Words & photos Elizabeth Royal
Back in the United States, I spent a lot of time around animals – I rode horses and had several pets of my own. However, when I came to Korea I decided it would be wiser not to have a pet here, because they’d just be cooped up in my small apartment while I’m out for hours every day. Fortunately for me, the neighborhoods I photograph in are full of generous dog owners who are more than happy to let me spend a little time with their dog (or, in one case, their cat) and snap a quick photo or two. I’ve learned that a love of animals is a universal language and some of my favorite moments with strangers on the streets of Garosu-gil happen to be when we are talking about their love for their dogs.
Dogs in this fashionable neighborhood toe the line between fashion accessory and pet. Many dog owners pick out the perfect dog to match their lifestyle and wardrobe. There is definitely truth in the saying that dog owners resemble their dogs after a while, particularly when they work so hard to pick out the perfect collar and coat for their beloved canine. But it goes beyond vanity - many of the dogs that I’ve met and are now pictured here have devoted owners and a few even have their own Instagram accounts or feature prominently on their owner’s accounts.