(or “my big potato” as I affectionately called you, since your name means ‘Potato’ in Korean)
When I first met you (at your initial foster), you glued yourself to the nearest wall the second I walked into the room. The other dogs came to greet me, but you sat still as a statue with your head hanging low, breathing heavily, unable to hide your fear. I sat on the other side of the room and gave you space, speaking softly and offering treats from a distance. Still, you were like a magnet on the wall with your head hung low.
Almost 3 months later, you arrived in my care when unforeseen circumstances meant you needed an emergency foster. You were still shy and would totter away when I tried to approach you, so I hand fed you your first few meals. After you discovered I had tasty food and a pocket full of treats, you decided I wasn’t so bad. You quickly decided to settle in the corner by the couch, so we set up your bed there and kept your water and toys nearby. You were so well behaved that night, no one would have ever guessed there was a dog in the house!
Over the next few weeks, you made progress everyday. We discovered how much you love to go for walks and be outside (even in -30c degree weather). You slowly graduated from constantly looking out for danger to stopping and sniffing the world around you. Having never been on a leash before, you walked right by my side like a perfect gentleman. I couldn’t stop smiling when we discovered how much you love to run; you looked so happy and free. I must have sent the video of you running to everyone on my contact list.
We also discovered the way to your heart is through your stomach. True to your breed, you inhale your food and never discriminated against the variety of treats I kept on hand. You weren’t too sure of your foster aunt in the beginning, but when she came in the room bearing treats you decided she wasn’t too bad after all (That is, until she ran out of treats!). We always knew you love other dogs and don’t discriminate against them either, but what we didn’t know was how much you love them. On one occasion the bossy coonhound on our street barked relentlessly at you. Still, you bowed down with your tail wagging, trying to engage him. On another occasion, you tried to follow another dog home right to his front door!
You loved getting head pats and would fall asleep as I massaged your head. Brushing would do the trick too. Belly rubs? Yes please! Every time I walked towards you, you would roll over and show me your belly. When I stopped, you would put your paw on me or nudge me with your nose. I remember when I caught you trying to chew up your blanket. I gave you a firm ‘no’ and you instantly rolled over as if to say “who me? I’ve just been sitting here being cute and innocent!” However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Although you loved being outside, getting you there wasn’t always the easiest feat. In the first few days I had to literally drag you out of your bed to get you to the front door. You knew exactly when it was time to go, and would effectively glue yourself to the floor and somehow become 200 pounds of dead weight. Every noise and sudden movement would startle you. But eventually, a few treats and a ‘go’ cue and you were up and walking yourself to the front door. What a smart cookie!
Our quest to find your perfect home wasn’t easy either. Many of your shelter mates got adopted while you remained in foster care; somehow people were weary about the words “shy”, “skittish”, and “lacks confidence” in your profile. The handful of applications we did receive for you were also not ideal, as they didn’t fully understand your needs. However, your family did come along. A perfect family with a mom and dad who accepted you for exactly who you are, appreciated how far you’ve come despite your hardships, and even a doggy sister to call your own. I had a good feeling about them from the interview and references, but I was sure they were your family when we met them in person and you let your [now] mama hold your paw when the salt on the street was making you uncomfortable. They chose you to be their family, and you chose them as well. It took some time, but it was worth the wait to find your perfect home. I couldn’t have asked for more.
It’s hard to believe that even though you grew up on a dog meat farm, you still allow yourself to trust humans despite how some have wronged you. You don’t ask for anything more than for people to be kind, long walks, a good belly rub, and of course lots and lots of treats. You’ve come leaps and bounds from when we first met, and the best has yet to come! I know you will thrive in your new home and can’t wait for the amazing life you are going live!
Lots of love and smooches,
Your foster mom, Sara
Rosalind Wald says