Who was the first pug you rescued?
Eunbi, the girl pug from the official shelter in Seoul in 2000. It covers cities surrounding Seoul called Gyunggi-do. Her owner, who was from a province north of Seoul, surrendered her to that shelter.
In Korea, it is forbidden people come to the shelter and surrender their dogs. At that time the staff who had her own pug got her privately and asked me to get her. I had applied for a pug at that shelter, but she had pneumonia and wouldn’t make it. Staff said for me to get Eunbi instead.
Eunbi means silver rain. She was just 9 month girl. Malnourished I could easily feel her ribs. She was so afraid of daylight lived at the basement like the movie, “Parasite.” Even she could not make step forward outdoors. She lived with me and passed away at 13 yrs old.
What do you like to feed your pugs and your foster pugs?
I give dog food like Royal Canin or Natural Balance. But I think fresh vegetables, fruits, grains and proteins they need so I offer apple, watermelon, Korean gyul (like tangerine), zucchini, spinach, carrot, eggplant, cucumber, sweet potatoes, boiled eggs, meat and chicken. Whenever I can give depending on what kind of food I make for dinner.
Do you have any funny memories of a pug you rescued?
Last year, I rescued a girl and a boy, Potato (fka Dolly) and Bowie, who lived together. I drove my car to the owner's apartment to get them. The owner was waiting for me at the gate. He got into the passenger seat of my car and we headed to his basement. Owners said they have to take care of sick parents and can't care for the pugs.
I came back to mom's house with Potato and Bowie. Pet shop lady (who helped advertise the pugs) called me and said the owner was suspicious that I am puppy breeder. Why he thought so was the condition of my car.
My car was so similar to puppy breeders: Filled with hairs and not clean (does not mean dirty). Seemed like the car was used for delivering dogs.
So, he checked my ID and I showed him a video of how the pugs were doing. Every time I met a pug owner who wanted to rehome, they felt so comfortable when they saw me in person. So, I was astonished that this particular owner didn’t trust that I wasn’t a puppy breeder! Now it feels like so funny. Haha
What are some differences about how dogs are taken care of in Korea vs. the US?
So sad that most Koreans do not walk their dogs. This is the important reason why I make adoptions in US.
I do not want dogs raised like fishes in the jar.
So easily they are rehomed when the owner get marry, having babies and babies are born. I don’t want single person in Korea to buy dogs without concern but so often they do.
What’s the hardest part about doing rescue work?
Many difficult things, but the hardest thing is budget. If I have more money, I can save more. For healthy dogs, I pay around $400 per dog plus more for gas for all my driving. If I get pugs owner relinquished, I still have to pay.
I wish I could have reserved money for preparing adoption to the States. If the rescued pug has the special sickness like heartworm, Parvo or pneumonia, it takes a lot of money before their adoption while they are staying and recuperating in Korea.
How’s Blanca the white pug-mix doing?
She is a little bit crazy when she is in euphoric mood. But during the day, she is so gentle. Same age of other fawn and black pug I’m fostering-- they are really crazy. She likes cuddling. Happy walker. She loves fruits. Apples, Korean Gyul and blueberries. She wants to play with my pug Luce, but he does not want because he is old. (Luce prefers to sleep all the time with occasional walking outside.)