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Jinjja gets temporarily rehomed, and ohmidog! is taking a health-related hiatus

DSC06491 (2)By the time you read this — our last post for what will likely be a while — I will have parted ways with one dog and one kidney.

The kidney, which doctors suspect contains a cancerous mass, is being removed in a surgery today and will be gone for good.

Jinjja, the Korean dog I adopted five months ago, will be staying with a friend who has offered to care for him for as long as it takes, which could be a while, between the hospital stay, a six-week recovery period, and whatever other treatment may follow.

So the purpose of this post is to inform those of you who may be following Jinjja’s story of this latest twist in the life of a dog who was rescued from a meat farm in South Korea, transported to the U.S. for adoption, and has been making progress — slow as it sometimes seems — in becoming social, and trusting, and having the kind of life a dog deserves.

And to let you know that there won’t be any new reports on ohmidog! for a bit.

I dropped Jinjja off Sunday at the home of the Kirkeengs. It was his second visit there, and during both he seemed to enjoy everything about it — from the spacious fenced back yard to the pack he’ll be sharing it with: a small and playful dog named Luigi, and Olivia, a lab mix.


He immediately hit if off with Darla, who is director of development for the Forsyth Humane Society, and with her daughter Katie, who I best remember as the person inside the humane society’s mascot’s suit during various fund raising events.

I’d already informed Darla’s husband, Eric, that Jinjja would be slower to warm up to him, as he’s skittish around men he hasn’t gotten to know.

DSC06479But, all in all, the situation — disregarding the medical stuff — couldn’t be more ideal. The yard seems pretty escape proof, and Jinjja has shown a tendency to get free, take off, and resist efforts — even with treats involved — to recapture him.

It will be interesting to hear how Jinjja handles being one of three dogs in a house. Upon entering it, his first inclination was to make his mark. It’s something he never felt much need to do inside my home, but did when he visited the home of my neighbor and her five dogs.

The Kirkeengs had three dogs, but recently lost one of them, Oreo. The other two seemed happy to welcome a new member.

As an added bonus, Darla has arranged for the humane society’s trainer to drop by from time to time to work with her dogs and Jinjja.

DSC06460And Jinjja does still need some work, especially in learning to come when he is called — something he’ll do inside. Outside, asking him to come often has the opposite effect.

We’d managed to complete one class together at the Winston-Salem Dog Training Club (during which he performed magnificently) before I started ailing in April.

The progress he has made, the progress he still needs to make, the need for him to get more exercise than my small courtyard provides, and the lengthy recovery period I’m facing made figuring what to do with him during all this a huge stress producer.

I’m told that, after getting out of the hospital, I shouldn’t lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for six weeks, which also means I shouldn’t be tugged by a dog who sees a squirrel and can’t help but lunge in that direction.

I contemplated returning him, for his own good, to the Watauga Humane Society, where I adopted him after his arrival from Korea. But then I heard from Darla. I knew she was a friend, but how good a friend she turned out to be left me kind of stunned. And highly relieved.

Now I suppose we should get back, just briefly, to my right kidney. (I plan to keep the left one). All of it will be removed, as well as a hunk of my renal artery, as the mass appears to have made inroads up into it.

After that, what they’ve removed will be tested, allowing them to make a definitive diagnosis and have a better idea where all this is going.


I apologize for the details.

Ironically, it was just last week that I complained about surgical details, scar photos and graphic health complaints of people I don’t really know taking up so much of my Facebook feed, and all those other annoying Facebook posts I get tired of. Let’s just say I was a little cranky.

I promise to try and keep you informed — while sparing you any gross details — both here and on my Facebook page.

Meanwhile, thanks to the Kirkeengs. Thanks to my brother, Ted, who I’m sure I’ve only just begun imposing on. And thanks to my readers — be they old friends, new friends, Facebook friends, or strangers.


Comment from Kelly
Time May 24, 2017 at 6:56 am

OMG, Hon! I’m so sorry to hear you are going thru all this. Sounds like Jinjja is in good hands and, knowing you, that has to be a huge relief. This aging thing ain’t easy, but having dear friends takes the edge off. I don’t know where I’d be without all those helping me thru my recuperation. It’s amazing who steps up to the plate.

Good luck today. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a happy outcome. xox

Comment from Cathy
Time May 24, 2017 at 9:27 am

Good luck with the surgery. We’ll miss your posts.

Comment from Caren
Time May 24, 2017 at 9:47 am

John, sending you healing prayers for a swift, complete recovery. I will miss your posts during this time, but please know you have a whole community of reader strangers who are sending you light and prayers. Also, having J in good dog hands should help take a huge stress load off as you recover.

Comment from Frances
Time May 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

I am sending you lots of healing thoughts and prayers for a successful and speedy recovery. You are doing the right thing for Jinjja. From the photos it looks like he’s in a wonderful home surrounded by love. I’ll miss your postings. Take care!

Comment from robert
Time May 24, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Good luck and best wishes to you and Jinjja. We will miss your words of wisdom!

Comment from Ariel Wulff
Time May 24, 2017 at 12:57 pm

John, best of luck to you with your surgery and recovery. I will be sending good energy your way. Come back to us feeling better. <3

Comment from mary
Time May 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm

You will be missed…get well and come back soon!

Comment from Amy
Time May 24, 2017 at 6:54 pm

very sorry to hear this news. lucky you caught it before health care disappears for all but the 1%. medicine advances every day so hopefully they will be able to remove the mass successfully and prevent any cancer from spreading.
Speedy healing to you

Comment from Johnny
Time May 24, 2017 at 11:02 pm

I’m so sorry for all of this. I’m wishing you the very best <3

Comment from Diane
Time May 25, 2017 at 2:12 am

Oh, my! Best thoughts and hopes for an uneventful surgery, thorough and uncomplicated recovery and peace of mind, knowing that your dear, furry companion is in good care. I look forward to any updates, should you have the time and energy to do so.

Comment from Pat DeWald
Time May 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

Wishing you much luck on your surgery, John. Rest up and get well. Will look forward to your return.

Comment from reddawg
Time May 25, 2017 at 9:39 am

Prayers for a speedy recovery. Thanks to your wonderful friends for alleviating any worry of Jinjja while you are in recovery. Stay strong

Comment from Tina Toburen
Time May 25, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Sending you healing thoughts for a successful surgery and quick recovery!!!

Comment from Lynn (in Louisiana)
Time May 26, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Good luck John. I’ll be rooting for you from Louisiana!

Comment from Carrie
Time May 27, 2017 at 6:26 am

Oh, I’m sorry you’re going though this. I’ve been an off and on reader/lurker for a while now, and don’t think I’ve ever left a comment. Whether with Ace, Jinja or others from the broad cast of dogs you’ve written about here, I’ve always enjoyed the window to their (and subsequently our) world you’ve given us here. I’ll keep you, Jinja and his extended family in my thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks.

Comment from Josef
Time May 30, 2017 at 6:04 am

Feeling bad for Jinjja and Oreo. Also, Thanks for Kirkeengs. This really good sharing Jhon.