Singer Hong Jinyoung’s trademark ‘aegyo smile’ comes out of even in front of her pet dogs. “Ogoo ogoo, pretty”, she says as she looks at her pet dogs lovingly and rubs her face against theirs. Hong Jinyoung laughed saying, “These kids see my aegyo most often. Even though my side is very cold (aka, she is single) this winter, I’m not lonely. Our kids are here.”
One day in late autumn, Hong Jinyoung came to a pet supply store in Samsung-dong with her dogs, Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie. She met actress Kang Yewon and her dog who were filming a pet program. They stood for a while greeting each other and talking about their life with dogs and Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie explored their new friend and said hello. They said, “Next time, we should meet up with our dogs” and planned their next meeting, showing off their special friendship. After that, she responded to the autograph requests of the store employees and customers with a smile and spoke comfortably with the common thread of pet dogs.
Photo shoot with her pet dogs started after that. It was busy coaxing and calming three dogs who have their own minds. At the request to “please laugh”, she jokingly said “laughter won’t come out” but she treats her pet dogs with a warm hand. She explained the unique personalities of her pet dogs who have personalities as different as they look, and while telling their adoption stories she teared up, showing her heart. Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie have a big share in how she is able to live life even more fully and energetically.
Hong Jinyoung lives a loud life with 10 year old Jolie, 9 year old Pari and 7 year old Dalkongie. Hong Jinyoung who raised puppies since she was young said, “As I started my life in Seoul, I wanted to adopt a pet. I was less busy then. I thought it would be nice if my home was lively.”
Eldest unnie Jolie was the first family member to join. Hong Jinyoung said, “I held Jolie and she had teary eyes as if saying, ‘Please adopt me’. It didn’t sit well in my heart so we brought her with us. But her tears are like that every day. I think she was always a teary kid.” Pari was adopted so Jolie wouldn’t feel lonely and Dalkongie was the last to be adopted who had been hurt a lot by people.
Jolie, Pari and Dalkongie, as different as they look, their personalities are also different. While taking photos, Jolie stuck right by Jinyoung’s side, Pari moved around here and there brightly and Dalkongie was calm.
Hong Jinyoung explained her pets’ personalities in detail saying, “Jolie has a lot of aegyo. Even at home, she asks to be held and is right by my side. Like an eldest unnie, she has charisma. Pari has the strongest personality. She changes suddenly and tends to bully Dalkongie. Maknae is not good at expressing her affection. Even if we ask for kisses, she doesn’t kiss us often and her only expression of affection is running toward us and slamming her body. She’s the last in rank so she drinks water when unnies drink and she eats food when unnies eat.”
It’s not easy to raise not just one, but three dogs. There are many difficulties. Hong Jinyoung laughed saying, “We walk them one at a time. If we walk all three at the same time, I need my unnie’s help.” She tries hard to give the same love to all three dogs. Hong Jinyoung said, “It’s not easy to hold Dalkongie, if Pari doesn’t go down. So my heart goes out to her more. We set time so that we hold them equally. We try to give love as equally as possible.”
When we playfully asked Hong Jinyoung if she has any thoughts on expanding her family, she said laughing, “Truthfully, we didn’t think we’d raise three dogs but our heart went out to Dalkongie so we brought her home. I think it will be difficult to have more than three. These kids’ liveliness is not normal.”
With autumn events and various broadcast schedules, Hong Jinyoung is so busy that she divides her time in ‘nano’ increments. Hong Jinyoung said, “I want to bring them with me but I travel long distances often. Pari barks and when Jolie is in a car for a long time, she shakes. For the kids’ health, I think it’s better for them not to come with me”.
Hong Jinyoung who is unexpectedly a ‘homebody’ says she feels guilty about that she can’t be with them due to her many schedules. So on her days of rest, she tries to play with the dogs at home and tries to have a lot of time with them. When she returns home late at night, she feels happiness looking at the dogs who greet her.
“When I come home after finishing my schedule, even if it’s late, they greet me. Jolie and Pari run to me, and Dalkongie goes into the kitchen. They have slightly different personalities (laughs). Unnie is at home too, but the puppies like me so much. I can feel that they’re waiting for the owner all day. If I give them treats and play with them, the appearance of them enjoying it is like a baby, or like a companion. Every single day, I see these kids, I laugh and I receive comfort. I can’t help but feel responsible and have a lot of affection.”
Hong Jinyoung requested responsibility of those who are raising dogs. Hong Jinyoung emphasizes, “I can’t watch videos of abused and neglected puppies because it hurts me. They are kids with feelings and they get abandoned because they’re ill or because they’re not pretty. I hope people like that put themselves in the opposite position and think about what it would be like to be born as a puppy in the next life. If you have no sense of responsibility, I wish people wouldn’t adopt dogs from the beginning.”
During the interview, the words that Hong Jinyoung spoke the most were ‘happiness’ and ‘enjoy my life’. Her position toward her dogs is the same. Hong Jinyoung said, “I hope our puppies will be happy with me. As I chose these kids and they became family, I will try hard so that they can be happy until the end.”
Part two of this interview is an excerpted version of this earlier interview.