After an inspiring fund-raiser for Animal Rescue Korea (a wine and cheese evening at a wine bar in Itaewon, where I got to find out what >$15 wine tastes like), I went out to Asan the following weekend to get some doggy enthusiasm again. Out of the dogs I’d met on my previous visit, one had been adopted, one was at the vet (heartworm, poor guy) and the rest were as happy and excited to see new people as ever (meaning they pretty much bowl you over as soon as you get within leash range). I quickly found that the recent rain had made the steeper paths muddy, which was manageable up to a point and downright dangerous when trying to manage a large hyperactive dog (many of the shelter’s residents are Jindos, which weigh between 10 and 30 kg and are extremely strong). I elected again to exercise some of the larger tied-up dogs, broke up a few fights and tested the semi-mythical Jindo fear of running water down at the river (current tally: 4 afraid, 2 unafraid).
Back at the main building, five lucky dogs were being prepared for an adoption drive on the airbase over at Osan. This meant a thorough bath, blow-drying, brushing and isolation from other (muddy) dogs overnight. Most of the dogs going were fairly small, but the real test came when an enormous (must have been 50 kg at least, he was the size of a small bear) Old English Sheepdog turned up from a rescue. He resisted all attempts to brush him, but the shelter owners took him to task in the bathroom and emerged quarter of an hour later with a positively glowing dog ready to be dried off.
The next day, I found myself going back to pretty much the exact same spot (actually one hill over) for a board game meeting with Amy’s friend Tommy (who you may remember from our introduction to Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot). The highlight of the evening (for me, at least) was a game called Genji – based loosely on The Tale of Genji (an ancient Japanese tale of courtly life and lady-wooing), we had to win the affection of various noblewomen by composing Haiku poems appropriate to the lady’s tastes, the season and the prevailing fashions at the Imperial court. Needless to say, there was much inter-player ribaldry.