A Great Pyrenees Rescue Story
“From Riches to Rags and Back Again"
Story submitted by Thyra Johnston

Kingsley - River Groves Keys To The Kingdom

May 1, 1996 - September 22, 2007

This is a story of a little Texan Pyrenees puppy, Kingsley, that went to live with her Dad in Canada.

She was loved, pampered and cared for in a way that only dreams are made of. The little princess grew into a gorgeous animal and her Dad taught her how to live a lifestyle that she would soon become accustomed to. He groomed her and took her to many shows where there were other dogs. She showed off her talents and looks and brought home to her Dad prizes and ribbons. As a Dad he was very proud of his little princess and she was his pride and joy.

One day her Dad explained that he had to go away for a while but he would return to her and her sister. A few months after he left, her sister was taken away and then, through no fault of her own, she was taken to live with a new family. This was a nice place but over the months she knew something was missing. The kindness, love and tenderness and care that she had known all her life were gone. She could handle this temporary situation and hopefully Dad would soon return.

After a couple of months she was put into a vehicle. “She was going home to Dad”. They drove for a very long time- “It should not take this long to get home”. After a number of hours, they arrived and the princess was taken from the vehicle and tied outside – not her Dad’s home, but that of a stranger.

She waited and waited. Days went by, then months. Again she was loaded into a vehicle and again they drove – “Could this be the day she was going home?” Once again they arrived at a strange place – once again she was tied outside to stay alone – once again the days and months passed. She finally knew that Dad would never again come.

The little princess had gone from being a pampered little girl, loved and cared for, to a Cinderella princess that was now chained outside to look after herself. Her once beautiful long silky coat and pants were now long gone. In their place was a short garish straw-like coat and her almost bare legs were covered with a short, stubby coarse fur. Her once strong, powerful body ached all over from the cold and lack of proper care. Her once pretty black nose was now rubbed pink and sometimes dripped with infections. She was a strong-willed dog but she had almost reached the end and her desire to carry on was gradually leaving.

The days were now shorter and the long nights had turned a chilling cold. A while ago, the snow came and the winds began to howl. As the little princess curled into a snow bank to keep warm, she gazed longingly with big brown, sunken eyes, into the lighted warmth of the house windows – a house where over the past years she had never been allowed to enter. Her only companion was a big Shepard type dog - he would bite off your head if you got too close – but he was better than nothing.

One night as the little princess lay curled tightly to take shelter from the cold, she drifted off into a dream sleep where she spent so much of her time. She was taken back to the time where she was combed and brushed, hugged, talked to, loved by her Dad and spent her waking hours making her Dad proud of her accomplishments – a dream that was now only a dream of times past. She was pulled from her sleep by a rumbling noise – a noise she knew only too well that would bring the rain. the bright lights flashing in the sky. She slowly rose, with aching feet and assessed her surroundings – she had to run – as in the past, she knew she would be beaten when she was caught – but she must make one final effort to flee.

The chain that held her was not very strong, but she herself had little strength left. She pulled and tried to run – each time landing in the cold welcoming snow. Each time she was again aroused by the rumbling noise. Finally, she broke the chain and ran away. Not knowing where to run, she just ran. The snow in her face blinded her, but the rumbling noise kept her going. A large tree just ahead offered her some shelter and she could go no further. As she stopped and lay down, beautiful warmth came over her. She no longer shivered from the cold, she closed her eyes and again her dreams of long ago overtook her thoughts.

A kind voice was calling her to come – “No please, please go away and let me sleep.” Still the voice prodded her to get up and come. She opened her eyes and staggered to a stand. The bright light of the house showed her a person beckoning her to come forward. “Should she? Would the person beat her as she had been beaten before when the rumbling noises made her run away?” Tonight she did not care. “Beat me if you wish – I will not be here when the sun rises – I can not carry on for one more day”.

As she made her legs carry her to the woman, she had a feeling that this person would help her. Help she did – she took her into her home – she held her, she fed her and talked to her. All night she was warm and safe. The next day, she was taken to a place where there were other dogs – some she made friends with, some she did not. Over the next weeks, she was fed and kept warm – her friends came and went, she was always left behind

One day a lady came to see the little princess- talked to her, stroked her short coarse coat –“how embarrassed she was – if only she had her lovely long coat with her pants, she was sure someone would take her home.” A day later – Valentine’s Day – the same lady and a boy came back – “Probably to take one of her friends home”. It always happened. She was taken from her cage and given to the boy. She was put into the car and she drove away with them.

She was taken to a place that was vaguely familiar – a place that sometimes entered her dreams. A man with a white coat – this too was a familiar sight from before – spoke to her, rubbed her bony sides and spoke to the lady. She was brushed and given a bath - something she missed desperately over the past years. Her chest and back legs were shaved – not too much to shave off at this point – and soothing ointment was applied to the raw skin below. Her sunken eyes and bony frame did not give the veterinarian much hope of her survival.

The lady and boy loaded her once more into the car – “Were they taking her back – please no!” No, they were not taking her back. They took her home – home to her new home- a home that would make her part of a family - a home that would always be hers – a home and family that would love and take care of her.

Over the next 7 months, she was meticulously cared for – fed proper food, - proper medical attention. She went from 35 lbs. to 95 lbs and had lots of love. Her coat is long and silky again and her pants flow gently from her legs, behind her as she runs happily around her yard. The sparkle in her big brown eyes shows the mischief as she makes believe she is being chased. Her heavy mane hangs gracefully down over her chest and her beautiful tail is held proudly at a curve. Today at the age of 8.5 years, the little princess has lived with her new family for almost 4 years and is again spoiled, pampered and loved by her family and all that know her. She will never again be separated from her family and hopefully will be with them for many years to follow.


Kingsley became a welcome visitor at a Senior’s Centre, bringing love and kindness to all that she met. They responded to her, often when no one else could reach them. Kingsley made her journey over the Rainbow Bridge on September 22, 2007. She will be sadly missed by all.

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