Dog Bay 838! (Seoul Location)

Wow. So… my apologies. It has been a really long time since my last post. Things have been a bit busy during the past month with getting settled at our new home (at least for the next year) here in Gangdong District, Seoul. I finally got Nabi out to check out a new place this past Tuesday. Special thanks to our new friends, Yeon and her furry companion Kong for letting us know about this amazing place!

Seoul just continues to be full of surprises. Dog Bay 838 is an outdoor swimming pool park for dogs and their human companions. There are actually 3 locations in South Korea, but we of course visited the Seoul location. It took us just about 30-35 minutes by subway to get there! There were 4 pools all with differing depths and the park was separated with dogs 7kg and up on one side and 7kg and lower on the other. The park also features changing and bathing areas for both humans and dogs. There are also canine drying stations set up right next to the dog bathing stations. The park also has a dangerously appetizing food and drink menu, as well as, a convenience store-like section where you can buy snacks and lighter foods and bottled beverages. As she enjoyed swimming in a river back in Jersey, Nabi had some prior experience in swimming. Yet, I was still a bit concerned she might be a bit unsure at first. So, I rented a life-jacket for her just to be safe. I also borrowed a squeaky ball for her free of charge. I declined the offer to rent a swimming tube as I figured my spazzy butterfly would not enjoy it very much. ^^;; We spent a good three and a half hours here. At first, Nabi took some time to warm up to the water and remember how to swim! But after about 20 minutes of awkward-turtle splishing and splashing, she finally found her doggy paddle skills. And for the rest of the time after that, she was non-stop diving and fetching her squeaky ball. (No Joke. She was non-stop. I’m quite sure everyone there was like- “Seriously, where’s the off switch on that thing?!”) Anywho~ please enjoy the plethora of video clips and photos below. You’ll notice Nabi is still pretty wet on our walk back to the subwayโ€ฆshe was scared of the hair dryers. Luckily she has a very quick drying Yorkie coat! If you are ever in Seoul with your pooch on a hot summer day, I definitely recommend Dog Bay 838’s Seoul location. ๐Ÿ™‚

Forest Dining at Sweet Salt Cafe~!

ย On Saturday, July 4th (America’s Birthday~!) Nabi and I went toย Sweet Salt Cafeย in Myeongil Neighborhood with our friends Yeon and Kong. Myeongil Neighborhood is also in Gangdong District so it is nearby our current Airbnb and our future officetel! (We are moving next weekend~! Stay tuned~!) We will definitely be visiting this cafe frequently as I absolutely loved the calming atmosphere and nature-ness of this cafe. There are two stories for indoor seating, as well as, an outdoor patio with seating and some picnic tables dispersed randomly in the area of the forest owned by the cafe. Dogs are welcomed to enjoy the outside patio and forest spaces. The cafe has an amazing bakery selection and a brunch menu as well which includes burgers, salads, pasta, and even eggs benedict. Of course, they also offer a good selection of cafe style espresso, coffee, and non-coffee drinks. We tried 3 different bakery items: a cheesy, pumpkin bread which I think had some sort of poppy seed-like seeds in, a cheesy garlic bread, and a chocolate Nutella and banana croissant. (Much to my pleasure Nutella has become much more popular here!) For drinks, Yeon tried the rooibos milk tea and I of course tried an iced matcha latte. Everything tasted amazing. Next time, I definitely plan to go for their brunch menu! Nabi enjoyed relaxing (for most of the time) on the bench at our patio table. Apparently what happened at Gwanggyo Lake Park didn’t scare her one bit. Each time a bird would hop out of the forest and onto the patio, she went into full-on hunting mode and made quite a fuss. (Oops~!) Out on the patio they also had lights strung up and timed misting machines to cool everyone off. I’ve made special note of the misting machines for my future dog cafe/animal shelter venture idea. ๐Ÿ˜€ Overall, this cafe is now on the top of my list! Check out Sweetย Salt Cafe’s Instagramย page here!ย The next day, Sunday, Nabi and I checked out a rooftop dog cafe called Cafe Agility. Nabi really had fun there, so I’ll let her tell you about that place later in “Nabi’s Corner”. Stay safe and stay well everybody! And please wear a mask; just do it! ๐Ÿ˜›

I Love Iljasan Mountain~! (And Emma/Mom Does Too~!)

