I recently discovered that the Daegu Korean Animal Protection Society (KAPS) branch is located just a mile and a half away from where I live. It has been a few years since I have been able to see any dogs, but now that a few dozen of them are twenty minutes’ walk away, my weekends just became a great deal more friendly (and doggy).
Of the many dogs in residence at the KAPS, small breeds are by far more prevalent. This is likely because Korean cities, like those of many other countries in this region, are not very accommodating to large dogs and their need for plenty of living area. There are a few, though, like this ten- or eleven-year-old Golden Retriever – although suffering from advanced hip displasia and probably a variety of other ailments, he is as sweet and loving as any other Goldie.
This French Bulldog is another of the crowd favorites. She wears a pink dog sweater with panache, and is among the most outgoing dogs in the shelter.
Most of the dogs – and nearly all of the smaller breeds – get along famously. A few new arrivals are still adapting to the social hierarchy, and one or two are just not particularly well-adjusted socially, but most of them are very typical dogs: inquisitive and friendly.
I was introduced to one particular dog on my first day at the shelter. He is the largest dog there (by quite a bit, in fact), and has all the energy to go along with it. He, like most of the dogs I knew growing up, is a dominant male whose temperament has suffered by not being socialized with other dogs from a young age, so I have to take pains to keep him away from close contact with most of the other four-legged tenants; but, also like most of my previous companions, he is extremely good-natured with people. Most of the Koreans who we pass on our walks are afraid of his imposing bulk – and his breed, known as it is for guard and police work, doesn’t look as approachable as some – but it only took a few minutes for him to form a bond with me, and I’ve walked him exclusively ever since.
I don’t know his name, if he has one, and chances are I couldn’t pronounce it properly if he does – he is a Korean dog, after all – but I’m sure I will find a fitting name soon. Until then, he will be known as “The Alsatian” (or “That Huge Dog Over There”, as he is known to some).
It’s probably a good thing that my building does not allow pets, or I’d be tempted to adopt the guy. I will have to settle for regular walks and a few hours of playtime every week, unless he gets adopted soon; but until then, I have another reason to get out of my room on Saturdays, and for that I am very grateful.