Hi there! My name is Tabea. I am an elementary teacher in Mexico, originally coming from Germany. 7 years ago, while I was still an anthropologist researching the Mexico-US border, I fell awfully in love with Xoloitzcuintles.
And what can I say? It changed my life!
Today I feel very honored to share my life with three xolos: Aluxe, Témoc and Yali. Each of them has taught me very different things, and they keep doing so. And each of them is a challenge in its own way. They are different ages and sizes, and have very unique and strong personalities.
After moving away from Tijuana and the border in 2020, we all now live in Mexico City, where we are fortunate to share our lives with our fifth family member, César Vázquez.
Aluxe, Témoc and Yali are not only our beloved (and very spoiled) family members, but they are also my team partners at work. They are school dogs. But what does that mean?
First of all, they accompany me to school, filling the classroom with joy and improving the ambience by giving love, doing funny things or just relaxing. They make the kids feel welcome and understood.
They help turning a bunch of kids into a community everyone can be part of. Aluxe, Témoc and Yali help the kids to trust in their own abilities, and show them that they deserve to be loved no matter what they look like or what their grades are.
But it’s not just that: They help the kids understand canine body language, they teach them what a dog needs and what it can give back. They show them that every dog (or rather, every creature) is different but deserves love and respect nevertheless.
Thanks to the pups the kids learn that it’s no good to stare into a dog’s eyes, steal its food or feed it with grapes. They learn that dogs love to cooperate with humans, that they can learn the most amazing things, but also that they have special needs to be respected.
They help the kids understand, love and respect their cultural roots, teaching them about Aztec culture and mythology. They show them they have a reason to be proud of their culture, and their national dog. Even though it looks slightly different from what most people would expect a dog to look like
Aluxe, Yali, and Témoc help me teach German (the language I grew up with), mathematics, natural and social science. They are trained to use buzzers, carry dummies, spin the wheel of fortune and do other little tricks. They help me create a space where learning dreadful things like German and mathematics is actually fun. The dogs turn into protagonists of little stories written by the kids, are the main motivation for perfect pronunciation and act as favorite models for little arts projects.
The dogs help me create strong bonds with the kids and keep them motivated no matter what. They turn school into a safe space, and learning into a joyful process.
In our time off as a family we love taking the pups out on hikes in the woods. We miss Tijuana, the borderlands, and the beaches, but Mexico City has been treating us well so far. And the woods here are stunning.
When I have time to do so, I love inventing little children’s stories about Aluxe, Témoc and Yali. You can check some of those out on my little YouTube channel
Love from Mexico City,
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