Hey everyone~! We have now gone to Iljasan Mountain for walks three times already! And each time, my mom said she wouldn’t take videos or photos. Of course, she has done just the opposite. So int this post I am going to show you guys a bit more of this wonderful puppy paradise for adventurous doggos like myself. In our first post about Iljasan Mountain (go see my 1st birthday story if you haven’t already) we explored kinda the middle section of the mountain. Ya see, similarily to Seoul Olympic Park, Iljasan Mountain Park is a huge area that is actually split up into a bunch of sections which all have different names. For example, some areas are more for hiking; others are more for gardening and agriculture enthusiasts, campers; another area looks more like an urban park, etc. Check out this link!

Alright, so the photos and video clips below are all of an area that is more on the left side of the mountain. We went there once just the two of us and then we went there again a couple of days ago with our friends, Yeon and Kong for a commercial filming assignment.

The following photos below show an area of the right side. Mom doesn’t have any clips to show of that area, but it is very similar to the section we explored on my birthday. As you’ll see here too is more of a hiking section. We actually even ended up leaving Seoul and walking into the neighboring city, Hanam! Mom tends to wander mindlessly sometimes. Oops!

Nabi’s 1st Birthday Party at Seoul Liberty Bell Dog Cafe!

Hey humans and canines~ it’s Nabi here! So yesterday, my mom took me to the Seoul Liberty Bell Cafe again and there was a big birthday event. The cafe actually holds this special event once a month. A couple of weeks ago when my mom first took me to the cafe I heard her talking to the staff about me. I remember one of the staff members told her about a party- turns out it was about this one. Besides me, there were two other fellow doggos there whose birthdays are also in June! So the three of us pampered pups each got a turn sitting in the center of attention (and dog-friendly goodies) for a photoshoot. On our way out, the staff handed my mom a white bag. When we got back to the Airbnb, she started taking out tons of treats and even a piece of the birthday cake I saw earlier! It was like a Santa Paws’ magic bag on Christmas Day~! I have soo many treats now and lots of birthday cake to eat~yay~! And my mom is happy because the cafe staff member sent her a ton of photos from my photoshoot and she was also given 3 photos straight from a polaroid camera. It was a happy time for the two of us. Now let me get back to chewing this chicken jerky! 

Nabi’s 1st Birthday Cake Recipe~!

***Special Note- Hey everyone~! Normally, all of the posts under the “Nabi’s Corner” tab are written by Nabi herself. This time, however, I’m going to take over and type this one out myself. For organization’s sake, it’s under Nabi’s Corner.

So, last Tuesday, June 23rd was Nabi’s 1st birthday. This pup has been through a lot with me already and I’ve thrown a lot at her. She went from growing up in a suburban/rural area of New Jersey. One moment she had the ability to go to the back door and run around free (in a spacious, fenced-in backyard of course) to her heart’s content. Then suddenly after 14 hours of being locked up in a flying machine, followed by 2 weeks of not being allowed to leave one 320 square foot room, she is a city dog. She is actually, to my relief, doing so much better here than I had ever imagined. Sometimes it seems she is adapting to this new lifestyle quicker than I am! Anywho, she deserves so much. So, I got some ideas from a handful of dog-safe birthday cake recipes and created this. Oh, and to be honest, I didn’t exactly use any measuring tools; just kinda went with my feeling. So, this recipe is free to change and play with as you please! Enjoy~! (Hehe I feel like I am bad in grade school when they would tell us to write an essay about how to make a PB&J sandwich.)

First, I took about a cup of Nabi’s dry kibble and crushed in up. Using a rolling pin for this would probably be best. Unfortunately, I did not have one here at our current Airbnb so I used the bottom of a thick glass drinking cup. After the kibble was well-grounded, I mixed in one boiled sweet potato. Remove the potato peel first! Sweet potatoes are really one of the various superfoods for dogs. If you haven’t tried feeding your pup a sweet potato yet, I highly recommend it! They are low in fat and packed with fiber and antioxidants so they can aid in regulating the digestive system and lowering the risk of certain cancers. They also have beta carotene, vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, and more! (more or less depending on which specific type of sweet potato you choose.) Take a moment to check out the information posted here about sweet potatoes health benefits for dogs. 

