Monday, October 03, 2005

kimchi and me

well, i'm sure that by now you're asking "well, tanya, what have you done with the rest of your three-day weekend?"

i shall tell you!

i purchased a dog. a chihuahua, to be exact. and his name is kimchi. this is something i've been considering doing even before i left for korea- i really think this is the best time for me to get a puppy because my schedule is so great for it- i mean my longest day is 4.5 hours- it'll be so much easier to raise a puppy here so it's grown by the time i get home and it won't be as hard for it to be alone during the day because i'm sure whatever job i get when i go home will be full-time hours. my main concern, of course, was bringing him back home with me- obviously i wouldn't get a dog before being certain that i could bring him home, and i'd heard a lot of stories about quarantine. but i checked out different sites, heard stories from other people who have brought dogs back to the states, and everything seems to be not so bad, unless the dog is sick or doesn't have the rabies vaccine. if you have further questions you can check out

i've also located an english-speaking vet, and there is also a vet's office right next to me for emergencies (they also sell a good amount of supplies and accessories) and found volunteers for pet-sitting in case i wanted to do overnight traveling (but chihuahuas are extremely travel-friendly). but last week was when i started getting vocal about it and realized i was really ready for a pet. i also didn't want to make a rash decision- after one of my runs i was so tempted to go up to this mother cat and two kittens that were on the sidewalk to see if they were friendly, and the thought of bringing one of the kittens home with me did cross my mind- of course i wasn't stupid enough to try and pet them because who knows what diseases they could have. and i didn't really want a cat, either... it was just wishful thinking of having a furry friend.

so i emailed good ol' celeste, resident dog expert, to make sure i had thought of everything (and the dog trainer in her did make sure i was considering everything, but she agreed i was ready). so, then i wanted to track down a small, not yappy apartment dog. the main breeds i was considering were the chinese crested or french bulldog, but i know they're rare over here. so i figured it would really come down to a chihuahua, pug, or yorkie.

so yesterday alisun and i set out on our dog hunt. i was a bit cautious to buy a dog from a pet store (puppy mills run rampant over here), so we went to A LOT of stores. some of them we ran out of the second we entered (one worker was walking around with a syringe in his mouth... no thank you, although you do have very cute bull terriers)... the first place we went to was actually near alisun's apartment, and it was owned by a nice family- that's where kimchi was, for 300,000 won. he passed all the puppy tests, and stuck in my mind as we went downtown to "dog street," which is where the sketchy shops were. i saw another healthy adult chihuahua, but the man said it was 1,200,000 won... roughly $1200. is he crazy? he was trying to tell me he's special because he's grown, but puppies are $600- as he told me when he held up a dachsund and a shar pei. yeah, they're exactly the same breed as a chihuahua. no thank you.

so, rika met us downtown and we went back to get little kimchi, and he's the cutest dog ever. the people gave me some food and chew toys (we had already gotten a leash, collar, food dish, and chew toys downtown). i'm glad they're feeding him proplan, because that'll be easy to keep up back in the states. it was quite the ordeal understanding their instructions, but i was relieved to hear that they were concerned about the home he was going to. their instructions were exactly what i was expecting- 3 small meals a day, mix the food with warm water and rice (easier to digest). they also recommended a different vet, but i think i'm gonna stick with the english-speaking one, because that's the place a girl i talked to swears by.

so kimchi has the most awesome personality ever. like i keep telling people, he's not an annoying puppy- i'm not much of a puppy person (yeah they're a pain) but i wanted to get a puppy to make sure it grows up right and well-socialized (and chihuahuas can get nasty if they're spoiled). but he's a lot of fun. he likes to sleep a lot, which is good. that's what the pet owners said, too... he eats and he sleeps, then he'll play, then he'll sleep some more. they told me this through hand motions, thought it was pretty funny. so yeah he came home and he wasn't at all stressed and wanted to explore. right away he went under the bed to look around, and i got really worried about the dust bunnies under there so now i have boxes going all around my bed. he's got such a small throat that i'm afraid he'll choke on one- and i think he did eat one because he keeps trying to cough up the hairball. i swear he's more like a kitten than a puppy, he even looks like a kitten from the profile. at the moment he is curled up on my big black bag. i think he was interested in it at first because it probably still smells like my dogs from back home, but he's really taken a liking to it, he actually chooses it over the blanket i had on the floor for him. this week i'm going shopping for fun dog accessories- a real dog bed and a carrier being at the top of my list, though i wouldn't be surprised if this bag became his permanent bed of choice.

alisun, rika, and kelley came over last night to watch a movie/play with the dog, and they all kept saying he's the cutest dog ever. and i don't want to brag, but... i think he's definitely a contender.

so he'll sleep, then i'll move around or get a phone call and he'll wake up and give me a look like "oh yeah, you're fun! let's play!" and his tail wags a million miles a minute. he'll play for 10 or 15 minutes then he'll nap again. he was pretty hungry last night so when i fed him he wanted to devour his food and i had to take his food away to make sure he didn't bloat or choke or make himself sick. but this morning he had more control and even left a few pieces of kibble in the bowl.

he's already good at responding to me, and we're working on basic commands: "come," "sit," "leave it," no bite," and hi-five" (the last one is my favorite because he's pretty good at it and it's so cute.)

disclaimer: for a while i hated chihuahuas because of what a trend they've become with the paris hilton types. i always roll my eyes when i see the typical blonde girl wearing a pink jumpsuit, walking around with a little chihuahua in tow- and most of the time these dogs aren't brought up properly and are snappy, nasty little things. this is not MY intent on purchasing a chihuahua. i am simply a dog person, a responsible pet owner, and this is a dog and pet to me. it is not an accessory.

that being said, alisun spotted the cutest red adidas jacket for him, we definitely want to get it for him. they get cold easily, so i definitely intend on dressing him up, and why not make him cute in the process? he'll even match with my red adidas sneakers, which he happens to be sitting in in one of the picture below:

you can't possibly tell me he's not the cutest dog. and he really is pretty awesome. i'm obviously more of a big dog person (miss my scottish deerhounds back home tons), but a dog is a dog and he's a pretty cool dog. plus, i've always wanted to own a huge dog and a small dog, and when i'm ready and back in the states (won't be for a while, i'll definitely need a house for this) i'm definitely going to get a huge dog of my own, most likely a deerhound. it'll be funny to see a chihuahua next to a deerhound. that's actually what my mom said, too. she's very excited to have a grand-dog (which is a relief because i was worried that she'd be worried about this. but i forgot she's a crazy dog person.) kimchi's gonna have to watch out when he meets his aunt hetty and uncle judd, because they really could squash him into kimchi (ba-dum-chhh i'm so funny).

ok today is definitely a lazy day for me, i'm gonna stay in, play with the new dog, and watch the new episodes of the o.c. (i downloaded them! i'm so excited i can actually watch new tv shows and don't have to wait till i get home- i already watched the first few episodes of america's next top model) yeah those are my two guilty pleasure shows, and i'm not afraid to admit it.

ok peace out.


Anonymous said...

ahhh tanya, theres a rat in your shoe!

Mom said...

Hey! My Grand-dog is no RAT!! He is the cutest dog in South Korea!

Sorry Tanya, Hetty and Judson are the cutest dogs in America!

Anonymous said...

Cute puppy!

Anonymous said...

...dont they sell dogs at the grocery store there?