Friday, December 1, 2023

RIP Frida, beloved by residents and visitors alike in Mérida, Yucatán

A beloved dog who for years was a fixture outside a shop in the historic center of Mérida died on Tuesday, apparently due to poisoning.

Frida the xoloitzcuintle (Mexican hairless dog) became famous due to her constant presence outside the Alfaro antiques store on Calle 60 in the Yucatán capital’s downtown. Locals and tourists alike would stop to say hello, give her a pat and perhaps take a photo of or with the friendly pooch.

Sadly, Frida’s days of brightening the lives of passersby are now over. Leticia Alfaro, the owner of both Antigüedades Alfaro and Frida, told the Sipse news organization that her cherished companion passed away on Tuesday morning.

She was taken to a veterinary hospital on Monday after Alfaro’s son noticed that she was unwell. Vets initially said that her heart was beating normally and that she would remain under observation for 24 hours. However, Frida’s condition deteriorated and the vets were unable to save her. Studies they performed indicated that she had been poisoned.

Frida's owners made an altar to honor her memory.
Frida’s owners made an altar to honor her memory.

Alfaro said that additional tests are being done to determine what substance killed her pet. She said she was unsure how Frida could have been poisoned because there is nothing in her shop that could have killed her. She said her cat would have become ill as well if there was poison in her store.

In her conversation with Sipse, Alfaro also eulogized her deceased nine-year-old xolo. “People looked at her, … a xolo in the street, they saw that she followed me, they saw her as a very unique xolo,” she said with tears in her eyes.

“Being in such an important street in Mérida, being free [to roam around] made her special. And a lot of people don’t know xolos, a lot of people said that it was the first time that they had touched an animal like that,” Alfaro said.

She also said that Frida was very affectionate and friendly, noting that she was a friend of the shop cat and would willingly share her food with city pigeons. “Frida was one of a kind, that’s why people loved her so much. I thank them for their affection.”

In memory of her departed dog, Alfaro set up an altar featuring a photo and drawing of her. An urn filled with her ashes was also set to be included in the memorial to Frida, now one of Mérida’s most missed canines.

With reports from Sipse

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