Asan furballWith Cobe’s training firmly in hand and potential adopters lining up, Amy wasn’t in immediate need of my presence in Yongin and so I took the train out to Asan again to see how the shelter dogs were getting on in the warmer weather. We arrived to the roar of excavation equipment, and discovered to our delight that some serious reconstruction was underway – dogs previously confined to small cages would soon get their own runs, and the muddier paths were being steadily covered with paving bricks. Personally, I would have prioritised a waste-recycling system (as far as I can work out, all waste material – an appreciable amount given that there are a few hundred dogs – is just swept onto the ground) but it’s a huge improvement and the dogs will be far better off.

First on the agenda, as always, was some exercise. I met a few of the newest residents (including one golden retriever who managed to escape as his cage was opened, forcing me to rugby tackle him) and ran up and down the hill with them, discovering than some uncharitable neighbours had fenced off the main access steps to the river (I did find some alternative steps and continued my Jindo-fear-of-running-water experiment; the totals are now up to 5 afraid and 3 unafraid). I also entered the Husky/Malamute enclosures for the first time and made friends with the shelter’s largest residents, but didn’t get the chance to walk them (one is on heartworm treatment and the other was snapped up by another volunteer).

Asan hyenaSaved from the restaurant

Malamute/HuskyWith some of the new pens ready for new inhabitants, it also fell to us to move a few of the small dogs from the Daejeon shelter into them. Large dogs are actually pretty easy – they’re usually collared and you can just get them on a lead and walk them across. Not so the smaller ones, who have the run of a pen and are almost impossible to catch and stuff into a carry cage. We (principally Mrs. Jung, who managed the Daejeon shelter before it was shut down) managed to get nine of the little anklebiters, including a downright vicious tyke about the size of a guinea pig who bit anyone foolish enough to grab him (including me, though he didn’t break the skin). Later, as we were bundling him into his new home, he made a final bid for freedom and managed to bite someone else before being captured and tossed into the pen.

Next week we’re doing vaccinations, so I’ll be searching out some stronger gloves before attempting to hold any of the more highly-strung dogs down.

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