This particular breed of dog has been venerated since pre-Hispanic times, as it was believed that these beautiful animals were guardians of the spirits that guided the souls of the deceased through the long and difficult road to Mictlan, the city of the dead.
The most important function that the Xoloitzcuintles were believed to fulfill was to help the souls pass through a deep and plentiful river that crosses the land of the dead.
The legend says that, if the person in life had treated animals badly, especially dogs, the Xolo would refuse to help him pass, so he would perish and would not be able to pass.
However, if the person had treated the dog well when it was alive, the Xolo would gladly take the soul, put it on its back, and carry it safely to the other side.
The Xoloitzcuintles were not only valued in the spiritual world, but also when they were alive, as they were associated with Xolotl, the god of death, with whom they should be kind, if they wanted to enjoy a grateful death without suffering.
The legend of the Xolo says that if it is black, it will not be able to take the souls to the other side of the river, because its color indicates that it has already submerged in the river, and has already guided enough souls to their destination. Likewise, if the Xolo is white, or very light colored, it will not be able to cross the river, because that means that it is very young, and has not yet reached the maturity to do so.
Only when they are a mottled gray color, (which is usual for them), will you be able to carry out this important task.
In this way, we can see how our ancestors have inherited, through culture and tradition, the love and respect for these beautiful animals that have become part of our lives, and that accompany and guide us both in life and in death.