Soyou And Her Shelter Mate

Life with Soyou

Guest article by William Burke

This past summer, my girlfriend, Jae and I came across FreeKoreanDogs through a recommendation from a friend. After mere minutes of browsing, it became apparent that our dogless days were numbered. We were so enamoured by all of the sweet faces of FKD.

I had been pushing to adopt a dog for quite some time, but the two of us just could not seem to agree on anything from the breed, to the size, or even the timing for that matter. I was convinced that we did not see eye-to-eye on the subject and that it ultimately would not pan out. As soon as we spoke with EK about potentially adopting, our minds were instantly made up. She managed to find the perfect match for us, and we knew right away from the photos and videos that Soyou was our dog.

It has now been about seven months since we adopted Soyou, and we honestly could not be happier with our lives together. Like most new dog owners, we had a lot of questions initially, and the first few days had us wrought with anxiety. Luckily, from day one, Soyou has been one of the most well-behaved and good-tempered dogs I have ever encountered. As someone who grew up in a house full of dogs, I was truly amazed by how relaxed she was, and how well she transitioned to life in Toronto. We were fully expecting and preparing ourselves to work with her through any trauma and unexpected behaviour, but we never experienced either of those things.

Upon arrival at her new home in Toronto, Soyou was perfectly well-adjusted. Much to our surprise, she never destroyed any of our belongings and never had an accident inside. For that matter, she has never gotten herself into any trouble. Soyou has always loved being around people and going for endless walks on the busy streets of downtown Toronto. One of her strangest hobbies is staring endlessly out at the Gardiner. This fascination is just one of her many quirks that never ceases to amuse us.

One thing that I noticed about Soyou right from the start was that she never really engaged with other dogs, or felt comfortable enough to run freely in off-leash areas. From what EK told us, Soyou was a street dog in Korea, who was found wandering in a rice field. From that, we speculate that she has grown accustomed to a life of solitude, and so being around other dogs is something unfamiliar to her. During our visits to the park, she would often stay right by my side, or cautiously trot along the perimeter to avoid big groups of dogs. After speaking with other Jindo owners, we were assured that after three months or so, she would completely change, and become a “normal dog” in no time! Admittedly, after the first few months passed, we were somewhat disappointed when Soyou did not have a grand transformation. We kept assuring ourselves that she just needed time

In the last month or so, things have completely changed. Soyou seems to have finally come out of her shell. Perhaps this harsh winter weather has played a role in her recent transformation, as she really loves the snow. Regardless of the cause, Soyou has been running around blissfully, and finally starting to socialize with other dogs. She is no longer timid and overly cautious in public, but rather she has started to truly enjoy herself. Like any dog parent, seeing Soyou progress from total seclusion to any form of socialization is heartening. Most recently, I had a proud parental moment when I saw her chasing a ball at the park. Melodramatic? Perhaps. Emotionally validating? Entirely.

Overall, it has been incredible to see Soyou’s transition since adoption.

If our experience has taught us anything, it is that all good things come with time!

Jae and I are extremely grateful to FKD for matching us with Soyou. These past seven months have been so wonderful as Soyou is now an integral part of our little family. We are very excited to see what the future holds for us together. As of right now, there have been mentions of a second Jindo to make our lives that much crazier!

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