MoMo’s Enigma, What I Learned

How time flies! It’s been 1 year + 2 months since MoMo arrived from Korea. I remember seeing this shaggy dog, rescued from the Korean Dog Meat Market, traveled for 18 hours on the plane, scared and shivering refusing to come out of her crate. The minute I laid my eyes on her, I felt such compassion for this dog that I promised to give her a life filled with love and care that will make up for the miserable life she lived on the streets of Korea and enslaved in the Korean Dog Meat Market.

MoMo is an enigma.

Not knowing any specifics about her history made it difficult for me to train and acclimate MoMo to her new life in the U.S. I learned to take small, itty-bitty steps in everything we did. People would say, “Gosh, how do you find so much patience in working with her?” MoMo was an enigma to me, so I looked deeply behind her actions and reactions which all seemed to start from her FEAR of things in life.

Some common synonyms of enigma are mystery, problem, puzzle, and riddle. To get to the point, enigma applies to utterance or behavior that is very difficult to interpret.

Being with MoMo for the past year has definitely made me into a more compassionate and understanding human being. The biggest reward is seeing a dog with no confidence in herself into a sweet and happy dog who found a way to trust human beings and regain hope in life.

Let me share with you the things MoMo and I learned from each other.

MoMo: Here are the things I learned from Mom Kay.

Going pee on the grass is an ok thing to do. 

Going up the stairs is not as scary as I thought. Why did I put up such a fuss?

Sleeping on a soft blanket feels better than sleeping on a cold cement floor.

All men aren’t bad, some are nice. 

When someone touches my head, it doesn’t mean they’re going to hurt me.

It’s ok to come into the kitchen to eat dinner, I’m a member of the family.

It feels good to be hugged and touched.

Toys are fun to play with, even though the squeaky noise is scary.

It’s fun to run and catch balls in the park with other dogs.

“Sit and Stay” earns me rewards.

Kay: Here are the things I learned from MoMo:

Understand that those bad memories cannot be erased and forgotten.

If I want to earn her trust, I need to be patient.

Practice empathy, not sympathy (Don’t feel sorry, try to understand).

Never use force, wait until she wants to do it, even if I have to wait for a long time.

Take time to play on the floor with her every night and have fun!

Walk, walk, walk, every day and enjoy the fresh air.

Cook healthy homemade meals to nourish her health.

Always talk with a soft voice with a smile on my face.

Ask questions and learn to listen.

Say “Good Girl!” when she does anything good…Never say “Bad Girl!” when she doesn’t mind.

It was hard work every day, but this is what I know for sure…I learned way more from MoMo than what she learned from me. Take a look at this drawing of me and MoMo. So true!

MoMo and I want to thank you for your support. Having you come along with us on our journey gave us the energy we needed to face each day with confidence and hope. MoMo is having some health issues as a result of the bad treatment she received in Korea but we are working on it with her Vet.

It’s nice to know that friends are rooting for us!

MoMo and I’d love to hear about you and your favorite furry friend. Any stories?