It’s never too late for a horribly abused meat dog to build trust again.
I first met Gucci (a.k.a. Adel) last spring when I went to Korea to film my upcoming documentary Compassion Soup. Gucci was one of the 55 so called meat dogs rescued from a dog meat farm in Namyangju, Korea, by the animal rescue group Wizard of Hope.
Gucci is a Dosa Mastiff, which is one of the most common breeds of meat dog in Korea’s dog meat farms due to their large body size. While the Dosa is the most popular dog breed in the dog meat trade, they are considered to be the least desirable breed for adoption in Korea. In fact, Dosas are not even considered as companion animals, but rather as livestock or meat dogs. They are seen as too dangerous, dirty, and inappropriate to be companion dogs.
However, Dosa dogs are naturally gentle and submissive by nature. Due to the unbearable abuse and torture over decades of being bread for meat, they naturally and understandably become aggressive and unpredictable.
Gucci was definitely very shy, scared, and skittish around strangers when we first met. But I could see another side to her personality, which was very gentle, sweet, and curious. Many people worry that dogs like Gucci will never get adopted. It would be probably true in Korea, but I thought that there must be someone in Canada who would love this girl unconditionally.
In early November, 2016, after 5 months of trying to get this dog adopted, we got an email from Lyle and Ronni. They are a family of three children living in Toronto, Canada. They came across some pictures of Gucci in a Korean shelter. They already had a big dog, Charlie, who looks a lot like Gucci, and wanted to add a new member. Yet it was tricky to adopt such a big and traumatized dog they’d never met.
I was in Korea at that time, so we exchanged many emails and phone calls. After much consideration, the family made up their mind to adopt. They decided to take whatever risks and challenges that came with Gucci.
On November 24, 2016, Gucci left Korea forever. It was a long journey: she flew first to San Francisco and then on to Toronto. The family went to the airport to pick her up, but she wouldn’t come out of her crate. She was too terrified to move. But when she saw Charlie, her new Canadian brother, she suddenly started wagging her tail and summoned the courage to come out of the crate. It was the start of her new life in Canada and a very touching moment for the whole family.
A few days ago I visited Gucci. The family lives in a quiet residential area. Gucci was laying down on the dining room floor looking very lazy and content when I arrived. She is still timid around strangers, but as long as Charlie and her loving family are there, she feels secure.
Gucci follows Charlie everywhere he goes. She has learned how to walk on a leash, how to sit in the car, and most importantly how to trust again. It is never too late for a “meat dog” to become a loving companion. It just takes time, courage and love.
Gucci’s friend, Bella, was rescued from the same dog meat farm. Bella is still waiting. Will you be the one to adopt Bella and give this meat dog her forever loving home?