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The ‘tap tap’ sound of her footsteps that approach him as he’s falling asleep for an afternoon nap; Eunhyuk says he feels more comfortable when she lies next to him on the sofa. Even when they look at different directions for a moment, their hearts still look towards each other. The Story of Eunhyuk and his animal companion Choco.
We had a bit of trouble because Choco kept looking at you during the shooting when we were trying to make her look at the camera.
-EH: She is a bit like that. Choco is shy with strangers, so when there are many people around, she comes only to me and sits only on my lap. It’s a bit embarrassing but when she does that, I’m a little proud.
How was the photoshoot today? It was your first photoshoot with Choco.
-EH: I wanted to share many experiences with Choco, so that’s why I asked to try doing a photoshoot together. I was able to do the photoshoot more comfortably than usual, and I think it will become a memorable memory. But I think it might have been hard on Choco, since tens of strangers called for her, “Choco-ya~”
Is Choco your first animal companion?
-EH: She’s the first one I’ve raised since its a puppy. I did take care of other families dogs for a short time before. But she is the first ‘our dog’. In another words, she’s a ‘family’. When I was in first grade in high school, my sister had a boyfriend. He gifted her Choco. And I think that’s when Choco became a gift of my life. Once, when I was in second, or third grade in High School, Choco ran away from home when we left the door opened. I had to go to practice, but I didn’t go because I was looking for Choco. Our next door neighbor found her for us, but I spent the entire day that day crying while looking for Choco.
It’s already been over ten years. When was the day that Choco was most like a ‘gift’ in your life?
-It might be a small event for others, but this was a really happy day for me. I once took her to the studio when I was doing <Super Junior’s Kiss the Radio> with Leeteuk. It happened to be a pre-recorded day, and she didn’t bark nor move for two hours. She just quietly sat in my lap, and listened to me laughing. All the staffs that were with us that day were surprised, saying ‘How can there be a dog like this!’
Other Super Junior members also have animal companions. Kangin, Sungmin, Donghae, Siwon.
-EH: Yes. F.Y.I, Siwon didn’t have any thoughts on raising a pet, but I think he (wanted to) while watching me and Choco. That a puppy and a man can become as close as a man to man. I once took Choco to a broadcast filming, and Siwon came up to me and seriously asked me a question. “Is that friend an abandoned dog?”* He was so serious, I didn’t know how to reply. He said that Choco’s eyes are really clear, and that it looked pure and sad. Anyways I’m sure he got the (thoughts of raising a pet) after looking at us!
*Like was Choco an abandoned dog before she was adopted by hyuk family
I heard Choco stays at your family’s house. And that you live in the dorm.
-EH: There are times when I can barely see Choco once in a month. So there are times I want to see her more than my family. I can hear my family’s voice if I call them, but Choco cannot call. So whenever I have time, regardless of if it’s day or night, I rush home to see Choco.
It feels like I’m listening to a love story between lovers
-EH: I think the word ‘Love’ cannot describe all the feelings between us. It’s a kind of love that you cannot feel with a human. A being that loves me without expecting anything in return, and regardless of how I act. I think I miss Choco more when I am lonely. When you are facing a human, there are times you think ‘This person has changed’, and feel upset and sad, but puppies aren’t like this. It feels like they’re always relying on me.
Are there moments that you communicate, like comforting you when you’re sad?
-EH: I think everyone who has an animal companion have their moments. When I look in her eyes, I get this feeling that she understands me. You know those scenes in movies or dramas. (Where the actor) breaks up with (his) girlfriend, and goes “The unni who really showered love on you; she’s not coming back anymore. So you should forget about her too.” and talks with their animal companion.. It’s also the same for me. But I think Choco really understands what I’m saying. I guess I could say that her expressions change slightly.
Then has your ideal type changed after meeting Choco? For example, (you want her) to love animals.
-EH: I hope she doesn’t hate dogs. I think it’s a stretch to expect (her) to love dogs. But I hope ‘Choco likes (her)’. If Choco likes her, I think she’d be a good person. It’s just an intuition.
Your trust and communications with her that you’ve built for 12 years is amazing. You must want to be with her for a long long time. Do you take care of Choco’s nutrition in special ways?
-EH: We do not give her special meals or strictly manage it. Our family thinks ‘If we pour love to them, they will be healthy and will have a amicable personality.’ Thinking now, it’s really amazing because we didn’t take care of her in any special ways, but she’s grown up well and very healthy. So I realize ‘They are no different than humans. It’s really important to receive love’.
Do you have any thoughts about doing volunteer work for dogs or animals in future?
-EH: To be honest, it’s not that I love Choco because she’s a dog or animal, but just that the Choco that I love, just happened to be a puppy. In far future, when a lot of time has passed, and Choco has left my side, I might start something while remembering Choco. But right now, I want to pour all my love only on Choco. Choco is still just 12 years old; She’s still a young puppy to me.
Translated by: youngwoonjungsu
Shared by: greeniebeaniebeanie @ www.thesuperjuniorhandbook.wordpress.com
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