Meet Mexico, Macau’s famous Alaskan dog

Meet Mexico, Macau’s famous Alaskan dog

Stop and stare is the perfect way to describe Mexico’s outings, as everywhere he goes, heads turn, and people are transfixed. Children, women, men, couples, tourists, police officers, everyone stares – this dog is a head turner, he is a celebrity canine in Macau.

Celebrity status

p36 bigdog DSC_4257-2 (1)Mexico has had his own Facebook page since June 2013, with followers from all around the world. Very often people from Malaysia and Hong Kong Facebook message him with requests to see and take photos with him on their quick trip to Macau. Wedding companies and TV programs pass Alan, Mexico’s owner, their business cards on a daily basis to try to get Mexico in their photo shoots or shows. It
is almost impossible for Alan, his wife Cherry and their 19-month- old daughter Messi, to stroll calmly along the streets of Macau as they encounter gasps, shock, happiness and questions every second along the way. Common questions such as “What breed is this dog?” “How old is he?” “Is he hot?” “Where is he from?” “What does he eat?” “How much does he weigh?” becomes almost a daily routine for Alan. Pets&Hugs have decided to get the inside scoop and find out everything you’d like to know, and more, about this super star pooch.

Experience is truly invaluable

Alan has had more than 200 dogs to date. When he previously lived in Hong Kong his house had a garden, which allowed him enough space to have quite a few dogs. The most dogs he has had at once is 50, because a lot of his neighbours would travel, and leave him to care for their dogs, or his neighbours’s dog would give birth to puppies, and not knowing how to give them proper care, they would entrust Alan with the new puppies. According to Alan: “Having so many dogs was quite tiring – my day consisted of taking care of all these dogs, and feeding the puppies milk all the time. I barely slept.” Even though Alan lived with dogs since he was seven years old, Cherry had never had a dog and Alan wanted to make sure that her first experience was a great one.

After moving to Macau, he looked everywhere for a suitable dog for his wife but found that there was always something missing, a feeling of connection. Through some friends, he then found a beautiful dog from Taiwan who gave off very positive vibes, and this is where the story begins.

Mexico, an Alaskan Malamute, weights 66 kilos and is only two and a half years old, and an important member of their family. Arriving in Macau when he was only two months old, he’s been loved by Alan and his family who have never seen him as just a dog. Why is he called Mexico one might wonder? When he was only a few months old, Alan and his wife would always buy “Mexico buns” commonly found in Macau bakeries. When they would bring these buns home and leave them on the table, the dog would eat them up before the couple even had a chance to notice. Eventually, Mexico’s favourite “Mexico” bun became his very own name.

Personality traits

Mexico’s personality is very stable, very manly and extremely smart. He is not one to jump around and mess about, he would rather sit comfortably in their house observing what is going on. Mexico knows what people are like and he also knows what they want. Alan says the best way of describing him is that “he was born to perform.” When he doesn’t want to socialise, he retreats himself quietly, yet if he does not get the attention he wants he will purposely sway his tail, do a little walk and look a little cuter, just to capture people’s attention. Mexico has never learnt how to perform any particular tricks, as Alan does not want to impose anything that is not natural on him. “If he wants to learn, he will. I won’t force him to.” What Alan admires most about Mexico is that he has personality. If he likes something, he will do it graciously; but if not, he will refuse in a polite manner.

One more in the family

p36 bigdog DSC_4512After only a few months of Mexico joining the family, Cherry became pregnant and moved to Hong Kong for a few months to prepare for the birth. During this period Alan would go over to Hong
Kong every single morning to care for his wife, and come back every single evening to care for Mexico. This routine lasted during the whole pregnancy; until the whole family moved to Macau with their newly born baby, Messi. To date, around three years since Mexico joined the family, Alan has not gone on any holidays, making sure he is in Macau in the evenings to be with Mexico. “I worry that he will become lonely if we leave him, even if only for a night, so I haven’t left Macau since the first day he has joined our family,” Alan says.

