One week after finalizing our adoption for Elle, we fell in love again when Otto popped up. There was something so special about him and I knew I would regret letting him go. But we’ve never had more than one dog at a time, let alone rescues! Was I being too rash? Would we be able to handle two rescue dogs and give them the best life they deserve?
After losing my best friend Kira to congestive heart failure in December 2019, my family and I decided that it was time to open our hearts to a new furry family member. After scouring the web for dogs that bore resemblance to Kira, I felt a sense of guilt that somehow, I was trying to replace him and the void he left. That feeling disappeared when I came upon FKD and it became evident that we had to adopt. As silly as it sounds, I felt that Kira would be proud if we provided a loving home to a dog in need.
Our search ultimately led to Elle (formerly Gamza). While binging FKD dog videos, I kept noticing this little brown dog, darting back and forth in the background, always trying to butt into frame for rubs. Her persistence for attention was so endearing and her sweetness could be felt through the screen. All she wanted was love and we were searching for someone to give it to; it was a perfect match. I submitted an application and soon after, her adoption was finalized!
We immediately started to buy new dog supplies, excited about our new fur baby who would soon be joining us. I still kept up with new additions to the website, sending profiles of dogs to friends who were also looking to adopt. One week later, Otto’s profile appeared. His shelter burned down in a forest fire causing him to suffer horrific burns. It’s hard to believe, through that trauma he’s who he is today, a little guy full of life and trust. It would be an understatement to say that I was captivated by Otto. I replayed his videos every few hours and refreshed his profile to check his adoption status throughout the day. I shared his profile with family and friends hoping someone could adopt him and that I could meet this superstar. However in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of envy for the lucky family he was going to be a part of. My persistence for Otto’s adoption caused people to wonder why I didn’t adopt him. The only answer I could muster up was: Because I have Elle already.
That answer didn’t sit well with me. It definitely would be more rational to wait before getting another rescue, especially since this was our first, but Otto would be gone by then and I knew I would regret letting him go without giving my best effort. It was a scary thought, adopting Otto before Elle even arrived. We had no idea what to expect and didn’t want to let them down. I had every worst-case scenario played out in my head but something about Otto’s calm demeanor and innocence assured me that it’s going to be okay.
After discussing with my family and making sure everyone was onboard, I contacted my amazing case manager, Carrie, and just like that, Otto became a part of our family as well.
Elle arrived first. Her flight was delayed 5 hours due to lightning so I expected a tired, frightened dog that would probably stay in her crate for a while. What we got was the complete opposite. Being the food motivated pup that she is, Elle was easily lured out with treats and started gobbling down kibble right away. She immediately made herself comfortable on her bed and napped until 4 A.M. She then proceeded to explore the room and give everyone kisses while wagging her tail like crazy. This smart girl even used her pee pad without hesitation! She exceeded our expectations in every way and diffused much anxiety surrounding the transition. Three days later, we were back at the airport to pick up Otto. Coming home, Elle was beyond excited, jumping all over the place, demanding to sniff the little creature inside the crate. As soon as we cut the zip ties and opened the door, Otto darted out and began accepting pets and belly rubs from everyone! I was shocked by how unfazed he was; I don’t think he realized that he was in a different country!
It’s almost been a month now and their personalities could not be more different. When greeting people, Otto is a cool, calm, and composed pup that only accepts tummy rubs while Elle goes absolutely bonkers with licks. Elle tends to shy away from big dogs during our walks but little Otto would run straight up to them and get all up in their face. Despite his size, he proves a worthy opponent during tug-of wars, with Elle frequently chasing after her stolen toy.
We’re still learning new things about them every day. I would catch myself, staring while they sleep, thinking: Wow, how can they be so perfect and how did we get so lucky? These goofballs have sincerely breathed new life into our family and given us more love and affection than we could’ve ever expected! We cannot thank Free Korean Dogs enough for bringing these two angels into our lives.
Written by Jennifer Wang