There's nothing more devastating a couple can endure than losing a baby. All of the hopes and dreams of starting a family are quickly dashed and the only thing that remains is the anguish and pain that somehow must be endured. It was August 7, 2008 when we received that fateful call, that our little one's heartbeat had slowed down and most likely would not recover. It would be our third loss in a year, but somehow nothing could prepare us for the shock of this miscarriage after we had heard that initial heart beat. (After all, we had been told that the odds of miscarriage after hearing a heart beat were around 4%) The doctor had given me a choice of a D&C or induction medicine to evacuate the pregnancy and I chose strict bed rest and induction. I would have to remain in bed, closely monitored by my husband, to ensure I didn't suffer from excessive bleeding. Little did I know that I was going to be closely monitored by an additional, unexpected guest.
I started my first dose of medicine around 11:00am on August 8, the same day as the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. I was hoping the pageantry and hype of the ceremony would help divert my attention from the emotional and physical pain I was about to experience. I told my husband that I preferred to stay upstairs in bed, alone and undisturbed, having him check on me from time to time. By 11:30am, both of our dogs had curiously wandered upstairs and Gabbey had decided to stay with me. By noon he was in bed next to me, stretching out his entire body against the length of mine, as if trying to keep me warm. He's always been an extremely light sleeper (not much of a cuddle dog) and even the slightest noise or disturbance will cause him to wake and shift around. I didn't think much of it as I pulled myself up and walked to the bathroom---I was in too much pain from the cramping and feeling emotionally drained. When I returned to bed, he was curiously waiting for me so he could once again reposition himself along the length of my body. By 5:00pm it was time for the dogs to take their walk and my husband was calling for Gabbey, jingling his leash and whistling for him to come downstairs. I was absolutely stunned when he barely moved from the bed, only darting his ears forward and then resting his head next to my side. My husband came upstairs and tried to retrieve him, but Gabbey refused to leave my side, even to relieve himself. What I learned in the next five hours was a touching lesson in Jindo loyalty that would bring me to the verge of tears. Gabbey continued to lay by my side during the entire eleven hour ordeal of bleeding, cramping and suffering. Despite all of our coaxing, he never once took water, food or a walk to relieve himself; Finally by 11pm, I started to recover and we were able to convince him to take water and a short walk.
Gabbey was clearly was in an intense state of protection that exceeded anything we had ever seen. I knew at that moment I would have to share with his amazing display of Jindo loyalty. I had been sick many times before and had never seen this type of behavior from Gabbey; What type of signals was he picking up that had him in such a deep state of protection and guardianship? Could this simply be a trait that is innate to the Korean Jindo?
Now that we are happily expecting our first child in less than a month, I have finally healed enough to share the story that eventually inspired me to create Jindo Tales, a tribute to this amazing breed that has touched our lives in so many wonderful ways. As we anticipate the arrival of the big day, Gabbey has been right by my side every step of the way, slowing down for me on our walks as I waddle down the street and giving me belly kisses whenever the opportunity arises. He will always be a most cherished part of this family and I'll never forget his support during one of the toughest times in our lives. It's clear to me now that Jindo loyalty and devotion runs deep within the breed and is just another example of what makes them such a much loved treasure.