Must… Love… Dogs

I’m not a big animal lover. I can’t even really take care of plants, and I’ve pretty much failed with goldfish, so a mammal – at least at this point in my life – would probably suffer some degree of neglect if forced under my care.

But out of the blue, I found myself trying to convince Melanie why a Jindo dog, the proud breed from Korea, would be the best pet ever. I dug hard on Google for Jindo puppy pics to bolster my argument. To my pleasant surprise, someone went through all the trouble to put together a site on Jindo dogs that outlined why they are so great.

I’ve known since childhood that a Jindo dog has two very strong characteristics: loyalty and intelligence. My mom read me a story when I was a little kid about a Jindo dog that dragged its injured owner for a great long distance, eventually dying of exhaustion but not before saving the owner. I knew it was a special kind of dog because my parents said it wasn’t the kind that Koreans ate. Oh, and as a little side, I know some people get really offended about the idea of Koreans eating dogs, but I read somewhere that Koreans prefer a specific type of dog for meat and won’t readily eat just any dog. Okay, that probably doesn’t make it sound any better, but com’on, we’ve all read Charlotte’s Web and still love to eat pork!

My one distinct experience with a Jindo dog was about seven years ago when I went to Florida with my family. We visited a nice Korean family and they happened to have a Jindo dog in their backyard. I was intrigued by the Jindo dog’s appearance. It looked somewhat like a fox but more compact in build and undeniably athletic. The dog had a handsome golden coat and its facial expression was friendly and alert. Two little girls, both under ten years old, excitedly told me and my sister about how the Jindo dog ate up all the lizards and snakes in the backyard. For some reason, I found it sort of funny that the Jindo dog, so good to humans, was such a ferocious animal to other animals. I had heard stories about Jindo dogs tearing up racoons, and one friend, although I question the integrity of his story, said that his Jindo dog killed (and maybe even ate) his cat. What a crazy dog!

Another characteristic I admire about the Jindo dog is its supposed alpha personality. A Jindo dog, I read, will seek to dominate all the dogs it comes across. While I probably wouldn’t want a dog that attacked other dogs, I think it’d be cool to have one that asserted its authority wherever it went. And while I know dog fighting is illegal in the United States (and just unethical in general according), the thought of a battle between a Jindo dog and a German Shepherd crossed my mind. Who would win? I’d put my money on the Jindo dog.

I probably will never own a dog, or if I do, it’d probably be because I have kids who desperately want one. But it’s nice sometimes to think about what pet ownership might signify. Owning a Jindo dog might say a lot about my ethnic pride, the way I see myself, and the things that I think are important virtues. Mmm, or then again, just thinking and writing about the possibility of owning one pretty much says the same things without the need to collect poop and put out food every morning.

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