The Korea Herald


Dog goes on incredible journey to make it back home, 41 days after going missing

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 9, 2024 - 17:45

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This screengrab from a video uploaded on the YouTube channel This screengrab from a video uploaded on the YouTube channel "Myeonggyeon Eul Chat-a-seo (In Search of an Excellent Dog)" shows Korean Jindo Hong-min. (YouTube)

A one-year-old Korean Jindo recently made headlines here, after the dog traveled a substantial distance to make it back home after going missing 41 days ago.

A local YouTube channel on Tuesday posted the story of Jindo dog Hong-min, who lives in the city of Daejeon with his owner Yoon Jeong-sang. Yoon, an avid soccer fan and owner of 10 Jindos, named the dog after Son Heung-min, mistaking the soccer superstar's name for Son Hong-min.

The one-year-old dog went missing on March 24, when Yoon took him to a dog convention held in Moksang-dong in Daejeon. The then-11-month-old dog, scared by the sounds from the loudspeaker and the other dogs barking, ran off.

Yoon was unable to find him despite reaching out to local animal shelters and district offices. Hopes were not high for the dog to return home on his own, as the convention was held over 20 kilometers away from their homes and the area was completely new to the young dog.

Last Friday, Yoon was alerted by the dogs barking at the junkyard he runs. He saw brown fur that reminded him of Hong-min and called out, "Hong-min, is that you?"

He approached the dog wagging his tail and found that it was indeed his young dog that had gone missing.

Despite wandering the streets for over a month, the dog did not lose much weight or suffer major injuries, according to Yoon. The only medical care he needed was for the ticks he attracted while in the wilderness.

Yoon said that Hong-min spent a few days back home lying down, but has since fully recovered and is eating and playing well.

The owner noted that the dog had been particularly smart and gentle from a very young age, and that he picked up on basic commands like "sit" or "get up" unusually quickly.

Indigenous to the South Korean island of Jindo, South Jeolla Province, Jindo dogs are known for their intelligence and loyalty. There have been some stories of Jindo dogs traveling great distances to locate their owners.

In 2000, the Jindo dog Jinsuni made headlines by returning on her own to home in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, multiple times, once after being kidnapped and taken to Gochang, North Jeolla Province, some 200 kilometers away.