3. Memories of Sapsaree Dogs

Unlike the Shepherds and Jindo dogs, Sapsarees seemed to be only somewhat strange and mystical. For instance, Blue Sapsarees had black hair that was so bushy that one could hardly notice their facial expression. So who exactly are these dogs that are so well known to be loyal to their master that they would endlessly wait at the village gate for their master to return? And who are these dogs that would always bark at a messenger sent by his master to his lover's house?

People normally think of Sapsaree as small and gentle-looking foreign dogs with long hair. Having only seen terriers and poodles, which are dogs with long hair, children in cities these days might think of Sapsarees as strange mythical dogs from a dark realm. However, until 50-60 years ago, Sapsarees were commonly seen in a rural village in the southern region of the Korean peninsula. Sapsarees are middle-sized dogs that are slightly larger than Jindo Dogs and are generally classified into Blue and Yellow Sapsarees. Blue Sapsarees have long black hair that are mixed with light gray hair that together produces a dark gray or dark-blue color, but because the color appears to be bluish when reflected by the moonlight, they were named Blue Sapsarees.

The Sapsarees that frequently appeared among the poems of Ji-yong Jung and Cheon-myung Noh are probably the Sapsarees that were seen near the village entrance gate. The stories of Sapsarees that have had a tremendous role in influencing the consciousness and culture of our relatives have now nearly faded away. Let us begin with the period of the Three Kingdoms of China as we unfold the stories of Sapsarees.