Jungwon recently talked about his dog, and the importance of treating his pets well.
While too many people still abandon their pets today, the member of ENHYPEN gave an interview to Weverse Magazine on the occasion of International Puppy Day which takes place on March 23rd.
Weverse Magazine revealed an interview with Jungwon, in which the ENHYPEN member tells us about adopting Maeum, an abandoned dog he took in a year ago.
Find Jungwon’s testimonial below:
“Maeum was an abandoned dog that we adopted. My sister and my father went there very early in the morning to pick it up. He was only four months old when we got him and he was in incredibly bad shape. Her tear stains were so bad I was sure she was a four year old dog.
But as my sister applied treatments around his eyes and trimmed his fur, he looked younger and younger. (Laughs) It was like his fur got whiter and prettier the more we took care of him. I last saw him in January, but he’s eating better now, so he’s doubled in size.
Since he was going to live with us forever, we wanted to have a pup that had been through some tough times. People used to call these animals pets, but now that has changed and we say pets. I think our family was leaning towards an abandoned dog because we would live together as a family.
In fact, even before adopting Maeum, I was worried about the trauma experienced by the abandoned dogs they show on TV. Maeum is scared when he is in the car or when he goes out too. It really does seem like he had some sort of traumatic experience involving a car. So we try to take him on many trips and my father gets up early to go for walks with him. Even when I’m not around, my family gives him treats in the car and we try to erase the bad memories he has. I think Maeum is recovering from that.
What’s interesting is that I feel like Maeum already understands how we feel about him. When we were playing and he bit me lightly, he quietly looked at me with big eyes when I showed pain, as if he was sorry. If I play ‘fetch’ with him, then get tired and lie down, Maeum approaches me and also lies down next to me. It’s cute and interesting how he understands my feelings and nods in reaction to words he knows like “treat”, “walk” and “hyung”, but there’s no way for me to know exactly what he wants. So I wish there was a way to teach him to express himself for things like “I’m hungry” or “I’m sick”.
Everyone says that raising a dog is like having a new member in the family. I could never understand that saying before, but I kind of understand now. My family was five people living together, but I think Maeum replaces my absence now. It makes me feel much better. It’s also cool to think that regardless of Maeum’s age, ENHYPEN is also old, since they’re the same age.
I’m Maeum’s favorite in the family. He jumps around excitedly every time I come home. Even though he hasn’t seen me much, he follows me everywhere I go, and is said to sit at the door for an hour when I return to ENHYPEN. I try to spend all my time with him when I go to my family knowing that’s how he feels: giving him treats, playing with him, sleeping together. But it’s cold if we sleep together. Maeum loves stealing the cover and I have to let him. He even takes all my pillow, and he runs off with all my socks, to the point that I have to go home to buy new ones.
But I can tell how much he loves me, so it all sounds cute. Even just playing with Maeum is kind of a break for me. I had a very nice walk with Maeum in the snow during the winter. It was almost the first time he had been in the snow. Maybe the third time? So I could see how excited he was. He walked in the snow for a while, then later, when his feet froze, he just stood there with one paw up, asking to be carried. It was so cute.
I spend a lot of time choosing the best photos of Maeum to post on Weverse. Maeum knows when he gets his picture taken now. He dodges the camera as soon as I tell him I’m going to take a picture. I had fun looking at all of Maeum’s photos with my sister, choosing the best ones to upload. She takes care of Maeum more than anyone and even chooses clothes to buy for him. There are so many – for the exterior and the interior. Interestingly enough, he knows he’s going out when he wears certain clothes.
They say human food is really bad for dogs too, so he has his own dog yogurt at home and I want to get him some healthy treats for his birthday, like dried pollack. In fact, when I go to my family, they give Maeum as few treats as possible, because I give her so many. I think that might be part of the reason why he likes me more than the others. (Laughs)
If you only have a passing idea that you love dogs and aren’t sure you can raise one forever, I recommend you think about it a bit more before adopting one. I can’t always be with Maeum either, of course, but raising a dog means loving it for a very long time and continuing to take care of it even if it feels like you’re not good enough for it or if you have to make sacrifices.
I’ve heard that in many cases the reason dogs end up being abandoned is because their owners are in financial trouble or the dog gets sick and the person abandons them. And that’s why I want to say this: think things through first and learn more about it before you adopt. You need to find out beforehand to get an idea of how difficult it is to raise a dog.
Happy Puppy Day, puppies. Don’t have too many treats, don’t bite your owners, don’t stay in bed too long, take lots of walks and hopefully you will live a long and healthy life. Stay happy, stay healthy. And since Maeum was abandoned and already had to suffer once, I hope we will be together for a long time and he will never have to feel pain again.
Maeum, the vet says you’re normal weight now, so why don’t you cut out the snacks for a bit. You’ll get rid of this trauma if we take more walks and trips, so let’s do it together.”