Baekgu* was born into the house of Park Bok-dan on Jindo Island. Because she was an execptional hunter and had excellent Jindo traits, Baekgu was highly valued and when her family began to struggle financially, she was reluctantly sold to a new owner in Daejeon. When Baekgu left home following her new master, the former master's daughter wept over the loss of her beloved friend. A few days later, news arrived that Baekgu was missing, and her former master assumed that she had run away or escaped. As time went by, Baekgu's family felt deep sorrow and regret, thinking she was lost forever. Little did they know that Baekgu had escaped from Daejeon and embarked on a treacherous journey that would bring her back to the family she had loved so dearly. Baekgu wandered for 7 long months and traveled over 160 miles in search of her original master, using only her keen sense of smell to guide her home.
In October 1993, Baekgu finally arrived, extremely weak and exhausted from her journey. Her master's daughter ran out and hugged the dog, loudly crying out her name. Baekgu was thin and had sutained a serious injury to her leg which showed exposed flesh. The story of her return soon spread throught Korea and some people were so moved by Baekgu's courageous spirit, they sent money to the family so Baekgu could live with them forever. Under the loving care of her original master, Baekgu lived a long life and died at the age of 13. Her story has captured the hearts and minds of many and several children's books have been written in her honor. In 2004, she received a well deserved tribute as Jindo County erected and dedicated a statue of Baekgu in her hometown.
A Loving Guardian
In neighboring village of Junnam Jindogun Eshinmyun Donjiri, famous for the returned Baekgu, another faithful "Baekgu" was found. The 3 year old male Jindo touch the hearts of those who had witnessed the dog watching over and protecting his beloved master, Mr. Park.
Mr. Park, who was living a lonely life after divorcing his wife, lived with his Jindo dog, raising him with the care and affection most would bestow on a child. Mr. Park had been suffering from liver disease and made arrangements to donate his body to the Jundae medical school, were his disease was being treated. Upon hearing of his death, the frustrated paramedics were unable to retrieve his body for several hours, as his beloved Jindo watched over Mr. Park's body, refusing to let anyone enter. The faithful dog showed his loyalty by attacking anyone who came near his master and refused to partake of any food or drink he was offered. Eventually, the body had to be retrieved through a window and tranported to a vehicle.
Long after Mr. Park's body had been taken away, his faithful Jindo remained on his master's bed for over 3 days, preventing all intruders from entering the room and continued to refuse any food or drink. Several of the neighbors who had witnessed this display of dedication and loyalty were moved to tears and considered the dog to be of exceptional character. This story further exemplifies the deep bond that Jindos can develop with their owners and their potential to posses excellent qualities well beyond what is expected from the average dog.
*Baekgu= "white dog"