Next, I added in about a third of a banana along with about a tablespoon of an all-natural pumpkin and chicken porridge Nabi really likes. After mixing those in, I added a hefty tablespoon of peanut butter. Now dogs love peanut butter and that’s great because this popular spread can have awesome health benefits for your doggo. I say itย canย have awesome health benefits because, unfortunately, if the wrong peanut butter is given to your dog it can actually cause some short term and long term damage to there health. First of all, the majority of peanut butter out there are packed with not only natural sugars but more importantly high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients not only raise the risk of obesity and diabetes in humans but does the same for dogs too. On an even more serious level, many peanut butter have an added ingredient called Xylitol. This is an artificial sweetener which is extremely toxic and has even been deadly when consumed by dogs. When at the grocery store, please check the ingredients on your peanut butter! The best peanut butter is an all-natural one listing only peanuts and peanut oil as the ingredients. If that is not an option at your store, added salt and all NATURAL cane sugar is okay, however, this means that you should only be feeding a tiny bit to your dog very very occasionally. Canine diabetes and pancreatitis are not easy to treat and manage for you nor for your dog, so please be careful with how much fat and sugar your pup is consuming on a regular basis- especially if your doggo is on the smaller side!ย As long as your peanut butter if xylitol and artifical sweetener-free, it can be a good source of healthy fats, protein, vitamins B and E, and niacin. But remember to give in moderation!!! Have a talk with your dog’s veterinarian for professional guidance and dietary information!

So after mixing that all up, I molded the “dough” into a heart shape and stuck it in the refrigerator to harden a bit. Now, onto the frosting.

For the frosting, I used corn starch as the thickener. Honestly, I would have rather used rice flour but ironically could not find it at the Emart? I’m terrible at finding things really- regardless of what language I am trying to search in. ๐Ÿ˜› Anywho, I put about a 3/4 cup into a bowl and added Nabi’s newest found love- pet milk. Seriously, Nabi is hooked on this stuff. I didn’t realize this while studying here back in 2016 but serving your pooch lactose free, nutrient and vitamin-enriched pet milk seems to be a popular thing here. Every supermarket and pet store I’ve gone to sells at least one brand of pet milk. If you read Nabi’s post about Gangnam’s Cafe Cappucino, you would have seen when Nabi first tasted and fell in love with this special treat. After adding in the pet milk I also mixed in about a tsp or two of honey.

After everything was well mixed together, I popped the bowl of icing into the fridge. I checked the frosting a little while later and it was still quite runny so I tried leaving it in the fridge longer. Unfortunately, even after adding a tiny bit more corn starch and putting the frosting back into the fridge for a good while, the frosting never totally hardened. After deciding this is how it was gonna be, I generously poured the concoction all over the cake and popped it back into the refrigerator until celebration time. Check out the final product below! If you have any experience creating birthday cakes or any special treats for your pups please leave a comment! I’d love to learn from you!

Popo & Miru Dog Cafe

Hello~! Back on June 20th, we visited another dog cafe near our Airbnb. This cafe is located in Dunchon-dong (dong= neighborhood!), Gangdong District, Seoul. and is called Popo & Miru Dog Cafe. Like all the cafes we have visited so far, this cafe was very clean and the staff was friendly. I, unfortunately, I had quite a rough time at this cafe. There were many big dogs here and the floor space was a bit smaller than the other cafes we have been too. So, I guess I got a bit overwhelmed and was quite frightened most of the time. But, I still got brave enough to venture out on my own a bit.

There were plenty of drink and food options here including pizza! As you’ll see in the photos below, if you order a food item here, you will be seated inside a playpen type thing. I thought, hehe this time the humans get stuck in the playpen. Yeah, I thought this was hilarious at first, but then I realized that this contraption (big word, eh? hehe) was put in place so that us doggos can’t get any pizza, etc.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Oh well, mom says it’s for our good so I guess I should believe her. Mom likes this idea so much that she is going to keep it in mind for her plan of opening a dog cafe/shelter in the future. ^_-. 

Next up, my mom is going to finally type up the recipe she used to make my birthday cake last week. After that, I’ll hop back on the computer and tell you all about my 1st Birthday Take Two! That’s right! We celebrated my 1st birthday a second time! Stay tuned~!

It’s My (Nabi’s) 1st Birthday~! Walking at Iljasan Mountain, Dog Cafe, and Pet Store Shopping Yay~!

Hello everyone~! I’m Nabi, an adorable Yorkshire Terrier living in Seoul with my crazy mom. Today is my 1st birthday! I can’t believe I’m gonna be eating big dog food now- no more puppy food. Wow, the year flew by faster than my favorite frisbee. Today my mom spoiled me rotten again; but hey I totally deserved it, right? First, we woke up a bit earlier than usual and rode one of those big cars called a bus to Iljasan mountain for a refreshing walk. The bus ride was really short and the mountain was sooo cool! Walking on the dirt, jumping over big sticks stuck in the ground, and sniffing all the green stuff made me feel like a dog again! We also climbed so many stairs- I love stairs! We only walked for a bit more than an hour and mom said we had to get going. It got very hot all of a sudden, and she really worries about me when it’s hot.

