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14 August 2004
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Korea Life Blog - Worst Neighbors Ever

Julie and I had a terrible day today. We are truly the worst neighbors ever. The story started when a couple moved in down the hall with their beautiful Cocker Spaniel (named oddly but innocently: Cock, pronounced Coke-uh, in Korean. Rather than call him Cock, I'll just say Coke). A couple of times, our door being open, Coke sprinted in to befriend us. After convincing the owner, a nice young lady, that it was OK, we watched him last night for a few hours to give her a break. Have a look:

Here he is, the friendly little guy. Just look at that happy face and beautiful reddish brown coat.

Julie's a little hungry and tries to steal Coke's bone. Julie loses.

Hey, come on! Smile for the camera and say kimchi!

I took a real liking to the fellow. Very playful and you could basically do whatever to him.

After a lot of playing, we're a little tuckered out. Phew. Time to relax.

Maybe we'll watch a little TV. There's Animal Planet and Canine Boot Camp is on.

Awe, he's more tired than I thought and falls asleep in my lap for awhile.

When his owner came back she brought us a couple of drinks for watching Coke and then asked us if we'd like to own the dog. Her brother gave him to her as a surprise, but it's become too much a responsibility for her day in and day out and she needs to start a job soon. We love the dog but declined as we think these apartments are too small for a dog this size. So the dog went home...

...this is where the story takes a shocking turn: This afternoon Coke came by again and so we asked the woman if we could take him for a walk to in the park nearby and she eagerly agreed. Since the dog seemed pretty well trained to obey commands like come! and sit! (in Korean: iluwa! anja!) Julie got the idea to take off his dog harness for a bit and let him run around the park for a little exercise. And I agreed. This went well for the first half an hour. The dog hung around us and came when called. Then, as if out of nowhere, he simply bolted as if in a marathon and vanished around a bend! In disbelief, we didn't think that much of it at first, calling the dog's name. But after a few minutes the panic set in. We hurried to look but he was simply gone. We spent hours running all around searching high and low. Gone! - as if somebody swiped him up and sped away (which is what I think happened).

All I know for sure is we made a huge, stupid mistake seeing as the dog doesn't even have a collar.

We feel horrible and we truly must be the worst neighbors ever. We told the woman and we all went out again to look for a few more hours. Julie and I became exhausted and have called it quits for now. The owner is still out there looking. She didn't seem to take it very hard though, perhaps thinking it a relief since she did actually want to give him away. She said she hopes somebody did take him and is terrified to think of him hit by a car. Julie's worried that we may have to pay for the dog and is nervous how the woman's husband will react later. Such a dog costs about 350,000 won ($350) in Korea. And we both feel really bad for the whole situation. What an awful day.

EVEN MORE SHOCKING UPDATE! I sat and stared out the window for the past several hours and then all of a sudden I saw a little speck moving about down in the distance. "Julie!" I screamed. There's the dog! I bolted to the elevator and 13 slow floors down and ran out and sure enough! Coke was out there rummaging in the bushes way off. He looked terrified as I approached but when I called his name, he ran up and jumped all over me. I carried him inside, all the while the dog slapping me with wet kisses, and gave him back to the owner. She was elated! What a great day! I must say, while we feel like a dumbass for having lost the dog and assuming it was stolen, we feel pretty damn good that I found him. I don't know how he managed to get across all of the dangerous roads to where he was without getting killed. What a lucky dog and me and Julie are lucky too!


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