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….