MaoMao means Baby in Chinese. She came to RAGOM in September with the help of some wonderful volunteers, both in the US and in China. MaoMao’s road to freedom was quite the adventure for her, but she’s quickly adjusting to her new life.
MaoMao arrived in the US rather tired and spent the first couple weeks resting and sleeping a lot. She has slowly become more energetic going from walks of a couple blocks to 1.25 miles. She has learned to walk nicely on a leash with a regular harness. Without the harness she will pull.
MaoMao’s x-rays show mild borderline hip dysplasia but we have not seen difficulties as the length of her walks was increased. The vet said she would not be concerned about the level of hip dysplasia now but it is possible for hips to change up to 2 years of age.
We will continue building her up to 2 miles. She so looks forward to her walks. We stop whenever she wants to explore and sniff around. She loves smelling all the great scents around her.
Like any typical 1 year old, MaoMao loves to chew on antlers, marrow bones, or hard rubber toys. A soft toy has a short life span and is quickly destuffed. We think she’s spent the majority of her short life living in kennels, as she has a tendency to chew on throw rugs, small and large. Maybe her kennel bottom was covered with a rug, and that’s all she had to play with?
She views human shoes as another option so we have learned to put our shoes away. Since MaoMao is in a chewing stage, she does not have free roam when we are gone or sleeping. We are using a few kibbles to coax her in the kennel but once there she settles down fairly well.
At MaoMao’s first visit to a US veterinarian, it was found that she has Microphthalmia, a genetic eye condition that results in abnormally small eyeballs and associated abnormalities, which if not treated, will lead to blindness. MaoMao has been prescribed eye drops to help stabilize her cataracts until surgery options are identified and performed.
At this time, MaoMao does have some vision, but because her eyeballs are so much smaller than they should be, the third eyelid that all dogs have in the inner corner of their eyes, actually covers at least half of MaoMao’s pupils. Because she tilts her head to try and see, we think she has peripheral vision, but can’t see anything straight in front of her.
Because of MaoMao’s limited vision she is easily startled. If she is not able to see another dog until they are close to her, she may become fearful and feel the need to protect her space.
Her vision has also caused her trouble in correctly interpreting another dog's behavior when that dog was elderly and snapped to say ‘leave me alone I do not want to play’. She initially interpreted the snap as the other dog wanting to fight. Once she spent more time with the elderly dog and understood, she learned to walk away and find a toy to play with.
On the positive side, she has met three neighborhood dogs on walks. We were able to make sure she was aware we were nearing a dog. She did her play bow and lunge and the other dog responded in kind. She so badly wanted to play but that is not allowed until her eye issues are resolved.
MaoMao is very food motivated. She has learned to sit before we put her bowl of food down but may still jump up a few times before that. Sometimes after a meal she will bark at her empty food bowl for more. We try to ignore that to help her understand that additional kibbles will not magically appear. We have added in veggie treats like carrots but not around meal time.
She will counter surf but luckily is too short and only reaches the very edge of the counter. She understands ‘no’ and in a counter surfing situation will quickly lay down on the kitchen floor next to wherever the food item is located. We are working on other commands beyond ‘sit’ and ‘no’.
MaoMao is super friendly and gentle. She enjoys any pets and belly rubs that are offered. Recently she has taken to cuddling up next to foster mom in bed once she has been let out of her kennel and foster dad has gotten up. She is the cutest little girl being on the small side with a nice silky coat.
MaoMao has a very playful side. It is funny to watch her play with her toys, balls or bones. She has her own blanket in the living room and she sets them on it so she can throw them in the air and roll on them between chews. When we play with her, she will sometimes get jazzed up enough to do zoomies in the living room. It is really heartwarming to see her so happy like that!
MaoMao’s future home should be one without children under 10. We will not know if she can live with other dogs until we understand how much of her vision can be restored and how it affects that dynamic.
Until MaoMao’s medical issues are resolved, she is not ready to go to her furever home. But if you are interested in her, we would love to tell you more about her and learn more about your family. Please see the information below about how to apply.