Every Tale Tells a Story

Written by June Kim

Winner of the 2019 Rebecca Park Scholarship

It is my slogan to help people understand animals mindfully and sympathise with their needs and feelings based on scientific knowledge. Our companion animals have their own needs and feelings. All animals are unique and extraordinary.

I grew up with dogs, cats, and birds since I was born. When I was a teenager, I rescued a stray dog, and I realised that many people didn’t know how to live with dogs or how to love them. This experience changed my perspective on the way we teach human beings. Through meeting this dog, I began to think and study about the coexistence of human and animals.

I have been working with companion animals and shelter animals through a variety of clients, including private service, government, and business sectors, with people from many cultures around the world for over 15 years. I published a book, Are You Communicating with Your Dog? – Dogs’ Body Language & Signals’ in Korea and China. This book explains the dog’s language with illustrations, and discusses the ways we can communicate with dogs using their expressions. This book was a bestseller when it came out, and later, a steady seller in Korean and Chinese markets. The illustrations in my book were done by the famous and talented illustrator Lili Chin. I wrote this book to change people’s perspectives about their dogs and to help them to apply what they read in the book in real life.

As the first internationally certified dog professional in Korea, I developed and provided diverse educational programs and events in Korean, English, and Japanese for companion animals and people. I founded a company for helping people and animals through education and national events to change the paradigm of humans and dogs.

I was awarded a grand prize from the Korean government for enhancing the welfare of shelter animals. Also, I was appointed as an advisory committee member of the Seoul Government Animal Shelter and Care Center. I proposed and developed the very first National Shelter Animal Conference, attracted funds, and launched the conference successfully.

I have worked on behavioural assessments of shelter animals, system management, behavioural training, staff training and management, enrichment advice, and adoption process management for shelters. Also, I produced videos for adoption, educated and counselled foster caregivers to encourage successful adoption of shelter animals, to help them meet their best families.

I have experienced a lot of challenging cases and have successfully solved issues.

I love to work like Sherlock Holmes. It is fascinating to me to understand the language of animals, listen to their voice, find hidden clues, gather information, identify the root causes hidden in the back of the problem, find solutions, and make a change. I believe it all starts with listening and empathy.

I have continuously been acquiring the latest dog education methods based on proven scientific knowledge. Last year, I went back to university to do a master’s program in animal behaviour in the U.K. The more I learn, the more I realise how important it is to return to fundamental principles.

Before dedicating myself fully in this field, I worked as a certified business consultant. The animal field needs to look at not only animals but also various people at the same time, and therefore requires different specificities and high expertise. Now I feel it’s time to put all together everything I’ve learned so far: what I’ve learned through meeting my clients, what I’ve learned from books and materials, and what I’ve learned in university, to organise and update my knowledge.

The lecturers who lead this course are all the best in their respective fields; I wanted to meet them and share thoughts. I think that this is the only course in which I can learn their knowledge and share their experience altogether in one place. So I do not want to miss this opportunity.

While attending the master’s program, I took time off from the business. Now is the best time to immerse myself in this course. If I can get a scholarship and complete this course, it will be an excellent opportunity for me. I know very well the value of this course and the excellence of the lecturers who will lead it. So, if this opportunity comes to me, I will not miss any moment, and I will be immersed.

Over the past years, I have travelled all around the world as much as I can to experience the culture of each country on my own. I travelled to seven countries in northern Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, and several countries in Southeast Asia. Wherever it is, no country is perfect as we are not perfect. The extent to which animals are part of a country’s culture is closely related to the level of development of each country, and the problem related to animals is never simple. It depends on the complex factors of the society’s politics, economy, religion, culture, law, geography, environment, and ethics.

In the rest of Asia, as well as in Korea specifically, it is not easy to meet professionals with long experience and expertise. However, just by participating in this course, I will be able to learn and get mentoring from 27 top experts, and to build a network with them. It is exciting to think that I can grow based on their mentoring as I continue to do business in Asia.

By combining all my experiences and the knowledge I have learned in this course, I intend to share with the public about the way we should go in more advanced ways than we mostly find in Asia. I hope that I help people around the world to fully understand the behaviour of dogs and prevent misunderstandings with each other.

Now that my business is involved in animal-related projects, the network I will build with the lecturers in this course will help me to develop a future project in Asia, as I did when I worked as a project manager and business consultant.

I am excited to get a chance to take this course to build a more solid foundation.

If I am accepted, I will make the best use of my time in this course, because I have no time to lose. I am aware of high investments of efforts and time that I will need to take to complete the course. I will be honoured if you accept me in this course.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application.