Wanda was born in Queretaro, Mexico, on Mother's Day, in the year 2000. The only place she would sleep, the first night she was in our house, was under my bed, curled up next to the foot of it. We figured it was because she missed sleeping with the rest of the litter, but she slept next to table legs and corners her whole life.
Her life was simple. When she was in Mexico she would roll around in the grass, dig massive holes in the yard chasing squirrels, mice and the occasional possum. She ate the fruit that fell off the trees. Eventually she learned to peel pecans, leaving the nut entirely intact.
In Colorado she would stroll around the house. She learned to walk up our unnaturally steep steps and steps in general (we don't have stairs in our house in Mexico). She learned about snow, and we learned that she understood very little English – she was a Mexican dog, after all. At night she would patrol the house, long after everyone went to sleep. She climbed the stairs, listen at our doors to make sure everyone was safe, and moved down to my parents' room to finish the rounds.
Wanda never had puppies, but one Christmas our family friends bought her a stuffed porcupine, roughly the size of a potato. "Puercoespín," is the Spanish word for porcupine, so we named it Pín. Pín was her baby, or as close as she ever got, really. She would clean him, carry him everywhere and even get defensive when we would squeeze him and he would squeak."Dónde está Pín?" (Where is Pín?) was a question she knew well, and answered promptly by showing you her best friend. Pín was lost and found more times than I want to remember, but the house would be in a state of emergency until we found him.
This past year Wanda developed a large tumor on the outside wall of her stomach and on her bladder, she had it removed but the biopsy revealed a large cluster of cancer cells, too many for her to fight off. Slowly, as a result of her failing organs, her eyesight began to go, along with her hearing and sense of smell. She developed more tumors, arthritis, and lost a lot of weight. She was in a lot of pain so, yesterday, January 26th, Wanda was put to sleep and all of our hearts were broken. She's buried underneath the avocado tree, wrapped in her blanket, with Pín by her side.
'Bye Wanda, I bet there's plenty of grass to run through, wherever you are.