Thankfully Mexico has been wonderful to Messi. He not only loves playing with her, but also protects her. Considering that Mexico himself is just a baby of two and a half years, he has truly shown himself to be a best friend and good carer. When Messi lies on her parents’ bed with no boundaries to protect her from falling, Mexico tends to spread himself out by the side of the bed, as a standby in case she fell. Once when Mexico saw that Messi was on the verge of falling, he rushed over, spread himself out, and in fact, he did save her from landing on the hard floor.

Mexico has a soft spot for children, whenever he and Messi are out on the streets; he keeps an eye on her and looks extra cautious and nervous. Parents of Macau should not be afraid if they see Mexico approach their child, he is only trying to make sure everything is alright, and the child is safe and sound. It could be said that he is almost a type of protector of children.

Fitness and Health

According to Alan, their daily two to three hour walks vary according to Mexico’s mood. If Mexico feels lively and social, then they usually stroll around the main areas of Macau, including San Ma Lou, where he is recognised by every single storeowner and staff members. Yet, if his spirits are low, they go to less crowded places such as Nam Van lake, where Mexico can catch a bit of a breeze and explore new surroundings. When asked whether Macau lacks space for dogs, Alan answers: “It depends on the type of dog, some dogs don’t need much space, but some bigger dogs do – some need to run and exercise a lot, or else they won’t be healthy. For example, Mexico is the type of dog that needs a lot of space, and because Macau cannot fully cater for this, I have used the space provided and increased the time that I take him out for. Hopefully this way he will get the amount of exercise he needs to be a healthy dog.”

Besides paying close attention to the exercise Mexico needs, Alan and his family are also attentive to his nutrition as well, never feeding him canned food or biscuits. “I usually p36 bigdog DSC_4271go to the market once every three days to buy food for the family, which obviously includes Mexico. I used to buy him standard fish, but because people on the streets always give him special treats, it has spoiled him a little, making him not savour the fish as he used to. Nowadays we feed him a lot of salmon, which he loves, and as his appetite fluctuates on a daily basis, the quantity I feed him also changes. Something I tend to do quite often as well is use my hand to mix up the food I feed him, the reason for this being: your skin gives off a particular scent, and if infused with the dog’s food, he will recognise your scent and know that you are his owner,” Alan explains. (This is very important if you have brought a pet home for the first time).

When it comes to showering, Mexico is extremely smart. He will not let Alan shower him, unless Alan himself is wet. He feels tricked if he is the only one who is soaked, so Alan, being the good owner he is – showers with him. After their shower, it takes Alan two hours to blow-dry Mexico to ensure that he does not catch a cold. Alan seems to be an expert with regard to dog health; which has resulted in a lot of his friends asking him for advice if their dogs fall ill, “I am no expert, I am not a qualified vet. All I have is years of experience with different dogs, and I hope that with this little experience I have, I can help people and their dogs.”

Unique and strange requests

When asked why Alan has not pushed for Mexico’s popularity, or accepted to be in photo shoots or shows, he merely says: “I don’t want him to be controlled by unfamiliar people because I don’t want his personality to change-heisa great dog, but he is still a puppy.”

Another occurrence that happens quite often, and which irritates Alan a little, is when people on the street try to buy Mexico. A lot of tourists see Mexico and shout out prices and then become angry when Alan refuses their requests. On one occasion a man from Mainland China told Alan he would pay 3 million RMB (USD 375,000) for his dog. What people must understand is that not everything can be bought with money, especially not a member of the family.

Special message

There is one important message that Alan and his family would like our readers to think about. “Every single person who cares for a pet, whether it is a dog or a cat, we must understand that these animal’s lives are extremely short, and because of this, we, as owners, should use our best capacity to not only feed them the best food, but to use our heart to try to understand what they need and want the most. Giving them the best food does not simply make someone a good owner. Observe your pet, see what he/she wants, instead of what you want from him/her.”

When asked what Alan thinks of the non-existing animal protection law in Macau, he replies: “Every life has a right to live. Because there is no law in Macau that serves to protect animals, we must use our best ability to protect them. If a dog harmed you, you would surely complain. Yet, if you harmed them, they cannot complain – this is not fair.”

It is refreshing to see how Alan and his family see Mexico as one of their own, and treat him as such. Mexico might be quite a famous dog in Macau, but
to Alan and Cherry – he is just their son.