It's been almost four weeks since I welcomed Choco into my home. For several weeks prior, I messaged back and forth with a teacher living in Seoul who had been stopped on the street by a Korean man, while walking her own dog, who asked (more like begged) her to find a new owner for three year old chocolate brown, toy poodle, Choco. Choco had been chained to a door and apparently, was abused by said owner. She needed a home where she would be loved (and trained).
After we finally agreed to a convenient meeting point for us both, I made the journey to Seoul, to meet Choco and Alicia for the first time. Choco was excited to get out of the carrier and she jumped to lick my hand, face and drew a crowd about her. I too, was excited about this little girl. Sure, she could use a haircut and a bath, but overall, I was excited to have this new addition to my life here in Korea.
As a first time pet owner, I can rightly say, that it's been quite a transition. As most pet owners already know, adopting a pet can incredibly rewarding. However, over the past few weeks, I found myself somewhat overwhelmed. Luckily, there are many resources for new pet owners like myself; I have found incredible support through facebook groups like Animal Rescue South Korea and through their website. From the facebook group, I've learned tips on crate training, house training and also recommendations of veterinarians that are caring as well as affordable. In case you're not ready to take on the full responsiblity of adopting a pet while teaching in Korea, there are opportunities to foster an animal as well as volunteer your time to visit one of the many shelters here in Korea.
If you're interested in adopting a pet while in Korea or possibly bringing your pet to Korea, here are some helpful resources such as Animal Rescue Korea. Pets listed here include dogs, cats, rabbits and others. You should know that buying a dog in a pet shop is very expensive here in Korea; they start at 500,000 KRW.
As for Choco and I, we're getting along fine. I recently purchased a crate for her and I am presently crate training her. It was recommended that I have her spayed soon as it would be beneficial to her health and remove risks of unwanted pregnancies. Part of the reward in adopting a pet and being a first time dog owner is the welcome I get every time I walk into the door, dressing her up in the cutest outfits and through play, I'm developing a bond with this little poodle.
Nailah Rivers was born in Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of seven. She graduated Rutgers University in 2011 with a degree in psychology. Her sophomore year in college, she knew for sure that she would pursue a teaching career with a focus on elementary school. After a risky move to Miami, Florida in 2011, Nailah decided to take a chance and apply to teach English in South Korea with Chungdahm Learning. She is currently teaching in Pohang, South Korea and is having a good time teaching and learning. Follow her blog to get the inside scoop on teaching abroad.