“My heart broke after hearing that around 150,000 dogs get abandoned every year. Dogs are not just toys that you can just freely buy at the shops. The moment you decide that you want to have a dog, you also have to be prepared to treat them as if they are a part of your family.”
If I go to the centre for unwanted dogs, how many dogs will I be able to meet?”
“What are the things I can do to help the dogs at the centre? I want to bring my own snacks to give to the dogs, is that allowed?”
These are some of the questions that EXO’s Baekhyun asked the journalists before the photoshoot. As if he had grown up with unwanted/rejected animals, this boy knew and understood all the things that dogs like and need.
The date that Baekhyun was supposed to visit the centre for unwanted dogs, during his busy schedule for EXO’s special winter album promotions, was decided. On the much anticipated day when Baekhyun went to meet the unwanted dogs, the broadcasting team received a message saying that Baekhyun would arrive at the adoption centre early in the morning, and so the broadcasting team went earlier too. Upon hearing that Baekhyun was willing to give up his resting/sleep time to spend as much time as he could at the animal adoption centre, the manager was touched and agreed to go with him early in the morning.
Baekhyun arrived at the centre that day wearing clothes that were so casual and comfortable looking that one would not be able to tell whether he had come for a photoshoot or for a casual outing. “The photoshoot is important but it is also important that the dogs are able to feel comfortable with me and get closer to me as quick as possible. So, wouldn’t it be obvious for me to wear clothes that don’t make the dogs uncomfortable? (laughs),” he told us.
As expected, the boy knew what the animal clinic’s purpose was all about. A doctor at the animal clinic taught Baekhyun about all the things he had to know about helping the dogs at the clinic. The dreary and boring lesson time went for longer than 30 minutes but Baekhyun was very serious and watched with wide, attentive eyes, asking questions here and there. At the end of the lesson Baekhyun said, “So today, the things I have to do are – play with the dogs, teach them food/table manners, groom the dogs and take them for walks. Am I right?” He said this while folding down one finger for each activity and when he did this, he was cuter than the puppies.
“It’s so nice to spend time with dogs after such a long time. Going for walks and running together, seeing them wag their tails when I hold them in my embrace – I don’t think I could ever forget these dogs. Especially Bona (the dog he’s holding in the photo); I wish I could adopt her right now.”
“My heart broke after hearing that around 150,000 dogs get abandoned every year. Dogs are not just toys that you can just freely buy at the shops. The moment you decide that you want to have a dog, you also have to be prepared to treat them as if they are a part of your family”.
The dogs that were lucky enough to be taken care of by Baekhyun were Bona, Mumu, Sam and Sol. When Baekhyun first entered the animal playground at the clinic, the dogs wagged their tails excitedly and welcomed him. As if he was used to these dogs, Baekhyun hugged each of the dogs and played with them. Just as I thought. Dogs love me! (laughs)” As if he had turned into a child, Baekhyun smiled brightly while playing with the all the dogs. “I learnt that when you train dogs, you can’t yell or hit them. I learnt that you have to speak to them in a calm and low voice, so that the dogs can understand you. I used this technique exactly like how I was taught during my lesson and surprisingly the dogs listened to me really well,” Baekhyun said happily. Baekhyun matched each dog to a member of EXO, saying that the naughty and hyper dachshund, Bona, was like EXO’s maknae Sehun and the well-groomed, quiet and kind Mumu was like D.O.
When it was time for the dogs to be taken for a walk, after being inside for so long, the dogs were very excited – however, the one who was most excited was Baekhyun. The boy ran everywhere with the dogs and had a very fun time walking them. “I always had interest in dogs but after being properly taught about taking care of the unwanted dogs and being able to experience this, I thought ‘wow, as expected – dog caring as a profession is very different.’ (smiles) Especially, dog grooming. I tried it for the first time and it’s definitely not easy. I think you need special hand skills to make sure the dog isn&’t getting hurt while its hair is being clipped.”
Baekhyun said that even though he only spent one day at the clinic, he feels that his knowledge/awareness about dog care has grown a lot. He also said that people who take care of dogs and people who want to take care of dogs should firstly have knowledge about how to take care of them. “I’m really upset that I have to leave the dogs here and go. When I get the opportunity, I really want to come back and spend more time with these dogs. Next time I come to the adoption centre, I’ll meet new pretty dogs right? Because by then these dogs that I played with today will have found good owners and will be living happy lives“.