so much money, do I really want to do blood work that’s not necessarily required?,” says Dinsmore.

“At first I said no, then as I was headed out the door, I said you may as well.

“That’s when we learned something was wrong.”

What Dinsmore learned after the blood work was Kingsley was also suffering with kidney issues.

“Kingsley was neutered; it was rough as anti-inflammatory meds are not necessarily good for the kidney, so it was not an easy healing process.”

It was on the heels of this that Kingsley became quite ill. Dinsmore said they tested for everything; Lyme, leptospirosis, etc. The vet again advised a trip to the veterinary college on Prince Edward Island, which Dinsmore did.

“It was then we learned he only had one working kidney and that the other was not fully developed, and was causing infection,” says Dinsmore.

“The working kidney was larger than normal and stressed. We took him off the high protein diet and started treating for renal disease.

“We were told at that time that we needed to limit protein. It helps the kidney, but it’s not great for the muscle in the leg,” says Dinsmore.

By the time he was three, Kingsley again became quite ill, and Dinsmore says they once again adjusted his medication, and again treated him for a kidney infection. The result is Kingsley is now in stage four renal failure, which offers a poor prognosis, which Dinsmore admits she tries not to think about.

“It’s terminal,” she says.

Dinsmore did approach Kingsley’s breeder, who has since ceased operation, early on, and was refunded her purchase fee. The breeder also offered to take Kingsley back, but admitted euthanasia would be his future, and although Dinsmore had only had the pup a short time, it wasn’t an option she or her family could consider.

To date, the cost of Kingsley’s care has surpassed $20,000, at $20,319.28. His prescription food alone runs $200 every six weeks.

“He takes Gabapentin for pain,” says Dinsmore.

“He takes a heartburn medication for ulcers caused from the toxins (kidney related). He takes a blood pressure medication; he eats a prescription kidney disease food.

“He takes Apouqel for allergies, and gets a needle every so often for this as well because he’s allergic to the prescription food. He also takes sub q (subcutaneous) fluids by IV at home to assist with flushing the toxins from his body.

“From time to time he has to take a prescription for nausea.”

And while Dinsmore has no intention of giving up on Kingsley, the costs of his care are prohibitive, so she created a Kingsley calendar to help off-set some of the on-going costs.

“Ironically the calendar idea first started with a fundraising idea for my sons educational tour to London and Paris,” says Dinsmore. “It (the trip) was pushed aside with COVID, but some Kingsley followers kept asking if I was going to still make one, so I thought what the hay.”

The cost of printing was covered by Dinsmore’s employer, Sweeney International Marine Corps., so all the profit from the sales goes directly towards Kingsley care.

Calendars are $15, and to get one, you can send Dinsmore a message on Facebook, email her at

adinsmore@simcorp.ca, or pick one up at Harpers Exotic Animals & Pet Supply on Milltown Blvd. in St. Stephen.

“Harper’s has graciously offered to sell the calendars from his store as well,” says Dinsmore.

He’s full of personality; very smart,” says Dinsmore of Kingsley. “He is vocal and has no issues telling you what he wants.

“He is quite funny, he loves to show off his toys, leash and if given the opportunity will steal socks. He can be quite demanding and he forgets nothing. He knows who gives him treats and where he may find them.

“He’s family.”

editor@stcroixcourier.ca