We stopped back at the Airbnb place for some quick snacks then we went back outside again! We walked to the Seoul Liberty Bell Cafe to meet our new friends again. Kong got a haircut- he looks so handsome hehe! After my mom bought me a cool rope ball toy at the cafe we walked a few stores down to the big pet shop again. PolyPark! I love that place! My mom got me my first bag of adult dog food, a chic sleeveless t-shirt, a new food bowl, another toy, and some cool things to mix into my kibble cause I’ve been kinda unusually picky lately…oops. AND! My mom mentioned to the employees that it was my birthday. They gave me a bunch of free snacks~! Check out the goodies and me modeling my cool new shirt below~.

When we got back to the Airbnb, my mom gave me all my new toys! 5 toys! Turns out she stopped at another store on the way back from practicing at her company last week and got me 3 new toys there. Yup. I’ve officially got her wrapped around my paw. ๐Ÿ˜€ Of course, my mom filmed more clips of me modeling my new shirt and playing with my new toys. (plus more photos).

Later on, my mom took something out of the cold box thing where she keeps all the yummy human food. She stuck a stick in it and then lit in on fire. Humans. They just get weirder and weirder, don’t they? She then sang to me and blew out the fire-thank goodness yeesh (with her clumsiness she is liable to set the place on fire!). Then I got to eat this delicious thing she called a cake! I knew she was working on something yesterday but I was too busy getting some beauty sleep that I didn’t have time to investigate. I think she is planning on sharing the recipe soon!

This has been such a great 1st birthday! My mom and I can’t wait to see how we will celebrate the next one!

Seoul Olympic Park

Last Friday, June 19th, marked us having been here in Seoul for exactly one month! Granted our first 14 days here were spent on quarantine in one room, it is still hard to believe we have been here for one month already. Then again, when I look back at everything we have been through together thus far, it sometimes feels like we have been here longer. ๐Ÿ˜€ As you may have heard from Nabi in her post about Seoul Liberty Bell Dog Cafe, on Wednesday we made our third human friend and second canine friend here in South Korea! These friends, Yeon and Kong [Koh-ng], live nearby in Gangdong district too!

On Friday, we met our new friends at the bus stop and rode over to Seoul Olympic Park located in the neighboring Songpa district. The bus ride took only about 15 minutes. We sat and ate yummy scones with strawberry jam that Yeon brought with her, and then enjoyed a very refreshing walk and fun moments with our new friends. Check out our cute photos below! Kong and Nabi seem to get along well!

On Sunday, I suddenly made a last minute decision to take Nabi back to Seoul Olympic Park to explore a bit more together. We walked briskly for a good 2 hours (stopping for water occasional water breaks) and still only covered maybe half the park. By 1 pm though, the temperature reached about 90 degrees. I was worried that Nabi might overheat, so we left around that time. According to the ginormous park map, there is a musical fountain and waterfall at this park as well but we explored pretty much the opposite half of the park. There is just too much to see here in one day it seems. As you’ll notice in the map below, there are 4 zones: The Olympic Zone (blue numbers), The Historical Zone (orange numbers), The Nature Zone (green numbers), and The Cultural Zone (yellow numbers). We have only explored mostly the northern portion of the Historical Zone and then most of the Nature Zone. Next time, we will probably try to get off at a stop that is on the other side over by the Cultural and Olympic Zones!

Check out the many photos and video clips from our second stroll through Seoul Olympic Park below! Oh and quick note! You may have already guessed it, but this park is where the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics were held. The facilities, including the Olympic size swimming pool, are still accessible! There a few historical museums to visit too. Read about all of the facilities and attractions here.

Seoul Liberty Bell Dog Cafe~!

Hey everyone~! It’s been a little while since my mom (Emma) and I have posted anything. Sorry! We have been busy loving our new airbnb’s location here in Gangdong-gu, Seoul! There are so many dog-friendly places in this area including parks, at least five nearby dog cafes, several pet supply stores, and a ton of animal hospitals too. My mom said the commute to her entertainment company from here is about 45 minutes to an hour pending the time of day, but she really loves the dog-friendly feel and vibe of the district (and the surrounding districts are quite dog-friendly too). So, she is currently searching for a more permanent place for us to stay here in the “East of The River” district (Gangdong-gu).

