Yesterday I took our dog Kongi on a fun excursion to Cafe Gaene, a "dog cafe" in my neighborhood. We were accompanied by my second cousin Kathryn, who recently arrived in Korea for a semester abroad.
Cafe Gaene is located off of a funky shopping street near Sungshin Women's University, and they always have one of the dogs standing outside to invite customers. These "greeter dogs" are extremely well-behaved and beautifully groomed, and they patiently submit to the attentions of swarms of children and students taking photos.
I called ahead to make sure it was okay to bring Kongi. They had a well-orchestrated procedure for introducing new dogs into the cafe. First I surrendered Kongi to one of the attendants, who held her tightly on her lap for about five minutes to give the curious younger dogs a chance to check her out. Kongi looked a little bewildered but happy.
The whole scene was suggestive of an indoor dog park, with drinks. I noticed there were no toys to be seen; upon reflection, I figured this was probably a necessary measure to prevent fights from breaking out.
Our Kongi was very popular; several little kids came over to pat her. Several times I tried to lead her out into the room to meet some of the other dogs, but she seemed a bit overwhelmed and insecure. She enjoyed greeting the other human customers, though. I think if I take her back again regularly, over time she will gradually get used to it and make some friends.