About 12 years ago I was visiting a local antique/feed store in my town of Santa Cruz, CA when I came upon the cutest dog I had ever seen. She belonged to the owner of the shop, and her name was Keiko. She looked like a red fox. She wasn’t very friendly, and wouldn’t really let me touch her, but I fell in love with her. I would go by to see her on a weekly basis, and one day her cousin was there, and her name was Sasha. She was a beautiful white Jindo with a pink nose and apricot tipped ears. She was a little friendlier than Keiko, but not much. I decided to find myself one of these “Jindos” that I had never heard of. I looked in local and out of town newspapers to no avail. Finally, I found a Jindo Rescue web site and got a name and a phone number of a woman who had a 6-month-old Jindo named Toby that needed a home. Without even seeing a picture we drove to the Los Angeles area to pick him up. He was running loose in a yard with another dog, and it took us some time to catch him. It was obvious he had never been on a leash, and so we carried him to the car. He was really scared, but so cute.
We had another dog at home which he got along with pretty quickly. She was a female and pretty dominant, but he stood his ground. I could not get him to come in the house for anything. It was obvious that he had never been inside a house. It took some time for him to get used to us. We took him to obedience school, which he passed, but barely. He didn’t like the leash at all way back then, but once he learned that the leash meant going on a walk he changed his tune.
My grandmother was in a rest home at the time I got Toby, and she couldn’t wait to meet him after hearing so much about Jindos. He was pretty hesitant about the rest home until he found out that my Grammy had “Scooby Snacks.” It got to the point that when I would ask him if he wanted to go see Grammy, he would run to the car. When we would get to the front door of the rest home I would let him off his leash and he would run down 2 LONG corridors, make the correct left and right turns, run into her room and jump on her bed. It was hilarious. She LOVED him. We did that visit every day, and sometimes twice. After Grammy went to heaven, Toby and I still went to the rest home to visit other friends that we had made there. The only problem with that was that Toby would still run to Grammy’s room and jump on the bed, but Grammy wasn’t the one in the bed, and it scared the poor new lady the first time he did it.
Toby can be very animal aggressive, but only with dogs who are dominant like him. I can never take him to a dog park or especially off leash because he is unpredictable. He has thrown many a tantrum in public while on a walk. One day he got mad at me because I steered him clear of another dog while on our walk, so he just sat down and wouldn’t budge, then he started jumping on his back legs and scratching me with his front legs, and then finally he threw himself in the gutter and wouldn’t get up. There was quite a crowd of people walking by and laughing. My friend had to go get the car and bring it to us because Toby wouldn’t get up. I was furious at him at the time and swore I would never take him on a walk again because he was such a brat, but one day weeks later I gave him and he never did it again. It wasn’t funny at the time, but it makes me laugh every time I think about it now.
Toby is really a one-person dog, and that person is me. I went on a weeks’ vacation once, and my sister came over to house sit and take care of Toby. He barked at her the entire week. Finally, one morning she put my robe on and she noticed that he stopped barking at her. So, she had to wear my robe everyday until I got home. A few years later I went to Italy for 2 weeks and my friend was going to house sit and take care of Toby. Well……he wouldn’t let her in the house and wouldn’t stop barking, so he spent the whole 2 weeks by himself. She came over twice a day to feed him and let him in and out of the house, but he wouldn’t let her spend the night. He sure was happy to see me when I got home. He is a funny guy; he loves me, but barely lets me touch him. I call him Toby "touch me not."
Three years ago Toby and I moved to a family-owned home on 5 acres. He is loving life up here with no fences. He has my mom’s dog to hang out with who he gets along with great. In the summer he hunts for lizards for hours on end. He also loves digging for gophers. He is a really good dog. He doesn’t chew things up, and he was housebroken when I got him. He sleeps on the bed with me, but stays outside the rest of the day. His favorite thing is when we have big family dinner parties. He goes under the table and waits for people to feed him. That is pretty much the only time he will give anyone other than me the time of day. Toby turned 10 in January. He is a very handsome guy. White with a pink nose, and apricot tipped ears. My sister says he has teddy bear ears. They are really soft. He looks his best after a bath, but unfortunately he HATES baths. He is pretty good once I get him in the tub, but he shivers the whole time like he is being tortured. Jindos actually bathe themselves like a cat. It is very cute. Most of his baths come after he has been skunked. I think it has been around 4 times now, but when you live in the country it is more likely to happen, but to have him live with no fences is so worth it.
He is definitely a different type of dog, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything.
Santa Cruz, CA