In 2012, we posted a story about two service dogs on a very unusual mission – protecting valuable heritage sites in Korea from wood-eating termites. We introduced Borahm and Bobae – two professional detection dogs trained at a canine training facility funded by Samsung – and shared how they play ‘hide-and-seek’ with termites in the wooden palaces of Korea.
Now, after 10 years of work in the field, the two English Springer Spaniels recently spent their last day on the job and celebrated with a retirement party.
Borahm and Bobae’s last day in the field
On a sunny day in Seoul last May, dozens of people gathered at Gyeongbok Palace, one of the royal palaces built during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1897). Together with the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea, our colleagues from S1, a Samsung affiliate providing security and safety services, held a retirement ceremony for Borahm and Bobae. In their 10 years of service, the two detection dogs have helped preserve about 70 Korean heritage sites filled with hundreds of wooden cultural assets. In the same historical palace where they first started their service, Borahm and Bobae retired to the sound or hearty applause and cheers from the crowd.
Borahm and Bobae receiving the medal of appreciation from the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea
Since 2007, Samsung and the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea have been working together to preserve Korean cultural properties. For a select number of sites particularly vulnerable to termite invasion, a number of termite sniffer dogs have been trained to search every nook and corner of the wooden facilities for any sign of wood-eating termites. Every year, from April to October, the dogs work with their handlers from S1 to conduct regular check-ups on many wooden structures.
Borahm and Bobae while on duty in 2012
As two of the top sniffing dogs in the field, Borahm and Bobae have not only protected 321 national heritage sites of Korea, including 24 national treasures, 135 treasures and 162 major folk cultural assets, but also participated in research on termite damage in cultural assets. In recognition for their outstanding work and contribution, the two dogs received an Award of Excellence for Cultural Asset Keeper Activities in 2009.
The two detector dogs’ last day with their handlers from S1
Borahm and Bobae will spend their retirement with their loving adoption family and three new detection dogs will follow in their pawprints, continuing work as Korean’s cultural asset keepers. In great appreciation for their years of valuable service, we at Samsung Village wish Borahm and Bobae a happy and healthy retirement with their new family.