On September 1st, 2018 Free Korean Dogs stepped in to liberate 69 canine residents (later to become 83 after the birth of a few litters from pregnant rescues) from a dog meat farm in Dangjin, S. Korea who were destined for slaughter. This is one of their stories:
From darkness to light:
How do you grow perfect posies? You bring it out from the darkness and into sunlight, and let it blossom.
Rosie was found tied to a cement block on a short chain at the dog meat farm; It was a scorching hot day and she had no access to food or water, nor was she provided any shelter from the sun or other weather elements. When her rescuers approached her, it was as if she knew help had come at last as she struggled against her short chain towards them with a wagging tail to greet them.
After getting her medical clearance Rosie was moved to a shelter, and eventually a boarding house. While we expected the changes to be overstimulating for her, she surpassed our expectations. She loved all the volunteers who came to see her and eagerly greeted everyone. Getting along with other dogs was a little more of an adjustment; she was a mixture of intrigued, confused, and socially awkward, not knowing exactly how to play or engage properly. But 2 weeks later she fit right in.
With the growing need for more space in the shelter to intake more dogs in need, Rosie flew to Canada the following April to find her forever home. En route from the airport to her new foster home, all that was heard was the sound of her wagging tail continuously hitting the side of her travel crate. Then, when we finally opened her crate door, all we could see was a streak of color flying out of it. We could immediately see her silly personality as she ran around the yard in circles, stopping frequently to be pet.
In the month she spent at her foster home, our goofy girl followed her foster parents around everywhere they went with her helicopter tail wagging behind her, and would sit at their feet demanding belly rubs at every opportunity. She loved people so much she would whine and pace around when they weren’t around, but being a smart cookie soon learned that people always come back.
Rosie’s silly personality never failed to make everyone laugh. She had no self-awareness of how big she was, often underestimating how much room she needed or not knowing she was in the way. You would often hear her before you saw her, accidentally bumping into things to get from point A to B. She had everyone wrapped around her paw; she would bring her stuffed toy to the yard and pretend to eat the stuffing in order to get people to chase her around, or rearrange her bed so people would have to come fix it, and consequently pay the obligatory token of a belly rub.
It wasn’t difficult to fall in love with her, and Rosie found her forever home several weeks later. Despite having made such progress in her short time, she still had areas to work on. She had gone through many changes since her rescue, but she finally had a place to settle in permanently. Being around males was new to her, as was the new concept of walking on a leash. No longer at the end of a short chain, the world was such an intriguing place with so much to see, especially the birds and squirrels. Having never had anything for herself, she also felt quite insecure with food.
Over the next few months in her forever home, she once again proved we had underestimated her. Today, Rosie has conquered all of these issues and continues to be the playful, affectionate, and smart girl we know her to be. She has learned all basic commands, including ‘speak’ and ‘roll over’, and never turns down any opportunity to play, whether that be with her toys or with other dogs. Her favorite games include chasing balls, being chased, and tug of war, the latter of which she will let you win and surrender with a belly rub. A nudge of the nose means ‘pet me’ or ‘belly rub, please!’.
Today, 38 of Rosie’s fellow Dangjin dog meat farm survivors still remain in Korea receiving the physical and emotional rehabilitation needed before they are able to make the trip to Canada. We find it so commendable, even enviable, in her willingness to take leaps of faith and working so hard to adapt so well. She is by no means perfect; she can still be apprehensive of unfamiliar objects and experiences, but overcomes them with a great deal of bravery. No dog can encompass perfection, but to us Rosie is certainly the perfect posie.
Written by Sara Liao with contributions from Rosie’s foster and forever families