While out on an early morning walk on Monday this week, my Korean rescue pup Shadow (the black & tan one above), found a tiny crying ball of fluff, discarded in a drain alongside a forest road. I took a closer look and saw a terrified little puppy, huddled under a pile of leaves and branches. I also saw that there was another white ball of fluff further up the drain that wasn't moving and was covered in flies. I had no idea what to do. We already have our own rescue dog, who is going to cost us a lot of money to take back to South Africa (we are talking $1000's, so please think carefully before deciding to adopt a dog here in Korea!) but at the same time I couldn't just leave here her. In Korea, if you find an animal and take it to the vet, legally the vet has to keep it for 10 days to allow time for their owner to claim them. As it was clear this little one had been abandoned, my very kind vet didn't ask too many questions. You can imagine what happens to them if they aren't claimed after 10 days.
After much deliberation, Farmboy and I both decided we couldn't just leave her there to die and went back to get her. Knowing we couldn't keep her I jumped on Facebook in search of a foster/forever home for the shaking puppy. We took her straight to the vet and apart from a flea and mange infestation and a bacterial infection she is fighting fit and ready to live.
Regardless of your view of social media, it does one thing better than anything else, and that is network and connect people. Within a few hours I had so many people offer to foster her and a number of people willing to take her permanently. Thanks to each and every person who shared my Facebook posts this little puppy has a loving home to go to next week.
Here are a few photographs of where we found her, and what she looks like now, a couple of days after finding her. Shadow just adores her and he won't be the only one misses her when she's goes next week.
As we have been through this whole process before, I have written a couple of blog posts on owning a dog here in Korea. If you have been thinking of it you might find these posts useful:
From all my Facebook & Instagram posts it may seem like owning a dog in Korea is the easiest thing in the world. Please remember that I, just like most other people on social media, showcase the highlights. Owning a dog here in Korea is hard work, and you need to be prepared for not just the expenses of owning a dog (the vaccinations, neutering, dog food which is sooo much more expensive than back home & of the course the final cost of taking the dog back to your home country) but also what daily life with a dog is like here. We have a 'large' dog for Korean standards and deal with terrified neighbours and kids running away screaming on a daily basis. Koreans just aren't used to keeping dogs as pets, especially big dogs and are always horrified when they hear that Shadow lives in our apartment with us. Also, Korea isn't built for pets, so finding a place to exercise him is always an issue, finding a place for him to go to the bathroom without Koreans chasing us away from their beloved veggie patches is always a nightmare, finding places to stay that will accept dogs here in near impossible (we camp A LOT) and of course taking your dog around if you don't have a car is a huge challenge if they aren't small and able to fit in a little carrier. We wouldn't change our experience with Shadow for anything in the world, but I do wish we had known from the beginning exactly what we were in for when we found him. If you have any questions about owning a dog here, please feel free to email me or leave me a comment below. Also, there are sooooo many dogs and puppies needing homes here in Korea, if you have been wanting to get a dog please consider adopting rather than buying from the pet stores.
Below is a website that lists all the dogs (and cats & other animals!) available for adoption, as well as Facebook groups where animals that have been rescued are also posted. There is also a group called Everything Paws which is a fantastic resource for pet owners here in Korea. I've also included the links for buying and selling second hand pet items and information on traveling abroad ie. back to your home country with your pet.
Do you have a pet here in Korea? What has been your biggest challenge so far? I'd love to hear from you!