Kiva's story started long before I'd ever heard of such a thing as a Korean Jindo. For many years I'd been planning to get an Alaskan Malamute. I finally purchased a home complete with an acre of land and was ready to add a dog to my family. My plan was for a Malamute, however one night a tresspasser attempted to come on the property and it dawned on me that being a single woman living alone it might be wise to have a dog who would actually bark. I did not want a large guard dog, however, and I needed something that would do well with my livestock and would be a good fit with the eventual Malamute. Not knowing of any specific breeds who fit the bill I started looking for a pointy eared, curly tailed mix to adopt with the characteristics I was looking for.
Shortly thereafter, while working the American Fancy Rat and Mouse booth at the Pet Expo, I happened to look across the room and see a dog...Wow, what a dog!!! It was one of those "love at first sight" moments. While walking over to check her out I tried coming up with what mix she might be. Perhaps Akita and Siberian Husky???? She was white, about 35 lbs, extremely expressive with an intelligent fce, curly tail, stand off thick coat, and very muscular. When I walked over to the booth I discovered a sign that said "Hi, I'm a Korean Jindo and I need a home". It turns out she'd been found wandering and no owner had ever turned up to claim her.
I thought I knew something about dogs but that was a breed I'd never run across before. It took one look into those dark brown eyes and I fell head over heels...and so I became the proud owner of a Korean Jindo. Little did I know when I adopted her that Jindos are very serious hunting and guard dogs and have exactly the qualities I was looking for in a dog.
Adopting Kiva was one of the best decisions I ever made. She introduced me to a new breed, and became my "first" dog in so many ways. My first dog to own as an adult, to crate train, and buy a collar for. the dog who put up with my mistakes as I stumbled through learning how dog training worked, my dog who loved to go for walks and so encouraged me to try hiking, and the dog who I thought it would be fun to take on an overnight trip to the SNDD mushing clinic from which I came home looking for a cart to buy. And the dog who got me interested in helping to rescue all the other abandoned Jindos who turn up in SoCal shelters every year.
Thanks to Kiva we've helped a large number of dogs out of the shelters over the years. I've also made some wonderful friends, both human and canine. Every year we put together a Jindo breed education booth at the Pet Expo, and most years we have a fun picnic for Jindo owners. I've learned so much about the breed, and enjoyed attending the Jindo shows which have been held her in SoCal. And I've even adopted a second Jindo named SoonHee.
Always happy and friendly to those she knew, Kiva was one of the best guard dogs I've ever met. Acting only when absolutely necissary, her ability to decide when and how to act was amazing. She also was an expert hunter, killing numerous gophers and squirrels, proudly bringing me her catch or simply guarding it for my return home. Kiva was also the alpha bitch in every way, firmly but fairly raising several puppies for me and helping to socialize a long string of rescue dogs. She also humored me in the activites I asked her to take part in, not only running many miles in harness and putting many miles on her little backpack, but earning sled dog and pack dog titles along the way.
In 2007 Kiva was diagnosed with a heart base tumor. At the time our vet said a typical survival time was around 6 months - trust Kiva to do things her own way. We had two more wonderful years together during which time Kiva trained up our newest Jindo addition to take over her duties. Though Kiva left us some years ago now, her memory lives on not only in my own pack but in all the Jindos who have been helped into new homes over the years.