One of the first things I found out about Kimchi Man when we met is that he owns a dog. The cute little white fluff was right there among his profile pictures. Underneath it said that it was a Korean Jindo dog. I have never heard of that breed so I searched online for any information I could get. At that time I was in serious Kimchi-Man-stalking-mode. Luckily for me, he found it flattering, not creepy.
I found out that Jindo dog is a breed of medium-sized hunting dog. They are very rare outside of South Korea. Koreans are so proud of their loyal dogs that they designated the Jindo as the Korean Natural Treasure. The name Jindo come from Jindo Island, the third largest Island in South Korea, where they are thought to have originated from.
Jindo dogs are very curious, active and intelligent. These are wonderful qualities but sadly it also leads to people abandoning them when they realize they are not able to give that much time and energy. Kimchi Man’s dog is a female. She gets regular walks and goes hiking often, but still has enough energy to hide Kimchi Man’s clothes in the rice fields, run away to visit the neighborhood dogs, push Kimchi Man out of his own bed, and find her way between him and the webcam when we are chatting. I am always curious to find out which mischief she is going to do next.
Since they have strong legs (I heard the same said for Korean men ;) ) if Jindo dog is kept in a yard nothing short of a 6 feet fence will keep them in, and in some instances they have been known to even managed to scale an 8 feet fence. They are real escape artists.
Particular instances of loyalty have even made some Jindos famous in South Korea. A dog named Baekgu (백구) who had lived with her owner for 7 years was sold to a new one 180 miles (300 km) away. It took the dog 7 months to get back after she escaped but, hungry and exhausted, she did return. Impressed with her loyalty, the old lady who was the original owner decided to keep the dog, and they remained together until the dog died of natural causes, 7 years later. In Baekgu’s honor a statue was erected in her hometown.