INTERVIEW

Pet Set: Avery Pohl And Kingsley

“Kingsley is an 11-year- old papillon that I got when he was about 8 or 10 weeks old. When I got him, he was only a pound!” So Happy Together: The actress describes Kingsley as “the greatest companion”

How did Kingsley join your family? “When I was little, I was obsessed with getting a dog. My family has always had a ton of pets; I’m pretty sure at one point, we had four dogs and two cats and two turtles. As a 6-year-old, I was like, ‘I want a dog!’ My parents said, ‘Well, if you do chores around the house and raise the money, you can get whichever dog you want.’ At first, I was very insistent on getting a golden retriever, so my parents put in this giant dog door, did the whole thing, and then I went, ‘Wait, I kind of want a dog that can travel with me.’ And when I got Kingsley, unfortunately, he couldn’t open the dog door by himself because he didn’t weigh enough to get the magnet to move! By the time I was able to afford him, I was 8, so I had saved up for two years, taking the garbage out for a quarter, loading the dishwasher for 50 cents. I did get him from a breeder, which is not a super-proud point, but all of our other dogs have been rescues.”

How did you name him? “In Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, there’s a scene where Alice is at this party and she has this suitor who then proposes to her and goes, ‘Alice Kingsleigh, will you be my wife?’ That’s where it originated from.”

What is his personality like? “His ears are a little bigger than his brain. We joke that he can’t hold his liquor because he gives everyone so many kisses. He is such a sweetheart. He has never met a person he doesn’t like. He’s very loving, loves to tuck himself up next to you when you sleep. He’s just the cutest!”

How is he as a traveler? “Fantastic! The only downside is that he has a very small bladder, so he does have to pee about every hour if you’re driving in the car, but he’s fantastic on planes; he was, like, 3 months old or 4 months old the first time I flew with him and he gets to sit under the seat in his little carrier, and he gets so excited. He’s like, ‘Oh, my gosh, we’re going on an adventure!’ ”

Does he still live with you, or does he live with your parents? “He lives with me, for the most part. Occasionally, he’ll go home to Florida if I’m super-busy and can’t give him the attention he deserves. I really love having him with me, but occasionally it’s better for the dog to say, ‘Okay, it’s time to go see your siblings [the other Pohl pets],’ and my parents will take him.”

What are your favorite ways to spoil him? “Well, you’ve got to give him a few treats every day, come on! We just bought him a new dog bed — best $15 purchase from Marshalls ever! He absolutely loves it. He just loves to be carried all the time. I think that’s the way I spoil him the most.”

What are Kingsley’s dislikes? “Oh, anything slightly uncomfortable. He does not like to be blow-dried or given a bath. Anything that involves being hot or being cold, he’s really not about it [laughs].”

Do you ever dress him up? “He is not a wardrobe guy! At one point I tried putting him in a raincoat and he absolutely hated it. I tried putting him in little booties one time, but he was not into it. So I stopped trying to dress him up.”

Do you have nicknames for him? “Not really. I do call him Bubba sometimes; I don’t know where that stems from and I just started doing that in the last year. I do say, ‘Come here, buddy,’ or ‘Come here, sweetie,’ or whatever, but yeah, he pretty much prefers to go by his full given name.”

What are his favorite activities — like, does he enjoy long walks? “This will really show you how spoiled my dog is. He doesn’t even like going on walks! Like, I’ll take him for a walk and he’s all excited until he gets to the end of the driveway, and then he’s like, ‘You need to pick me up now. I don’t want to do this.’ I really wish I had been able to teach Kingsley how to swim but unfortunately, when he was a puppy, he ended up breaking both of his legs — not at the same time — but he was constantly in casts that couldn’t get wet. So like, he’s never really been able to go to the beach but he does really like car rides — really taking it all in, soaking it up from the safety and comfort of the vehicle.”

You’ve had him for most of your life! What does it mean to you to have had his companionship for so long? “When I was getting the dog, I was like, ‘I’m going to mentally prepare myself that I’ll have this dog until I’m 18 and then anything beyond that is just icing on the cake.’ And now he’s 11, and he’s in great health. He’s my favorite thing on the planet. I love my dog so much and I just cannot imagine a world without him, and I know whenever that day comes, I’m going to be the biggest mess ever. Dogs are your family at the end of the day, and he’s been through a lot with me. He’s lived in Miami with me, he’s lived in New York with me, he’s lived in my hometown with me, and now he lives in Los Angeles with me. I think the longest I’ve ever had to go without seeing him was like three months and it’s so hard. You get used to not seeing your family sometimes, but not seeing your dog just hits a little different!”

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