4 Reasons To Adopt A Dog (Yes, In Korea!)
Seoul truly is a city of dog-loving people, but not necessarily yet a city for the dogs. I think that there is certainly a lot of desire for dog ownership, as sales of the Maltese and Yorkshire breeds have been on a steady climb, but I question how much commitment there is for keeping them.
According to the 2006 Ministry of Agriculture statistics, 56,000 dogs were abandoned as a result of families moving, parents changing commitments to raise them, or health problems resulting from but more likely due to health problems of the animals themselves.
Programs like SBS’ “Animal Farm” recount some truly tear-jerking stories of pets left behind after families have moved on. These dogs, ever loyal to the idea that their owners are coming back, wait amid the decaying ruins of their homes without anything to eat and only the company of a few other stray dogs who have also been left behind. This is like a Disney animation, only with many sad endings.
If you are interested in dogs, or have always wanted to raise one here are four reasons why you can and should adopt a dog in Korea.
1. You want a companion – Most of us are foreigners without family in Korea. Dogs come with their own personalities and have a fine tuned sense for cuing in on your state of mind, your habits, and your feelings. The cliché is true when times are rough you have no better friend than your pet dog.
2. You can take him/her home with you -Did you know that dogs can accompany you on Asiana or Korean Air on international flights, if your dog and carrier weigh up to 5kg (~9lbs). Most small breeds easily meet this requirement, and with a little dog carrier training, your dog will most likely sleep the entire flight!
3. You have always wanted one -Coming to work in Korea is no time to suspend your life’s plans. You didn’t join the monastery by choosing a year to teach, and you don’t have to hold off on getting the pet you’ve always wanted but (as a young kid your parents didn’t let you).
4. The dog will affect everyone you know -The amazing thing is that pets don’t choose family members to love. They love them all unconditionally. Everyone will come to know your pet both in Korea and at home. Even the most recalcitrant family member is no match for puppy dog eyes. Dogs have been known to repair family relationships, bring people together, and help others break out of old habits. Your dog may even one day come to save your life or that of a loved one either spiritually or literally, as in the case of the dog that is trained to dial 911!
More information, or if you would like to volunteer, pet-sit, or join in on the discussion check out Animal Rescue Korea’s boards!
http://fly.asiana.com -”Traveling with a pet”
–By Bill Conner, often seen with his dog Gimbap, which he adopted from the streets of Seoul