Who will take care of my princess?

When I decided to leave my editing job a year ago and go back to school, I felt I could afford it for the two years it would take me to complete my MBA. Then Bangsiri got sicker, and the job market got more worrying. When something opened up in my field this past spring, I decided to apply.

I got the job and signed a six-month contract. It’s a great opportunity, but it means leaving Bangsiri all day and the commute is extremely tiring. From the beginning I intended to hire a caregiver—a reliable person who could visit once in the morning and once in the evening to give medicine, check water and food bowls, take Bangsiri for a quick trip outside, and then hand-feed her some canned vegan food at least half an hour after her medicine.

Unfortunately the one professional pet-sitting company in Seoul is prohibitively expensive. I sent out multiple requests on Facebook and one person replied—a student who needed pocket money. I didn’t feel comfortable putting that much trust in a stranger who could get Bangsiri’s dose wrong, or let a cat out by accident, or lose Bangsiri on a walk, or drop her, or steal from me, or not show up at the last minute.

The next option I looked at was day boarding at an animal hospital—that would mean dropping Bangsiri off early in the morning, when most animal hospitals are closed, and picking her up late at night once the semester starts. It would have to be a 24-hour hospital, which limits my options.

On the weekend I walked into a busy 24-hour clinic with a good reputation, and I asked to talk to a vet. The waiting room was packed with people and dogs.

The vet said the hospital could meet Bangsiri’s medical needs and offer extended hours for an extra fee, but she’d have to stay either in a small cage or a small plastic tank. With so many sick animals moving in and out, and with the vets always busy, it just wasn’t the right environment for her.

There are a few doggie daycare centres (or puppy kindergartens) in Seoul, but I can’t entrust my angel to a facility where she could get attacked by another animal or mishandled by a careless staff member.

The semester starts soon and I haven’t found a solution. Overnight boarding? It’s heartbreaking to think about being separated from Bangsiri at her age, when her tiny heart is getting weaker.

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