Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pets. Show all posts

Sunday, October 23, 2022


After we moved to Mexico Amy wanted a dog. Not me. I had not owned a dog for over twenty years because I traveled frequently for extended periods. 

When I met Amy in 2017 she had an old chihuahua named Unica. It died within a year. We married in 2018 and moved to Oaxaca, Mexico in 2019. Here, especially outside the city, many destitute animals wander around neglected. Three adopted us. It was because we pitied them and fed them. After the first two I told Amy not to show compassion any more. But a starving brown dog was too much for her to look at⏤and then there were three. One was murdered by a roaming alpha male that asserts himself over the vicinity. One we care for cannot be touched. Each has his own set of fears.

These dogs came to us. But in her heart, Amy wanted the dog that is considered an emblem of Mexico, called Xoloitzcuintle. I had never seen one before moving to Mexico. At first sight I found them rather repulsive. Hairless, wrinkled, with often a tuft of colored hair (moica ) shooting up between their eyes onto the forehead. Amy had an attraction to the Xoloitzcuintle. Maybe because she is a person who deeply feels cultural roots. The name is from the Nahuatl language. Nahua people primarily live in central Mexico and comprise the largest indigenous group. The Aztecs and Toltecs are descendants.

Famous Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera had several  Xoloitzcuintles. Frida's favorite was “Mr. Xolotl,” after the Aztec canine deity and guardian of the underworld.

Amy began following online posts about Oaxaca Xoloitzcuintle. We almost bought one, but it was just before a two month trip to the east coast and Europe. While we were gone, our house sitters took care of feeding the “adopted” dogs that showed up at the backdoor each day.

It happened quickly. Amy saw on Facebook that the breeder here in Oaxaca had a puppy for sale. It was available because the people who had asked for it had not responded to phone calls. We went to have a look, meeting at a nearby coffee shop. The breeder, Enrique, arrived late. Opening the front of his jacket, two big ears popped out, then a little face with inquisitive eyes. With a half hour it was done. We drove home with our Xoloitzcuintle. It will be a medium sized female. 

So far so good. Her name is Malinalli, a day in the Aztec calendar associated with the god Patecatl. Patecatl is associated with medicine, healing, and fertility. She is the most intelligent animal I have ever had. Curious, attentive, playful and sometimes obstreperous. She trains quickly.

Amy is her favorite. 

I call her Molly.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Endlessly Changing

“Physical bodies are transferred past one barrier after another, from one life to another, and all things are subject to transformation and change, save only the essence of existence itself -- since it is constant and immutable, and upon it is founded the life of every species and kind, of every contingent reality throughout the whole of creation.” - Abdu'l-Baha

This quote is so beautiful and profound. I found it because a few days ago my dog had to be euthanized in front of my wife Lori and I. He was not even one year old, but had come to us with weaknesses that led to his demise. In the brief time he was with us, he had made our hearts more open and full. Now, we were faced with ordering his death—and in that we were also dying a little.

During this sadness, I felt again the feelings I experienced losing my beloved daughter, Naomi, who died from cancer at the tender age of nineteen. I have always known Naomi went from one life into the next, and she is in an exalted realm now. But what about our dog, Chamo?

The way I have been living is so simple, that I do not even own a shovel, or piece of earth. Lori has a house 45 minutes from Santa Fe, but when we put down Chamo at 6 AM, August 16, I could not go back there immediately, so we had him cremated. And that is all that is left. Our memories of him fill us with emotion . . . but nothing else remains. In this world, only humans have rational souls that can communicate through all eternity, from every dimension.

As for the physical elements that were held together by divine love and made the creature that we called Chamo—they have returned to dust, to be scattered and rise again in many forms, endlessly changing in the play of cosmic unfolding.

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Heidi Of The Mountains exclaimed, “We will have a dog for our gallery!” We were visiting a prominent Santa Fe gallery during a Friday night exhibit, and Heidi had spied the gallery dog, a white poodle, sprawled in the office.

The thought stayed with her, and occasionally, I made slight objections. Not long ago, I lived fancy free, traveling extensively, and while I like pets, I had made a choice to regard my freedom first. Now, our main priority is to establish our business, The Steven Boone Gallery.

Pedigree dogs can be expensive, but Heidi Of The Mountains puts energy into achieving her goals, so when I finally agreed to a pet, she set a financial target for holiday sales in order to win her reward of a poodle. We began looking for a breeder with puppies, and I found one in West Texas. When Heidi met her goals, she was elated and we called to ask about the poodle pups. Out of a litter of ten, two boys remained, and we chose one, based upon pictures.

Today, we drove two hours east to Santa Rosa, New Mexico, as the breeder drove two hours west from her home. We met, picked up the puppy and now he is home. A couple days ago, Heidi pondered what we should name him. I suggested naming him after a river, and thought of our local Chama River. Then a young friend of ours mentioned that in her home country of Venezuela, it would be more appropriate to call our dog Chamo, meaning “little boy.”  So there we have it. It all began with an affirmation.