Archive for the 'jindo gae' Category

Come on, say it with me: “awwww…”

This woman is quite possibly my favourite “character” here in Jindo.  She can barely walk (hence the big pole in her hand), and she does virtually everything from her scooter.  She has a Jindo who is extremely loyal and protective of her (he wags his tail and licks her, but growls at anyone who approaches her unless she says the person is okay) who rides around everywhere with her, on the scooter.  Jindos are known for extreme loyalty, and this is a perfect example.  I think they’d make excellent service dogs, personally.

When he was a puppy, riding around with him was relatively easy, but now that he is growing up (he must be almost a year old now, since she got him at 6 months) it is a bit more complicated. He dutifully rides along though, and it is absolutely adorable. Here are some recent photos:

“My Dog”

So, yesterday when I took “my dog” (she still lacks a name) for a walk, I decided to take some photos.  So, here you go.  By the way, if you have any name suggestions, I would love to hear them.

Update

Things have finally settled into a rut here, I think.  Not a bad rut, just sort of a pattern.  Two new teachers arrived a couple weeks ago, and between them they took over 4 of the schools I was previously working at (two schools I disliked, and two schools I liked, so it balanced out).  So, I’m now working at only 3 schools, which makes things far more enjoyable.  I am finally able to do lesson plans that can have multiple parts, something that was impossible when I was only seeing each class once every 2 weeks.  Now I visit two of my schools twice a week, and one of them once a week.  One of the schools lets me out after lunch, as I have no afternoon classes, and so that makes a huge difference in how I feel.  One of the things I tend to detest is being made to do useless things, and one of my schools makes me sit at my desk until exactly 5 no matter what, even if all the other teachers have gone home.  It frustrates me to no end, though I know that they are fully in their rights to do it, as per my contract.  In general though, things have greatly improved.  For awhile there, I was seriously considering bailing, but due to these recent changes and the plummeting of the US economy, I will be sticking around.

I am also now back in my old apartment building in a vastly improved apartment, now that it has been renovated.  I wish they had replaced the kitchen, and the heater doesn’t seem as good at heating my water as at the old place, but I am not about to complain.  I visit the dog I have “adopted” a few days a week, and it really does wonders for my mood.  I’ve started taking her for walks in the surrounding countryside, which she absolutely loves.  She spends her life on a 6 or 7 foot chain, and so being able to run around (her “leash” is about a 25 foot rope I bought) is clearly the highlight of her week.

In the last two or three weeks, the foreigner population of Jindo has risen from 5 to 9, an incredibly high number for somewhere this rural.  Sadly, one of them has her last day this Friday, and she was the main social organizer, so it will be interesting to see what happens with that.

I have withdrawn a bit recently, as well.  Now that I actually enjoy being in my apartment, I have been spending significantly more time here.  I used to go out with folks not only to socialize, but because I couldn’t stand being in my smelly, moldy apartment.  Now that it is actually pleasant to be here, I have been sticking around here far more, except to go for my walks and countryside drives.  I’m not lonely or anything, I just tend to sometimes go through phases where I don’t really enjoy the company of others, and I think this is just one of them.

I’m a bit sick.  Okay, a little more than a bit, but still well enough to work.  I could use one of my 6 remaining sick days on Monday, but unless I feel worse, I don’t think I will.  I figure that if I go into work when I’m at less than 100%, next time I take a sick day, they might take me a little more seriously.  Then again, maybe not.

So, anyway.  There will probably be more positive posts around here than there previously have been.  I think I have passed the “I hate Korea” stage and entered the “Meh.  It’s funny.” stage.

Jindo World Dog Show

Me and a favourite...

The Island I work on, Jindo Island, is famous in Korea for the breed of dog that originated here, the Korean Jindo Gae (Jindo Dog).  They are considered a “neolithic breed” by most dog experts, as their isolation has allowed them to remain practically unchanged for thousands of years.  They are distantly related to the Shiba Inu and the Siberian Laika, and are known for their tenacity, intelligence, and loyalty.

These dogs are everywhere on Jindo.  Because the breed is protected as a national treasure, only Jindos that are bred on the island can be considered “pure”, and so everyone and their mother has a small kennel in the backyard because of the premium these puppies go for.  On top of that, it is illegal to take them out of the country, and so most Jindos are microchipped at 6 months old, and yes, they do check, both at the airport and the checkpoint on the bridge to the mainland.

Despite that, I have been considering taking one home.  There is an “undesirable one” (due to its coloring, which I love) in a nearby village that I took a liking to early on.  She used to be a stray, but someone finally leashed her (you can see a photo of her here).  I have become friends with the owner, and I feed the dog a few times a week (in addition to giving the family bags of dog food on occasion) and walk her and give her toys.  She is not microchipped (due to her less-than-ideal conformation), and so I could, in theory, take her home, and I have considered offering to buy her from the owner.  I probably will not, as Marc and I are still unsure as to where we will be living when I return to the states, but for the time being, when I refer to “my dog”, the other foreigners all know exactly what I’m talking about.

Anyway, back to the original topic of the post:  the dog show.  Last weekend was the Jindo World Dog Show, where people brought their Jindo dogs from all over the country, and a couple from England and the US (there is an official, govt. sanctioned breeder in each of those countries).  There were probably a couple hundred, in total.  I went on two separate days (it was three days long!), and had quite a fun time, as I love dogs.  Below is a small selection of some of the shots I took.  I may post more later:

w00t.

Jindo World Dog Show today!

I promise, there will be pictures.

Stuff.

Today was pretty lazy, other than the irritating incidents this morning.  I hung around the apartment until the afternoon, and then I went and drove my circuit of Jindo dogs that I like to visit (2 breeders and 2 solitary dogs).  I try to socialize and sometimes feed the some of the less-than-cared-for Jindos on the island, and it feels like it gives me a purpose.  Plus, some of my students have given me some sort of highly unflattering Korean nickname that I believe translates approximately as “dog-girl”, and so if they’re going to call me that, I might as well live up to it.

I went to the grocery store and got some dish soap and another bag of dog food, and then headed back home to Gunnae.  I went for a walk just a little while ago in the dark, as it means that nobody’s outside to point and stare.  I don’t mind it most of the time, but it does get a little old sometimes to be a constant spectacle.

Tomorrow I may go to Jodo.  I wanted to go today, but the weather didn’t shape up until later in the afternoon.  It takes me about 40 minutes to drive to the ferry, and I don’t particularly want to get up hugely early, so I’ll have to check the schedule.  I emailed the high school teacher (who speaks essentially fluent English and is really friendly), since she said she wanted to hang out sometime, but I haven’t heard back from her yet.

For now, have another Jindo photo:

Mommy, why does George look different?...

Mommy, why does George look different?...

Today’s Heartbreakingly Cute but Sad Jindo Photo:

  


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