I spent half of 2009 with a sweet angel who’d spent the past seven years in shelters. His original name was Aji, but the volunteers called him Stinky because of his bad doggy breath. That was mean.
When I took him home, I had no intention of calling him Stinky. I thought about calling him Aji, but when I asked Hyunjoo (the Korean volunteer who helped us talk to Ms. Jung) she told me it was short for “gangaji”—puppy.
Aji was believed to be about 14, but a few vets told me he seemed even older. I didn’t want to call him “puppy.”
While I was trying to decide what to call him, I passed a street stall in Itaewon where a vendor was selling dog clothes, and there was a blue jacket with a picture of Snoopy on it—the beagle from Peanuts. It clicked, and Snoopy became Aji’s new middle name.
For months I tried to find a home for Snoopy, without success. Finally a Canadian rescuer found a wonderful home for him in Victoria, British Columbia. Snoopy was happy, ate well and enjoyed his walks while he lived with me. He was treated for skin problems and dental problems, and it was only at the end of our six months together that he started coughing at night and I wondered if I should back out of the plan—but the signs weren’t very clear. I really wish I’d adopted him, because he only lived for two days in his new home.
Snoopy, I love you and I’m sorry. (Featured image: Snoopy in May 2009)