Posts Tagged 'jindo gae'

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.

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:

Star of the Jindo Dog Circus


I promise there will be a real entry soon.

Stray Jindo

I honestly am considering adopting this guy. He’s a stray, likely not microchipped (which means I can smuggle him out of the country since they won’t know he’s a purebred), and my favourite color of Jindo (which for some reason they call “gray”). He’s a little skittish, but he doesn’t bark and he’s not aggressive and I think I could work with him. My Aussie was more skittish around strangers than he is, and far more aggressive both to people and other dogs, so while it would be a learning experience, I think I could do okay.

More photos (and some video!) of him later.

Cute Dogs and Cultural Revelations

I need to figure out how to befriend the family that lives in the house next door to my apartment building.  They have three adult Jindo-gae, one adolescent one, and a few puppies.  They are all really adorable (especially the puppies), and I want to take some photos of them.  Maybe I can get my co-teacher to translate for me, or something.  The dogs are everywhere on this island, and they’re generally very sweet when they’re not guarding property.  I had two of them run up to me yesterday while I was out walking (they sort of run wild in the town), and they laid down and let me pet them.  I have yet to meet one that is not a total sweetheart.  It’s too bad that it’s illegal to take these dogs outside the country (they are a national treasure), because I could totally see myself with one of these as a pet.  They remind me of Akitas (one of my favourite breeds), but smaller and less aggressive.  If I get to know the ones here, maybe I will look for a breeder in the US.  There are a few out there, but not many, as you have to basically apply to the Korean government to get permission to export them from the country.

My current concern is how to get money.  Korea is a very cash-based society, and I have discovered that the ATMs here do not accept Mastercard, which is what my debit card is.  My credit card is not currently set up to be able to get “cash advances” from ATMs, so I’m not entirely sure what the hell I’m going to do.  I exchanged about $100 at the airport, and I have about $60 that I can exchange here on Monday, but other than that…I don’t really have anything.  In a week or two I get my settlement allowance, which is $300, but it’s going to be a long week or two if I have to live on $60.  It’s doable, but difficult.  If I only needed to buy food, that would be fine, but I really would like to buy myself a non-sketchy blanket, and a lamp, at least.   I had Marc call my parents last night at like 4am their time to tell them what’s up, and so hopefully they called the bank and figured out what I can do.  Without access to a phone or regular internet, I am very limited in what I can do regarding stuff back in the US.

I have been pleasantly surprised at what I am able to get here, regarding food.  I had been told that yogurt was rare, and that American candy was virtually non-existent, among other things.  When I was at the grocery store yesterday, they had three different varieties of yogurt, and they had Dove chocolate (and Lindt!) and Snickers bars.  I expected there to be Coke here, but there’s also Fanta and Mountain Dew.  Most of these import items are priced similarly to what they cost in the US, thought there are other American items that are available but less common, and they cost a fortune.  For instance, I found a pint of Haagen Daaz ice cream yesterday for almost $9.  I don’t mind Korean food, and much of it is not very difficult to make, so it’s not too bad.  I think I will miss pasta though – I didn’t see any in the grocery store, or even any flour, for that matter.  There’s a “French” (I’m skeptical) bakery in town that had bread, and I may go down there today to check it out.  Even if it’s not very good, it’s better than no bread at all.  I found a microwavable meal that claims to be spaghetti, so we’ll see if it really is anything like the real stuff.  Again, I’d rather have sub-par pasta than none at all.  I never really noticed how wheat-flour-based the western diet is until now.  Everything here is based on rice, and it makes a huge difference.

December 2019
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