The perfectly rounded spots that decorated his behemoth pot-bellied porcine stature only served to accentuate and complement his bristly cream-colored coat. He quietly arrived eight and a half years earlier from the southern tip of Maryland, having been found wandering as a stray.

Hernando was inquisitive and aloof, with a stunning presence and an even more stunning departure speed, complete with an about face grunt & huff if he sensed something was not to his liking. He was always the first to appear at a feeding, especially with the crinkle of an opening of a bag – even if the bag contained items that were not for consumption.

Hernando took no one’s word for anything, instead, having to inspect things for himself….and so:

dumpsters were frequently up-turned and the contents dutifully and carefully inspected, as if the trash could be of gold or diamonds…and when the dumpsters were righted and the garbage replaced, they were up-turned again, and again, and again, just in case;

gates were checked moments after they were closed and locked on the chance that they had not completely closed, and maybe, just maybe, if they were open, adventure could be found by wandering into the next pasture;

recently planted saplings, shrubs, and flowers were uprooted because Hernando enjoyed basking in freshly made mud depressions;

rock gardens were rearranged, at whim, because he preferred his stone placements here and not there; and

wheelbarrows were knocked over with a swivel of his hips simply because he could.

And when he slept, Hernando slept so deeply and twitched so minimally that the only way to know he was still among us was by watching the up and down movement of the straw under which he was buried.

He ate with relish. He walked with determination. He managed the daily on-goings of the Manor with attentive concentration. Hernando was the epitome of Mindfulness, living every newly given twenty-four hours on his terms, and his terms alone.

Now, with Hernando’s passing, the dumpsters may stand upright and the saplings may grow straight and tall, but his spotted understated presence will be missed and the memories cherished.