I want to share a story with you. Many years ago, I met a woman at a business conference. She was beautiful, well-poised, and radiated a look of health. She approached me and began conversing with me about women in businesses. It was difficult for me to concentrate on our conversation. I finally got my nerve up and asked her, “You are a gorgeous woman, what is your secret to looking so good?” She answered with a smile on her face, “I work on it … every day”. Today, I still remember her powerful words, WORK ON IT, EVERY DAY.
Today, as I teach the art of creativity to students, they often ask, “You can create wonderful art projects so fast and easily, is it because you have natural talent? I wish I had talent so I can do it too.” I reply, “I’m a self-taught artist. I got to this point because I taught myself step-by-step and worked on it every day. You can do it too, I can show you.”
I worked myself up to a point where I can watercolor a flower/foliage card in less than 15 minutes. Watch my video to see how this is done.
It’s not too late to sign up for my up-coming watercolor workshop, Summer Garden Flower Party. MoMo (My rescue dog from Korea) and I are excited to offer this workshop where 100% of your $40 registration fee will be donated to Ginger’s Pet Rescue. Our donation will be used to free another dog from Korea’s Dog Meat Trade.
Thank you for following MoMo’s Journey with us. What we appreciate are the all the wonderful comments that you’ve been posting with your encouraging words and thoughts.
I’ve been concentrating on teaching MoMo to walk on a leash with me. She is a dog who has never walked with a human tethered to a leash in her three years of life. She was confused and frustrated during our walks. Another thing that contributed to her becoming overwhelmed was the smell of grass, trees, people, dogs, and the sound of cars traveling on the roads. Whew, it took all my might to hold down this 31 lb. dog.
When at home, I tried to get her to play with her new toys that were given to her as gifts from my family and friends. Well, no luck there… She just looked at them, not knowing what to do with them. I was puzzled at first, then realized that she was never given any toys to play with while growing up in Korea. I tried to teach her how to squeak the toys. I said, “Come on MoMo, it’s simple. JUST PICK THE TOY UP IN YOUR MOUTH AND SQUEEZE!”. I went on to show her how it’s done by showing her through me demonstrating. When the toy made a squeak sound, she ran away.
A big breakthrough came a few nights ago. I was sitting at the dining room table doing work on my computer. I was engrossed with working that my attention was completely on the project that I had on hand. Then I heard a faint sound by my feet… “squeak…”. I looked down and there was MoMo looking at me with a small stuffed squirrel toy in her mouth. I said, “Wow, MoMo, you know how to make your toy squeak. Good Girl!” What made me happy was that her tail was flip-flopping joyfully. I thought to myself, this is her gift. This is the gift she was born with … to infuse joy and happiness into people’s lives.
MoMo definitely seems content and I can feel her confidence growing. I can feel that she is beginning to trust me. But there are times when I can sense the sadness in her eyes. I ask, “Are you thinking of all the dogs you left behind in Korea, wishing they can have the lucky break that you had to find a home in the U.S?”
An idea came to me. Why not give a Summer Garden Flower Painting Workshop to raise money to donate to Ginger’s Pet Rescue so that more like MoMo can be helped? Well, there is no time to waste so here it is!
MoMo and I hope you will come. Never watercolored flowers before? No worry, I made 2 sheets of drawn templates for you. Can’t make it on May 29th? No worry, I will send you a replay of the workshop so you can enjoy making your flowers at a time that is convenient for you. You can register here. I will be donating 100% of the proceeds to Ginger’s Pet Rescue.
Come and join MoMo, me, and the wonderful Members of my Artful Giving Community to create your own garden!
Looking forward to having a relaxing time, while making beautiful flowers with you. Register here
Continuation from when I picked MoMo up on April 7…
MoMo walked into our condo and seemed happy. She walked around sniffing and checking things out. I thought no worries because dogs are able to adjust to new surroundings quickly.
Even though she was warm, friendly, and very polite and looked comfortable in our home, I began noticing things about her behavior that worried me. Here are some of her behaviors that I didn’t understand:
She would not come into my kitchen and eat the delicious meal that I prepared for her. She just sat by the kitchen entryway and stared at me, not moving. I tried to hand-feed her some snacks, she would not take that either.
When I took her outside to the grassy area to take care of her pee and poop, she looked at the grass and gave me a look as though she was asking, “What is this? I never saw anything like this before”. She finally did her business when I found a strip of gravel by a new construction site with no greenery growing out of the surface.
When bedtime came, she didn’t want to go into the wire kennel lined with a soft cushion that I purchased for her. Instead, she wanted to sleep on a hard surface where it was not covered by a rug. I gently coaxed her to go into her kennel. She kept looking at me with her sad eyes, not making a sound. I couldn’t bear to leave her alone for the night, so I slept on the floor next to her for three nights.
