We found Free Korean Dogs on Petfinder. Our Dog Murphy died in Sept of 2016 at the age of 15. We waited a while to decide if we wanted another dog. Our kids were 22 and 24 and living at home.
My husband and son were working from home, so it seemed like a good time. We did not want a puppy and had to be cautious of the breed due to my husbands’ allergies. Murphy was a schnauzer/poodle mix and there was no problem, so we thought a terrier type mixed breed would be good.
The first dog we put in our application for was already spoken for, but I spoke to EK and told her what we were looking for. She said there were some terrier type pups that would be posted soon so we waited and watched. The day “Jooha” was posted I immediately sent her to my daughter. She looked a lot like our Murphy but a different colour. Her weight showed 12 kg, but she looked little and I thought they meant 12 pounds. We fell in love with her sweet face immediately and her story touched our hearts. I contacted EK and said we were interested in her but were going on vacation in a few days for a week. She set up the appointment to come visit the night before we left, and we were approved. Then we had to wait. I looked at her pictures every day. My daughter and I went a bought a bed, collar and some other supplies.
Finally, the day arrived. Valentines Day. We were to pick her up at 7:30. My son, daughter and I went to the airport. EK texted that there was a short delay, but we would soon meet Jooha. At 9:30 she arrived. There were 3 dogs coming from Korea. All the crates were large. EK did the paper work and we finally got to go and see her. She looked so scared huddled in the back of her crate but adorable. And kind of large. EK even said she was bigger than she thought and the harness she had brought for us may not fit. It didn’t.
We live very close to the airport, so it was not a long ride home. We opened the crate and waited. She did not take long to come out and she just sat and looked at us. She went to each of us and we were petting her. We took her outside and she did her business immediately. To this day she had not had an accident in our house. We all just sat with her, talked to her and pet her. If we stopped she would put her paw on us so we would keep going. She still does this.
She eventually hopped in the bed we had bought her. It was a little small, but she liked it. I stayed downstairs on the couch, so I could keep an eye on her and hear her if she cried. I checked on her a few times through the night and she pretty much just sat in her bed and didn’t make a peep.
The first week I stayed home a few days to help her adjust. She was very quiet in the house and much more animated outside. She loved the snow. She raced around the yard. In the house she stayed mostly in the kitchen, nervous to venture out into other rooms. I tucked her into bed every night and put the baby gate on. I think it made her feel safe. I had to upsize her bed, collar and harness. She is about 30 pounds and the perfect size for us. We couldn’t decide on a name for a few days but one day said she looked like a little lion in the yard. We named her Nala and it suits her.
Unfortunately, less than a week after she arrived she tried to make friends with a skunk in our back yard. It was bad. We took her to the groomer the next day and they gave her a bath. We had not planned on taking her there so early and we felt bad. This may have what caused her anxiety in the car. She does not do so well. She drools and occasionally throws up. Her vet appointment went well, and she is very healthy. We discussed her car issues and eventually after trying Gravol got some pills from the vet to give her for her trips to our cottage. It helps her settle and not drool. We are still working on this with her.
We took her to obedience level 1 and will do level 2 in September. She has come along very nicely getting braver every day. She loves the cottage even though we must keep her on a rope. She runs away exploring if we let her off. Hopefully more obedience training will help with this and she will be able to run free up there. Time will tell. We have had friends bring dogs up and are getting her used to it. She is a little territorial but mostly ignores them. She barks more at men. She loves going for walks and we enjoy taking her. She does have a prey drive and wants to chase squirrels and bunnies that we see. She digs little holes and lays in them. She runs the fence line in the yard sniffing what is behind it.
We have had her now for just over 6 months. 2 weeks ago, she came up stairs and slept on her mat beside our bed. That was a huge step for her. She is not comfortable on the bed or the couch and does not like being held. She loves to have us sit beside her and pet her. She is super sweet.
My advice to people would be to be patient. It takes time for these pups to settle and feel comfortable. I have always wanted to rescue a dog and am thrilled we have given this sweet girl a home she deserves. She is adorable. No dog is perfect, and truthfully most are a little weird. She is no different, but we are very much in love with her. We have no idea what she has been through but are so happy to see her coming out of her shell and showing us her personality. She brings so much joy to our house. I am so glad she found us.
Written by Sue Kocaurek