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NOUN 1.  Faux paw (foh pô) The socially unacceptable and tactless act of screeching to a halt at the fence surrounding the US Consulate General in Tijuana and tossing a helpless dog over.

Nobody can fully understand the meaning of love unless he’s owned by a dog.—Gene Hill

This is Lexi standing in for my Mom again. I think it is important to tell my story of how I became a Diplo-Dog, because I was a victim of a faux paw. Dad tells everyone that I am a Tijuana street dog. Maybe I lived on the streets for a while, and maybe I just had a family who threw me out like trash. No one really knows for sure but me and I am not fessing up. All I will say is that I was starving, matted, very sick, & frightened the day I was tossed over that fence in January of 2010 (I am also terrified of swimming pools which I will not discuss. Mom thinks I must have seen someone drown because I try to save her every time she swims). The guards offered me milk and so I decided to hang around. Then a really nice human named Ileana who worked at the Consulate in ACS (American Citizen Services, or as I fondly think of as American “Canine” Services) took a liking to me and decided to help me. She said I had a pretty face. She is correct, but you couldn’t really tell so much then because I was kinda sickly looking. I’d like to think she saw my beauty within. She couldn’t take care of me all by herself so she asked her friends Kay, Mary, Susan & Cynthia to keep me a little bit each while they looked for a new home for me and help me get well. They are my Angels. I was given the name “Hillary” after my Dad’s boss Hilary Clinton, and a picture of me was sent out by my angels begging someone to adopt me.

Me showing my sad face so someone would adopt me

I did not understand all of this because I only spoke Spanish at the time and could not read the email. My Dad was persuaded to take me in as he had the “big house”, whatever that meant. All he had to do was to convince Mom. Now that I am safely home, I assure you that my Mom’s recollection of the story is correct and it went something like this:

Dad: We are getting a dog

Mom: What do you mean “WE” are getting a dog?

Dad: I already promised her to Marissa. It will be no big deal. The dog needs a home and we have a big one with an enclosed yard. She can live outside. We can even leave her here when we leave post in 2 years.

Mom: WE are NOT getting a dog. You cannot just announce that we are. Have you ever owned a dog? No, you have not. The dog would wind up being my dog anyway and sleeping on my feet, and you just can’t adopt a dog and leave it after 2 years. What is wrong with you? We have enough responsibility with 5 children, 2 jobs and a long distance, US-Mexico marriage.

Dad: I have arranged for the dog to meet you.

Mom: What????

I once heard Dad say (after I learned English) that he knew Mom really didn’t want to visit him in Tijuana. She was scared of the drug war and had a pathological fear of flying. He was starting to worry that he wasn’t going to see the love of his life very much and so he had a plan and I was it. And so the day came for me to meet my Mom. I took one look at that beautiful house and knew I wanted in. I ran around the whole yard and yelped for joy before I ran right up to this lady with big blue eyes and plopped right down on her feet. She said I could stay a day or two to “try me out”. That was the day I adopted my Mom Wendy. She let me stay forever, even though I ate her glasses and shoes. I was just a little nervous. She didn’t really like my name, but I didn’t care because I had only had it for a short while. Marissa named me “Lexi”. Mom now calls me her “LEXIPRO”

I have come a long way since then. Dad made me sleep outside the 1st night, but by the 2nd night I was sleeping on a make-shift bed on the kitchen floor. Within a week I had charmed myself onto a bed on the Diplomatic bedroom floor. I was eventually graduated to a sofa of my own, because my Mom has “flashes” at night and I make her hot when I sleep on her legs which I started to do soon after being graduated to the floor. Dad even gave me the title of the “official guard dog”. My Mom thinks she saved me, but I saved her and I was gonna protect her. If our house was ever attacked by narco-traficantes — I would lick them to death.

It was hard having Mom leave me all the time, but Dad and I became good buds. He let me sleep on Mom’s pillow, eat “people food”, and taught me how to video chat with Mom in Baltimore. I also now have brothers, sisters, cousins and a Granny! I am a Baltimore Raven’s fan (out of respect for my new peeps, and because I learned about the Ravens on the billboards of Tijuana). I will always be a Tijuana Xolos fan at heart though, because the only memories I left with from there are the good ones…….