One afternoon in 2017, I was lazily looking at pictures of dogs on the internet. Something came over me, and the dog memes quickly became rescue websites. When I came across the Free Korean Dogs website, I didn’t know what I was getting into. I rationalized that because I had started working from home, it was time. I knew I couldn’t handle a puppy; I also knew getting an older dog would soon be heartbreaking. Then I saw Charlotte. I contacted Free Korean Dogs quickly, requesting Charlotte, awaiting a response with baited breath.
I was heartbroken when I heard someone else was going to adopt her, but to make a long story short, whoever originally tried to care for Charlotte eventually could not, and I could not have been luckier as a result. Poor girl just needed a home. This adorable little troublemaker has since won the hearts of my entire neighbourhood. When my friends and colleagues visit, Charlotte loses her mind with excitement. She’s still a little wary of new people, but once she knows someone is okay, she won’t leave them alone. She has a wonderful new life, and now so do I. We regularly get together with the same group of dogs in the area and the pack seems to grow every other day.
It’s hard to believe it has already been nine months. Charlotte, at now approximately two years old, seems to be developing a maternal instinct, protecting the new puppies in the neighbourhood. It’s a sweet contrast to her sometimes introverted and anti-social behaviour with other dogs. She loves to run and play, but if a ball is involved, Charlotte can be a little bully. If it’s any other toy, she shares. If it’s a Husky or a Husky mix – forget it; no other dog or human (or squirrel) matters to her in that moment. Charlotte’s foster humans, Jesse and Leah, are still very involved, much to her delight, when papa has to leave her for a day.
At the end of February, I arrived home late from a long day working on set. Obviously, Charlotte needed to go out. I took her to an enclosed area and let her off leash to run her little heart out. As we were preparing to leave, something spooked her and she got away from me. I caught up to her, cautiously, but the 2 AM traffic scared her further, and despite being right in front of our house, she almost got hit and ran away. The next nine hours without the dog were longer than the nine months with the dog. I posted what I could online, and feebly wandered the streets calling to Charlotte. When morning came, I answered a call from EK. She set me straight, and walked me through the proper steps to get my baby back. As I hung up the phone and fired up Photoshop to make missing dog posters, my phone rang again. This time it was a neighbour who found baby girl cowering behind her garage a few blocks away. I ran, ran, ran to Charlotte. She was so cold and scared, I had to carry her home.
The power of community – especially a community involving doggies – makes one think of the old saying “it takes a village to raise a child”. Charlotte is my daughter. She brings out the best in me. Coming home to this sweet baby girl makes every second count. I’m forever in debt to Free Korean Dogs. Here’s to many more years with Charlotte, and maybe a new friend for her soon.
Written by Jonathan Hunt