Coming to Korea to teach for a year presented many challenges for Josh and I. We quit our jobs, left our families and pretty much all we knew behind in the States. One of the hardest decisions that we made was to leave behind our baby, Aurora. It was a hard decision to make and to be quite honest it’s a decision we have regretted every day since we left her. In the moment I really thought we were making the right decision to leave her behind and not subject her to the travel and new country. And yes, it would have been extremely difficult to get around and have a dog in a different country, but it would have been worth it. Both Josh and I feel like a part of us died when we left her (even though it was just for the year and she’s extremely spoiled with my parents) and we are really counting down the days until we get to hold her again.
So…grumble over. Since coming to live in Korea we basically freak out any time we come across a dog and after hearing about dog cafes we knew we would have to get our canine fix and check it out. And…I really wish we hadn’t. We visited a cafe called Sunnyne in Hongdae, Seoul. Although there wasn’t anything particularly offensive about how the dogs are treated here…the whole place just had an off vibe.
If you know anything about Josh and I then you will probably know how much we love our dog. We really do try to make sure she is always at her happiest. The dogs at this cafe just seemed so melancholy. Many of them are just trying to sleep and couldn’t be any less interested in the people that come to visit. The male dogs are all strapped into diapers to keep them from peeing everywhere but I think this is having negative side effects as one dog was walking strange and another seemed to have a diaper rash situation going on. I saw people picking up Dachshunds the wrong way…this is horrible since the breed is already subject to back problems.
After having visited both a cat cafe and a dog cafe both with different variations of the same reaction I have decided not to visit any more animal cafes. In theory the cafes sound great but in reality that many animals should not be confined into such small spaces with no outdoor areas. I cannot say that the animals in the cafes that I have visited are being abused, but they are not being taken care of to the level that I expect all pets to be treated.