18 months ago, I had never heard of the Korean Jindo dog breed….now I am a devotee! My partner and I share our home and lives with not one Jindo, but two – Beatrix and Harriet.
Our friend, EK Park, began Free Korean Dogs in the summer of 2015; soon after, my partner started an internet love affair with Beatrix, a young Jindo mix who had been rescued from a meat farm and was living in a shelter set up by Jinoak Oh. We already had three dogs at the time, one of whom was nearly 15 and nearing the end of his time with us. It wasn’t possible to even consider another dog at that time, so it remained a cyber crush. Three times we heard that Beatrix had been adopted; three times the adoption fell through for one reason or another. In April, 2016, literally, the day before we were to say goodbye to our beloved Quin, EK gave us one last chance to adopt Beatrix…well, one door closes and another opens they say.
I would be lying if I said it was all perfect and easy when Beatrix arrived because she arrived pretty traumatized – she stayed in her crate for days and walking her outside was extremely challenging as all of the noises and movements of a busy city terrified her. On the other hand, she was very easy to live with – quiet, sweet, clean, and house trained within 24 hours. It took a few weeks, but soon her little tail started to shimmer when she saw us. Fast forward 10 months, and she is a little cannonball of joy.
A month ago, EK called us late one night about Mary, a 6 year old Jindo mix…sad story…terribly abusive owner for five years…alone, fending for herself for a year….and, finally, safe with Jinoak and looking for a forever home in Canada – could we foster Mary for a little while? Sure, we said, we could foster.
Mary (now Harriet) arrived worn out from the long plane ride, very skinny and very suspicious of us. She barely ate, crept out to pee in the backyard a few times a day and, otherwise, she lay on her bed watching us very carefully – if we went too close to her, she would get up and run away from us. We could not put a leash on her, but, on occasion, she would let us pat her gently on the head, and seemed to melt in bliss at the contact. We tried everything to get her to eat, but, for a starving dog, she was very picky! Finally, organic grass-fed butter, rice with freshly cooked fish seemed to do the trick! How great it was to see her gobble down a whole bowl of food, licking it clean. And, in time, we got a leash on her and started taking her out for walks – who would have guessed – she walks perfectly on leash – easy! It’s only been a month, but Harriet is the easiest, sweetest of dogs – she no longer runs from us, she eats anything we give her, she lies next to me when I am working at my computer, she runs to the door to greet us when we come home, and she has even offered up her belly for a rub once or twice. Foster? Oh no….Harriet is staying with us!
As I said, 18 months ago, I hadn’t heard of the Jindo breed. Now, I recommend them to anyone and everyone I meet. Our two Jindo dogs needed patience, gentleness and love, and we certainly needed to earn their trust, but now that we have it, they are unfolding into the most devoted, joyful, sweet, lovely, intelligent companions we could ever imagine.