Our Dog Adoption Experience: How we Found Zappa the Jindo Mix
It seemed obvious that we would adopt a rescue, rather than buy a dog from a breeder. Even as aspiring pet parents, we understood that every dog deserves kindness, nourishment and a safe home; especially those pets that are deemed socially “undesirable”. Growing up, my family and friends tended to have dogs bought from breeders, so I was also just curious to know if there was much of a difference raising a rescue dog.
There were some breeds which we first considered, and then reconsidered when we realized they were almost impossible to find up for adoption. This is usually because the breeds we were interested in, i.e. Shibas, were expensive as they’re steadily increasing in demand and popularity in North America.
We not only chose to adopt out of ‘scarcity’ for the breed we originally wanted, but also because it just felt good knowing we were not only helping an animal find a loving home, but we were also helping an organization with a purpose we believe in.
Adopting from Free Korean Dogs
I’m not sure if I’m the only dog mom guilty of this, but I enjoy scrolling through dog adoption sites every now and again. I like to check in on dogs and see which ones have been adopted. 🤭 It makes me happy to know they’re finding homes, but who am I kidding—it’s also just great to see cute new dogs all the time.
While filtering my searches and scouring adoption boards for Shibas, I found one located super far away that was mixed with a Jindo. That was the moment when I realized… Jindos existed!
After some furious Google searching, I was already infatuated with Jindos (based on everything I read at least). Their sense of loyalty, their high intelligence and playful personalities, their jin-donut naps, their cat-like grooming habits… everything sounded perfect. If you’re allergic to cats like me, but you love dogs, maybe give Jindos a chance.
Ending Korea’s Dog & Cat Meat Trade
We love the message and movement that Free Korean Dogs (FKD) is spearheading in Canada. What began as an admittedly selfish desire to have a fun and playful companion around, resulted in us becoming more active in the community.
After learning about the grinding hard work FKD is doing to help dog meat trade survivors and organize protests in Toronto and Korea to raise awareness about the dog and cat meat trade, I was even more compelled to adopt a rescue puppy through them.
EK and Will
We met EK Park (Founder, Executive Director) and Will Yang (Board of Directors) through adopting Zappa, and it is clear that they are fully invested in the cause of ending the dog and cat meat trade and giving these animals a second chance.
Our Jindo Journey
Last year, my partner and I watched a friend’s massive beautiful beast of a Jindo for a few months in our tiny downtown apartment, while the owner was moving back home from Korea to Canada. Four months later, we returned their dog and immediately noticed her absence. It felt like there was a void in our lives. I’ve always loved animals and wanted a fur baby of my own, but I never thought I was the type to cry after watching and bonding with someone else’s dog.
The day we gave her back, we also decided to adopt Zappa.
The process took a couple weeks, but the journey to finding Zappa feels so much longer than that, and we’re so lucky to have him in our lives. Zappa has taught us so much, including that it’s important to take risks. We weren’t sure financially if we’d be able to afford to adopt and take care of a dog, so we waited years and years while I scoured the internet, looking for resources about taking care of pets and looking through lists of available animals for adoption.
Paldong, eighth boy
This little mister is a gorgeous and nervous Jindo mix who was rescued from Korea through Free Korean Dogs.
He was named Paldong at the time, and he was rescued from a neglect down owner who raised dogs to sell. After he fell ill and couldn’t take care of the dogs anymore, a Buddhist nun named Heogong saved all eight puppies.
They lived in a shelter in the middle of the mountains, where Paldong was used to the quiet scenery of rural nature. It came as a huge shock to his system when he was only 1.5 years old and moved straight to the core of downtown Toronto, Canada.
Desensitization training in the city
Despite how nervous and uncomfortable he was on walks during the first few months we had him, he was still such a well-behaved boy.
He would be (and still is, sometimes) easily startled by loud noises, yelling children, the beeping of trucks or machinery, cars, motorbikes, etc.
It has become instinctual for us to be aware of triggers for Zappa in any given environment, and to react accordingly (by either redirecting him from the source of stress, or by getting him to confront the stimulus head-on by sitting there for a moment and experiencing it).
He’s improving every day and we’re so proud of him!
What we’ve learned through adopting a dog
The saying goes that “there are no bad dogs, only bad owners”. Unlike most old adages, we believe it may actually be true.
Adopting a rescue animal takes patience, discipline and consistent training, although this is true of all dogs whether they’re adopted or sold.
If you’re a loving and focused pet-parent who invests consistent effort into training and forming a bond with your dog, then regardless of the dog’s breed, age, or prior living conditions, you two will have an amazing journey together!
Have you adopted an animal, or are you thinking about adopting? I’d love to hear what your experience has been like.
Let me know via email or in the comments below!