Family ‘overjoyed’ as young dog finds own way home 41 days after going missing

Shahana Yasmin
Saturday 11 May 2024 16:51 BST
Guide dog walks blind owner into dog store

A one-year-old dog that ran away from a convention in South Korea has found its way back home on its own after 41 days, its owner said.

Hong-min, who lived with his owner Yoon Jeong-sang in South Korea’s Daejeon, went missing on 24 March from a dog convention in the city’s Moksang-dong area.

The dog was apparently spooked by the loud noises and barking at the convention.

A search proved futile as the convention was around 20km from Mr Yoon’s home and Hong-min was unfamiliar with the area. Yoon contacted several animal shelters and district offices, but to no avail.

Mr Yoon, who owns 10 jindo breed dogs, named the pet after South Korean football player Son Heung-min, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, mistakenly thinking his name was Son Hong-min.

Jindo dogs, indigenous to the South Korean island of Jindo in the South Jeolla province, are known for their loyalty and intelligence. They are particularly valued as companion dogs and have a good sense of direction.

On 3 May, Hong-min returned by himself.

Mr Yoon, alerted by the barking of his other dogs, went outside and spotted the animal with brown fur.

“Hong-min, is that you?” he called, overjoyed to find the dog wagging its tail was indeed his pet.

Mr Yoon said the dog had to be treated for ticks but carried no injuries. He hadn’t lost much weight either.

Hong-min returns

After his return, Hong-min spent a few days lying down and resting but is now fully recovered, back to eating and playing, the owner said.

Mr Yoon isn’t surprised that Hong-min found his way back. He was smart even as a puppy and picked up basic commands like “sit” or “get up” unusually quickly, he said.

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