Nabi, the labradoodle puppy

Tofu, Dumpling, Apple, Maple, Sesame, and even Jedi…

These were some of the names we came up with what we wanted to call this special puppy. Yes, we got a PUPPY!!!!!!!!!, and it’s a girl.

She is a Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle mix). My daughter have been wanting a puppy for many years and her wish finally came true.

After all, we named her “Nabi (๋‚˜๋น„)” which means butterfly in Korean.


The First Car Ride

On Oct 5th, We drove to Berryville, VA to pick her up. She was 9 weeks old. We put her in a laundry basket during the ride and she stayed very calm.

As we were bringing Nabi home, I thought of another special puppy I had as a young child. I owned a puppy for one day. Yes, only one day. But I still think of him from time to time.

It was thirty some years ago, I was about 9-10 years old. I had been longing for a puppy for a long time but my mother would never allow me to own one. She didn’t want any furry animal in the house. That was her excuse.

Then, one fine day my father came home with the most adorable puppy I’d ever seen. One of his friend owned a German shepherd and she delivered many litters. Unlike my mother, my father loved animals and he was able to persuade his friend to grant one puppy to him. The puppy was a mixed breed of German shepherd with something else that I am not sure what it was. I didn’t care whether it was German shepherd or Chihuahua, I just fell in love with that puppy.

You can’t imagine how happy and excited I was. It was the best gift I ever got my life of ten years. But sadly, it wasn’t the case to my mother. She was furious at my father. He made a mistake for not discussing with her before he brought the puppy home and that made into a big argument between the two. I guess the argument got deeper and deeper as they raised their voices to each other. I didn’t care. I had a puppy with me and that was all I needed in the world at the time. I played with him, fed him, and cuddled with him. My siblings were happy for the puppy as well but not as much excited as I was.

I didn’t want to go to school on the next day. But I had to. I tied the puppy with a rope to an outside storage door since my mother wouldn’t let him inside, I gave him breakfast and water, then I went to school. I couldn’t focus anything at school because my head was full of things I wanted to do with my puppy. I first had to come up with a name. Thunder, Jjong, Blackie, Ttori…, etc. I finally decided to call him Jjong(์ซ‘) which means “John” in English. I still don’t understand why I picked the name “John”, but I liked it.

I rushed home lightening fast when school was over. I skipped my usual rice cake vendor in the market square near my school that I went everyday.  I passed through all the stationary stores that show-windows jaw breaking fancy new toys from Japan. All I think of was hurrying home and playing with my cute puppy, John.

And I arrived home. But guess what? He was not there. My John was missing. I tied him myself with a rope in front of the outdoor storage door. But I didn’t see my puppy nor the rope. I searched everywhere but John was no where to be found. I went inside home and asked my mom.

“He is gone”, my mother told me emotionlessly

“What do you mean he’s gone?” I asked her with tears in my eyes.

“He went back to his family. He can’t live with us. You know that. Now, go wash your hands. I made some tasty pancakes for snack. You better eat when they are still hot.”,  she replied.

“Noooooo!!!!!” I screamed at her. “You are so mean!  I want my puppy back!”, I flopped down on the floor and cried like a wailing baby. I don’t think I’ve ever screamed at my own mother before and I never did again afterward. But I literally panicked, screamed, and threw temper tantrum at her, because my heart was broken into million pieces.

I didn’t eat her pancakes nor the dinner that night.  Thirty some years have passed since then, and I still get emotionally upset when I think of John. But I came to understand why my mother didn’t want any puppy. Having 5 young children of her own, plus so much other obligations she was responsible for, she simply couldn’t afford to raise a puppy and she knew that her kids were not able to take the responsibility either.

Nabi the labradoodle

Although I didn’t grow up with any pet, I want my kids to experience bonding with animals. My heart is filled with joy to see Nabi develops a great bond with my 13 year old daughter. She has been taking the responsibility seriously to take care of her puppy.

There is a pure joy when animal comes in and be part of your family. Nothing comes free or effortless. It requires responsibility and love.

Nabi-11 weeks

Nabi is a smart puppy. Within two weeks she learned a few basic commands; sit, down, Hi-five, leave it, roll over and stay. But she only obeys when I held some treats in my hand. ๐Ÿ™‚

We are still working on her potty training (she still makes mistakes here and there). But since she is so cute, I forgive many of her crimes(?) no matter what.


She is also highly spirited girl with a little dominant personality (I can see that when she was playing with other puppies. She loves to be on top). But she is eventually going to learn who the pack leader is in the family. There are many things she needs to learn and she will take one step at a time.

Nabi, the labradoodle puppy

Nabi likes to chase an imaginary squirrel in the house. Most puppies have this random freak mode when they momentarily go crazy(?) and chase something that does not exist. She runs, chase, barks, and growls…, then suddenly she flops down on the floor as if she is dead and falls asleep like that.

At first we thought we got a mentally ill puppy and wondered why the breeder we got her from told us that they would take her back if, for any reason, we can’t keep her. LOL!!

Nabi is 3 month old now and growing fast. She surely brings smiles to many people. Everyone thinks she is a stuffed animal and wants to pat her. She loves the attention and gives her love back to the person.

I have a feeling Nabi will be the recipe taster for Beyond Kimchee. She already have tried a few and seemed to love her new job. She even eats chili if I let her.  Nabi, you deserve to be part of a Korean family. You passed a test. Go girl!

You never know, I might come up with a dog food recipe fused with Korean flavor in this blog. How about organic soybean paste dog biscuits or Korean beef flavored rawhide?  Maybe even healthy gluten free kimchi dog treats? LOL!

If you had a rough day, I hope the picture of Nabi would put a smile on you.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Woof, woof!

nabi, the labradoodle puppy 11 wks