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Okay, now for the long overdue post on how Marty was found (Side Note: He’s sleeping next to me now with his head on my shoulder, making it a challenge to type). To recap, Marty went missing the day after St. Patrick’s Day. I was reunited with him about a month later on April 14. He had apparently wandered over to Kyunghee University, which is just around the corner from where he had disappeared BUT is also across a highway. I’m still not sure how he crossed that highway, if he really did at all. When my students asked me why he was at the University, I told them he wanted to go to school and get smarter.
So here’s how I was reunited with him. In addition to spending basically all of March putting up missing flyers to find Marty, and then putting them into the millions of mailboxes in Yeongtong after it became apparent that people were taking down my flyers (I was not happy to discover this.), I also gave color ones to Yeongtong vets. One day, April14th to be exact, I got a text during class (but like a good teacher I did not check it until after class was up at 10pm). It was from the local vet that was across the street from work and basically said they think they had Marty.
I was pretty excited to get this text, especially since my hope in finding my dog was really starting to wane. I figured that a vet would definitely be able to recognize him. Even though he’s a yorkie, he’s pretty unique with his one eye, floppy ears and lighter than average coloring. But I was still doubtful because I had already been notified from other sources about other yorkies that were definitely not Marty.
I asked one of the Korean counselors to call the vet and ask if the dog only had one eye. For some reason, she called by the CDI phone and not her cellphone, which will be important later. When I asked if it was Marty, she only nodded which made me suspicious. Was she nodding just so I would go to the vet and check or was she nodding because it was actually Marty?
Anyway, I went to the vet and she was very happy to see me. She assured me it was definitely Marty and gave me the cell phone number of the woman who found him since she had gone home. So I went back to work and asked the counselor to call again and again she called from a CDI phone. The woman wanted to meet me at a Nong Hyup bank near the Kyunghee entrance. I was pretty much a mess of nerves the whole 15 minute walk there. What if it wasn’t Marty? I was so nervous, I didn’t even have my iPod on, which I basically live by.
So I got there and the woman is waiting with a friend inside the bank’s entrance. I can’t fully tell if it’s Marty. But once I got in and held him, I knew it was my dog. He had kind of a funny hair cut and smelled slightly medicinal so I’m thinking that grooming was why the woman had brought him into the vet in the first place. I was so overwhelmed that I only vaguely remember thanking the woman and leaving. The walk back to my apartment was kind of stressful. Marty was shaking the whole way and clearly didn’t like being on the street. However, once he was back in the apartment he was his happy, carefree self and gladly socialized with Han and explored how the apartment had changed in the month he was missing.
So the next day, one of the CDI administrators comes up to me slightly annoyed and asks why I didn’t thank the woman for finding my dog. Now, what happened after I got Marty may have been shrouded in vagueness, but I know I thanked her several times. Apparently the woman had called CDI (she had it’s number because the counselor called her from a CDI phone) and said she felt that I wasn’t grateful enough that she had returned my dog. And my boss felt that it reflected badly on the school so they wanted me to meet again with her.
I was perfectly happy to meet with her because I did want to know more about how she had found my dog and when she had found him since it seemed like she had had him for a little while. But I was pretty annoyed about all the offense people were taking about this. First of all, it did not seem like the woman spoke much English, so it’s not like I could have really thanked her properly when I met with her. Second of all, while I do understand she had bought things for Marty and had probably bonded with him, he had a harness on when he went missing and was clearly someone’s pet. Why did she try to keep him instead of trying to find his owner? And if his harness was missing and she thought he was a stray, why did she not take him to a vet to get at the very least his creepy missing eye looked at? ( I love Marty, but his eye is creepy.)
But that meeting never came to pass. She kept calling the school but postponing the meeting because she had health problems and has to be at the hospital a lot. So I’ll never really know what happened to Marty in that month he was missing. Occasionally I’ll notice he’s a little timid in situations that he wasn’t timid in before but overall there don’t seem to be any lasting effects of being missing. And actually one good thing has come from this. Marty was a little stubborn before he disappeared but now he’s pretty much 100% obedient to me (However I wouldn’t recommend loosing your dog as a method of obedience training…).
As of 11:50am on March 18, my dog Marty is missing.
I had taken him to a park just outside my apartment to play with him off of his leash. The weather has been really nice lately so I let him just wander around the park while I sat on the swings. I was starting to get ready to leave when a group of women come up to me, cooing at Marty because he’s basically adorable. So I was talking to them in English. And then I realized they were recruiting for their church.
They had me almost literally backed into a corner since I was sitting on the swings. But I thought what could be the harm in just listening to them. So for twenty minutes I listened to them while they showed me a video about how they celebrate Passover, which protects them from disaster, and they tried to get me to go to their church on Saturdays instead of Sunday church. They asked me for my phone number and I wrote down the wrong one (actually honest because I can never remember my phone number). And then of course they called it but luckily I didn’t have my cell phone on me so I could just not answer. But a Korean guy answered. Really Korean guy? You couldn’t just not answer just this one time?
So they kept asking for my phone number when I realized that Marty was missing. He had stopped running back to me after exploring for a while. I went to go look for him, and the women actually helped look for him. Normally there would be one thing working for me in that Marty wears a harness plus a collar and the collar has my address and phone number on it. However, I had given Marty a bath the day before and forgot to put his second collar on.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find him before I had to go to a meeting for work. After the meeting, I basically sat in my classroom for an hour trying to eat some comfort McDonald’s while starring at cheerful stories about the disaster in Japan. Then taught some classes. Then I asked a counselor to help me make a reward poster, which I brought to the police station after work. Hopefully they’ll be able to find him because I did have any luck looking on Saturday either.
Several people have asked me where would he go or tried to encourage me by saying that he’ll come home when he’s hungry. Here’s the problem. The question is not “Where will Marty go?”. It’s “Where’ won’t Marty go?” He’s a wanderer. I had trained him not to leave the park and this is the first time he’s disobeyed (probably got bored waiting around for me). But even when he’s in the park he wanders off if he picks up an interesting scent. Marty likes walking and he’ll basically follow that scent to it’s end if he can.
So tomorrow I’ll go out and spend the day looking for him. Hopefully he’ll turn up soon. The weather is getting nicer and the nights aren’t so cold anymore but I don’t know how long he’ll last on the streets, being tiny and blind. Suwon’s got Jindos running around.