Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Dogs' Life in Korea

I have been in South Korea for almost a year and have observed that the lifestyles of different kinds of dogs are varied and, in some cases, can make me feel quite sad.

Small breeds, like Shih Tzu, Maltese, Poodle, Chihuahua, etc., are favoured pets with Koreans. I often see them, with their shocking pink or green ‘hairdos’, prancing around the streets with their proud owners. Yucks! Sometimes these little ‘rat dogs’ (the term of endearment used by my human parents) wear fanciful clothes, including loud coats, shoes, ribbons and even hats. Tsk! Tsk! They give me the impression that they are off to some Halloween party hosted by Snoop Doggy Dog (my favourite rapper). Whenever these ‘rat dogs’ walk past me, I tend to snigger to myself with my big goofy grin.

Anyway, although I may be ‘bitching’ about my little friends here, I have to admit that they have their privileges and are well looked after and loved by their human parents. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most of the local ‘big’ dogs (ones that are the same size as me!).

Most of the bigger dogs in Korea either seem to be permanently tied up, left to roam the streets on their own or, even worse, they are just ‘livestock’ waiting to be eaten! I feel extremely sorry for my big size canine friends whenever I see them. They always seem to have sad expressions on their faces.

The dogs who are tied up get no proper food, no proper shelter, live in unhygienic conditions and never get walked by their owners. The ones left to roam the streets seem to have an even worse life. They always run the risk of getting hit by cars, children throw stones at them whenever they see them and they never know where their next decent meal will come from.

But, the saddest part of all, is that some of my canine friends are in ‘dog farms’, waiting to be slaughtered for human consumption. Geez! Dogs in Korea are a common foodstuff, just like cows and chicken, in the West. The Koreans call it ‘Boshintang’.

There are many ‘dog farms’ in Korea. Sometimes, my canine friends tell me stories about what goes on in these farms. The living conditions are not pleasant and the dogs who live there are often sick and infested with parasites. When their ‘time is up’, death is usually slow and painful. It is not uncommon for them to be clobbered to death before being sent to the dog restaurants. I don’t want to talk much about this, because it upsets me, but you can learn more by visiting these websites: Dog Meat, Korean Animals (Warning! Some of the articles contain disturbing pictures).

These dogs who are eaten in Korean restaurants are not much different from me. Why would anybody want to treat someone like me so badly? Why would they want to tie me up? Why would they want to throw stones at me? Why wouldn’t they want to love me?

Most of all, why would they want to eat me?

This dog had a collar and was left roaming on the road.

This dog looked like Border Collie and was so friendly.

A Jindo and a Schnauzher mixed tied up.

Jack Russell look alike.

A Jindo puppy?

Two Jindos tied to their kennels.

This was the living condition.

This Jindo was supposed to be a guard dog. Look at the wound on the front leg.

Alaskan Malamute.

"We want to get OUT!"

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