Last Wednesday, we went to our first Gangdong district dog cafe. We walked for about 8 Last Wednesday, we went to our first Gangdong district dog cafe. We walked for about 8 minutes and went into a building that said it was Seoul Animal Medical Center. I thought, geez mom I’m feeling fine! and I’m not due to get poked by any of those pointy things yet! Thank peanut butter we did not enter the hospital. Instead, we walked into one of those new box things that fly up and down. There were lots of doggy smells and I started to get excited because that’s when I knew what kinda place we were heading to. I figured it must be one of those places where mom sits and drinks something while telling me to go and make friends. A dog cafe. We stood in the box and it flew up to the second floor and we saw the sign for Seoul Liberty Bell Dog Cafe. We entered the cafe and, like the past times, I was a bit overwhelmed at first especially since there were a couple of bigger friends trying to all say hi at the same time. Here too, the staff was super kind and patient with me; they took some of the larger dogs out for a walk while I got comfortable. After maybe 20 minutes, I was already running around on my own and greeting both dogs and humans! The employees brought out tennis balls and toys, and I had so much fun playing with them. They threw the balls for me and seemed so happy to play with me and my mom. I even got brave and tried playing a bit with one of the big dogs! 

The most important thing to mention about this cafe visit was that my mom and I made some friends! Especially, we met Yeon and her super friendly, fluffy canine son. His name is Kong (means Bean in Korean) and he is 8 months old; just a few months younger than me. My mom and Yeon exchanged Kakaotalk ID’s and we met again a couple of days later! Stay tuned for my mom’s post about Seoul Olympic Park!

Overall, I think this is my favorite dog cafe so far. My mom said she thinks the same way too. She likes that the first floor has a popular and highly rated animal hospital (Seoul Animal Medical Center). She is planning on taking me there in Autumn when I am due for some doctor things (oh boy…) My mom is also planning on me getting my next haircut at the cafe in a couple of months. Yup! Like many other dog cafes, Seoul Liberty Bell also has grooming, hotel, mini supply store, and training services. My mom says she also loved the atmosphere. The music played was mostly Korean indie- very laid-back, smooth, sweet, and chill vibes- they have a pretty good selection of refreshments. Most importantly, the employees here were great! They asked my mom a bunch of questions about me and I think mom signed me up for some event that is happening at the Cafe next week. I wonder what that’s about (coming soon to Nabi’s Corner~! ^_-). Below are some clips my mom filmed during our visit to the cafe. She also filmed us walked around the cafe’s neighborhood (Dunchon-dong) and a big, cool pet supply store called PolyPark that was just a few stores away from the cafe! The owner there was super nice too! She gave me free sausages~ yummy!

Cheonho Lake Park!

On Saturday, Nabi and I moved about 30 minutes east to our second Airbnb location. We are currently staying in Gangdong District Seoul and will be here for about five weeks while I try to find us a more permanent apartment suitable for my baby. Language note! In Korean, “gang” means river, “dong” means east, and “nam” means south. So initially, we stayed at an Airbnb stayed in Gangnam (river south) which is on the south side of the Han River. Now, we are staying in Gangdong (river east) which is still on the south side of the river but to the east. The Han River is a major waterway that flows from west to east straight through the center of Seoul.

Yesterday, Sunday, we rode the bus for about 20 minutes to Cheonho Lake Park. We enjoyed a very refreshing walk- the weather and the atmosphere was perfect. I am noticing a trend at parks with lakes and fountains that often music is played and the fountains are programmed to synchronize with the music. This park followed that same trend and it was relaxing to sit and listen to the music while watching the water in the fountains dance. We walked 2 loops around the main outer track and 1 loop throughout the inside of the park. Somewhere along the way, Nabi lost her pink bandanna! If anyone sees it, let us know! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Unfortunately, I was too busy looking around that I didn’t notice it fall off.

Anywho~ enjoy some of the sites and sounds of Cheonho Lake Park below! Quick note: So, I somehow totally forgot to mention in the post about our visit to Gwanggyo Lake Park that Nabi kinda got attacked by some type of humming-bird like creature! It came out of nowhere while my friend and I were talking and flew straight at her multiple times- maybe Nabi looked at it the wrong way or something. You’ll notice in the clips below, Nabi found a bush full of chirping birds at the Cheonho Lake Park. Luckily, we did not have any trouble. This time, all was peaceful. ๐Ÿ˜€