Then came the most terrifying thing for MoMo … getting into the car and going for a ride. I never saw a dog shake so hard. We went for practice rides for a week and she started to get more comfortable. Thank goodness, that was a relief.
I was not used to raising a dog who had this much fear and anxiety. I thought, she must have had a terrible life in Korea where she received cruel treatment from humans. My hope was that acclimating MoMo to her new life would go a little faster… I think it’s because I’m a goal-oriented person and expect things to go on schedule … very quickly. I think some of you understand how I was feeling, right?
Then I was able to get back to my right mindset. I found a card inserted inside the Orientation folder that was given to me by Ginger’s Pet Rescue. Let me write it here for you to read. This card said everything that I needed to hear!
Thank You for Adopting Me! From: Ginger’s Pet Rescue
Now I have arrived at your home, everything is strange, and I don’t feel good.
Do not feel impatient if I don’t sleep in my new basket. Yesterday, I slept on a stone floor.
Do not be terrified f I gobble up my food. Yesterday, I had to do it to survive.
Do not get angry if I pee on the floor. Yesterday, it did not matter.
Do not be sad if I am afraid of your loving hand. Yesterday, I did not have one.
Have patience with me, it’s your world, but not yet mine.
If I trust you, I can gibe you the greatest GIFT I have to give… MY HEART.
Please never forget, I was a proud dog. All I need, is a bit of time to adjust.
Wow, these were powerful messages that brought me to realize that empathy (not sympathy) was needed in this situation. I have to walk in MoMo’s shoes and understand how she was feeling, not looking at things from my point of view.
Please watch my video where I draw MoMo and watercolor her drawing.
Thanks for your interest in MoMo’s Journey. More to come….
Have you experienced a time when you felt like something was missing in your life? In my younger days, I remember that I wanted to adopt a child who was living an unstable life without love, care, or compassion. I wanted to provide a life for this child that is filled with stability, daily routines, skill-teaching, and guidance. I was not able to go forward with this because I had a full-time plus hours that I needed to spend to build my business, plus taking care of a daughter with a head injury and a son who was shy. I didn’t have a minute of time to give to anyone else at that time.
Now, years later… I started to get the same feeling again. For the last four months, since my dog Max passed away, I’ve been thinking that I want to give a new beginning to an animal who is living under the hands of human cruelty. I searched and searched, trying to find a dog who needed a new start in life. I went through so many disappointments that by the end of April, I decided to give up on looking for a dog. I felt like the universe was harshly telling me to give up because this is not what you should be doing at this time of your life. So I decided to let go because it just wasn’t meant for me and that there was nothing I could do about it.
Have you experienced something like this in your life? After trying and trying without any results, you just throw up your hands up and let the idea go?
Well, I should have known. This is one of the most powerful mindsets that we are able to practice. Lo and behold, once you let something go, a window opens and a pleasant surprise came flowing in!
Take a look, this photo was sent to me by Ginger’s Pet Rescue. The note said, this dog was rescued from a Korean meat market camp and living a life under cruel treatment.
Breed: Terrier / Sapsali
Age: 3 years old
Weight: 31 lbs.
If adopted, she can be flown from Korea on Cargo. Pick-up date: April 7, 2021.
I immediately answered, YES, I want to adopt this dog. Let’s begin the paperwork!
I waited on pins and needles for the time to arrive and went to meet MoMo (the name I gave her means PEACH in Japanese) on April 7 at 1:45 PM. She survived her 19 hours of a flight packed in a kennel with another dog. She was so scared that she didn’t come out of her crate for a long time. She was finally coaxed out by a volunteer who worked for Ginger’s Pet Rescue. When she made her first eye contact with me, my heart melted. Her eyes were hidden behind tufts of shaggy hair and her body shape covered by overgrown fur was not even detectable. She looked bewildered and sad, not knowing where she was.
I wanted to hold her to let her know that everything will be fine. Sian, the lead intake coordinator from Ginger’s Pet Rescue said, “No, not yet. You have to take care of the paperwork first”. After going through the paperwork came a lecture on how to be a responsible owner of a dog who has been through brutal handlings in a Korean dog camp. I then realized that these dogs need very special handling skills to get them acclimated to their new life in the US. “Remember, everything is new to these dogs, new smells, new language, and new people. Please guide them slowly with understanding and compassion,” she said.
Finally, it was time to go home together. Momo did not want to come with me. I gently pulled her to my car and opened the back door and asked her to get in. She pulled away from me and the open car door and tried to run in a different direction. Two volunteers helped me to pull MoMo into the back seat of the door. She sat on the seating shaking like a leaf. When my husband, Tom started the car and drove towards our destination, she got very scared even though I was there in the backseat with her, gently rubbing her back to calm her. The photo below shows how scared she was. She laid her head on my lap and remained very still during our 40-minute drive back to our condo.
What happened when we reached home? Please stay posted and I will continue to share MoMo’s Journey.