I’ve never been a dog person. In America it seemed like all my friends had or were getting dogs. It started to annoy me. Every house party I went to would have about fifteen dogs running around. They’d jump on people, they’d knock stuff over. It’ wasn’t like I hated them or anything. I didn’t concoct elaborate plans to capture them and harvest their fur out of pure cruelty or anything. They just got on my nerves.
As with many things that were minor annoyances at home, I’ve come to miss the dogs in Korea. I’ve known a few people that had little dogs. They were cute and sweet, but I missed the bigger ones, which seem rare in Busan and nonexistent in Seoul. So when I heard about the ‘Puppy Cafe’ I was a little bit apprehensive. I was imagining a glorified pet store, where Korean women would drink coffee and occasionally pick out a tiny puppy in a sweater, or tuxedo, or whatever absurd dog clothing had been chosen for the day, then play with it for a few minutes before putting it back in its cage.
Much to my surprise, the ‘Puppy Cafe’ had real dogs. There were at least six large dogs. One more closely resembled a miniature polar bear than a dog. There are also several smaller dogs running around. I’m not sure where the dogs come from, but they certainly aren’t your typical Korean pet-store dogs. They pretty much run the cafe. There are gates in place, seemingly to separate the big dogs from the small ones, but they don’t get much respect. The dogs tend to go where they want. Also many people were bringing their own dogs in to socialize them with the cafe dogs.
We went on a Sunday evening. The cost was 8,000 won per person, which includes a drink of your choice (smoothie, iced tea, coffee, etc.) and a buffet with different cakes and donuts that you’re free to eat. The main attraction is obviously not the food, though. As soon as you sit down you’ll likely be mobbed by three or four dogs wanting to play and snuggle on your lap. It can be mildly overwhelming after having not been around many dogs in a while, but it’s a lot of fun. We were adopted by a little white dog who became very protective of us, and was not happy at all when we had to leave.
In most cases, Korea is very impractical place to own a dog. We have long work hours, small apartments, and busy travel schedules. The ‘Puppy Cafe’ provides a great atmosphere and opportunity play with some puppies, without all the responsibilities that come with dog ownership. It’s definitely worth a few hours visit for dog lovers, dog owners, and even people like me, who just kind of miss them.
Directions: Jangsan Exit 3. Cross the street. It’s across from the Tous Le Jours
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