The following is part of a series of interviews with adopters about their rescue pups. This particular interview is with Genevieve about her dog Mika whom she rescued 6 months ago. They had some hard times in the beginning, but with lots of love and patience Mika is starting to come out of her shell.
1. How did you find Free Korean Dogs?
I was looking on Petfinder; I wanted another dog, a rescue. My other dog Lea had passed a year ago, and I felt that I was ready for another one. I saw some dogs that I liked, and I saw some from, Free Korean dogs. I inquired and looked them up and I was blown away by Ek’s work and saving a dog from Korea.
She had this sweet sweet look, and she looked very gentle. I also thought she looked like a little wolf. She just seemed so adorable.
3. What was the application process like for you?
Honestly, not easy. I couldn’t believe how many people applied for dogs. I had to really hustle and email a LOT to EK that I was really serious about adopting. She’s very careful about choosing who the dog goes to, and I saw how dedicated and how her organization was just wonderful. She makes sure if its a proper fit. I had this lovely girl come to my apartment and interview me. EK asked some really good questions was and I was very impressed.
4. Tell me about the day you got your dog, how did you feel?
Well, at first, I met her at the sponsor parent, she had been adopted before and it didn’t work out. So, I went to meet her at the place where wonderful people were taking care of her. She was very frightened, and when I first approached her, she growled. I don’t know why, but, I went gently to her, extended my hand and petted her, even tough she was growling, and she accepted me. EK brought her to my apartment later, and the journey began….
5. How was the first week?
Let me tell ya, how was my first week …. jeez.
Well she would only go on my sofa, tail between her legs, and for the first 3 days, she had major diarrhea. I had put pads on the ground for her to pee, and she was amazing and went on them. Then she wouldn’t eat, very much and it took awhile to find what she liked.
I could barely touch her, she was so nervous and scared, she would shake a lot, and growl….
Also, EK told me again and again, have a leash that goes around your waist, because they know how to escape!! I had bought this leash, and I was going to buy the one around the waist the next day. Thank god I had purchased a tag with her name and my phone number, because, one morning very early I was walking, and I stumbled on a rock, fell, and she escaped! It was 6 am in March, totally dark, and I had no idea where she went. I posted tons of stuff on different web sites, and an hour later, thank god, someone found her, and called me, BECAUSE she had a name tag with my phone number! Thank god!!! The thing is with rescue dogs, if you run after them, they run!!!!
6. What are some of the difficulties your pup has/had?
Difficulties? Well she is scared of just about everything and everyone, except me and Juliette my daughter. She doesn’t play with other dogs, she tolerates them. She seems to like women more than men. It also took at least 1 month for her to wag her tail with happiness, and when she did I cried, I literally cried. She is scared of elevators, cars, big garbage cans….
She also ripped apart my two lovely leather vintage chairs the first week. I almost died…I think I knew then, I was in for a big job to help her. A very frightened terrier, who has separation anxiety. So lets just say, I knew it was not going to be an easy breezy job. But I truly love her, and every month I see so much change its amazing!
7. How long did it take your pup to adjust to life in Canada/US?
Well id say she is still adjusting. A lot of people have said to give it a year.
8. What does your dog do that is hilarious? Favourite quirk or thing that your pup does?
Well she follows me everywhere, and we have this ritual, where at night she follows me in my bedroom. She gets on the bed, and she lies down, and reaches out with her paw and gives me love. I put the palm of my hand on the bed and she puts her face in it. Its just so adorable.
She is also really amazing in that she is totally toilet trained! She can wait till 9 am to go out, and she never pees inside. When we go outside, it takes 5 minutes, and everything is done. She can’t wait to go back in. Another thing is that she’s starting to play and its very new. I’ve had her 6 months now, she runs and makes sounds…but she doesn’t play with balls at all, they are like a foreign object to her. Another funny story is that she shredded my income tax return completely, it was all over my sofa when I came back home, I couldn’t read anything! I had to call the government and ask how much I owed, and they laughed when I told them my dog tore it apart. I guess she doesn’t like income tax haha.
9. Did you rename your dog? What is the story behind the new name?
Yes. We renamed her “Mika”. Her name in Korea was “Midi”. We wanted to pick something that was similar to her old name, so it wouldn’t be such a drastic change for her. Mika in Hebrew means gift form god
10. If you could do it all over again, would you?
I had to think about that. Honestly, I don’t know. When I adopted her, I really didn’t know how much was involved, the level of fear, the anxiety she was carrying was immense. I think there are different levels of anxiety with some of the rescue dogs. Mine is way up there. I asked some people around who adopted as well, and it seems like a much easier road for some of them. I’ve had 3 dogs in my life ,but never one that was so anxious and afraid. But, I have to say, the bonding I have with Mika is just incredible. I see the changes, I see how much happier and relaxed she is becoming, and how when I leave and come back, she is so happy.
it will take time. I know that now. I don’t know what kind of life she had, other than what they told me which is that she was found in a box on the side of the road. No wonder she is so scared of cars.
I just love her more and more every day, and I’m really happy I’ve adopted her.
This experience has taught me a lot about myself, and how love and patience can heal and change a dog. Free Korean dogs is an amazing organisation, and EK is just an amazing woman, how she dedicates her life to saving those dogs is admirable. Just for that, I’m so happy to be part of that group of people that chose to adopt with them.
Mika, is becoming more and more the dog that was meant be, kind, gentle, affectionate.
I just love her. In the end, even though she can be frustrating, nervous and a heck of a lot to deal with. I’m so grateful for saving her. Seeing her become happy slowly, because she is being loved and seeing her learning how to love is a very special feeling.
Interviwer: Tatiana Thompson
Interviewee: Genevieve Langlois