|A Maltese named Gyeongtae is left inside a box truck by his owner who delivers parcels. The deliveryman could not find any other solution for the separation anxiety suffered by the dog, which was abandoned by its former owner. Screen capture from Naver blog|
By Ko Dong-hwan
Residents of Gangdong District in Seoul spotted a Maltese dog apparently left alone inside a delivery truck among piles of parcels, and suspected the animal was being neglected by its owner.
Some of the residents posted photos of the dog online last month saying they kept spotting it alone inside the truck's cargo area in the middle of the winter. They claimed it was dirty, shivering and vulnerable, and accused the owner of abuse.
On Jan. 2, a man claiming to be its owner posted a message online explaining the situation.
Referring to himself only as a CJ Logistics deliveryman working in the district, the owner said he found the Maltese dog, now 10 years old, abandoned on the grass lawn of an apartment complex in 2013. It was left there alone, with most of its hair gone and barely breathing as if it was at death's door.
"Gyeongtae was suffering from a severe skin problem that had caused him to lose most of his hair," the man said referring to the dog by its name. "He also showed signs of several dislocated bones that had healed unnaturally."
"I was never really a dog or a cat person, but meeting Gyeongtae changed my life."
The man explained that Gyeongtae kept refusing to eat and showed symptoms of separation anxiety by barking and crying whenever he left its sight.
"Because of my physically demanding job as a deliveryman, I couldn't properly look after Gyeongtae at home, so I started letting him tag along with me to work. I initially left him on the passenger's seat in my truck whenever I left the vehicle to deliver parcels. But that always triggered the dog's separation anxiety."
So the owner decided to leave the dog inside the truck's cargo compartment and left the door open when he went to deliver parcels. Gyeongtae remained calm since then, he said.
"We were getting along the best way possible, but clearly it had made some people get the wrong idea and become upset to find Gyeongtae like that. Now, some people stay with him when I have to leave him in the cargo compartment for about 30 seconds to one minute. I feel grateful to them."
The owner added that he is now the one feeling separation anxiety, because he is worried about Gyeongtae's age.