Terrissa Jing Shang and Alexis Longo in NYC adopted the 2.5year old Korean Jindo dog, Getty (TT) about 3 weeks ago. Terrissa shares a few stories of what she has learned after adopting Getty. Here is Part 1.
Frustration is the word I would use to describe the first couple of days. I expected it to be a hard and long process for him to trust me and become comfortable in this new space, but I could not stop the urge to help him, to make him feel comfortable, and to make him happy. I felt bad that he had not peed, pooed, or ate in the past 20+ hours. Flying all the way from Korea, he must have been jet-legged, tired, hungry, grumpy, etc. I mean, any human would feel the same. His entire life, all of his comfort zones have been uprooted and changed. Now he is stuck in a high-rise building with two strangers, I can only imagine his worries and fears.
When I first brought him home and opened up the cage, he ran out into my room, then an ear piercing, vociferous bark froze my body. After a couple of seconds, reminding myself to stay calm over and over again, I was able to allay his fears. He immediately went back into his kennel. I left him alone.
His kennel was covered in water, I suspected that water spilled and soaked his blanket during the flight because it did not have any unusual smells attached to it. I could not suppress the urge to clean his kennel, the thought of him sitting in cold and soaked space hurt my heart. So, I braved myself and calmingly cleaned his kennel while he stared at me, judging and calculating my every move. As I inched towards him, he ran out of the kennel and went into the kitchen. I cleaned it and moved it to a more spacious location. But I soon realized that it wasn’t the kennel that gave him comfort, it was the place where I positioned him when we first entered the house – the small space in the kitchen. He was comfortable there because those are the first scents that he experienced when he arrived in this unfamiliar territory. From that point on, he claimed the kitchen rug as his haven. He would not sleep anywhere else, not even on the dog bed we bought him.
More stories by Terrissa are coming.
Written by Terrissa Jing Shang