Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Xolo - Ugly or not - in vogue again?

The Aztecs ate them. Frida Kahlo enshrined them in her art. So did Diego Rivera, who in a celebrated mural in Mexico City painted one baring its teeth at the invading Spaniards as they landed at Veracruz. Even the most ardent admirers of the Xoloitzcuintli (SHOW-low-eats-QUEENT-lee) concede that the dog is plug-ugly. One description of this hairless canine of ancient lineage, a national treasure in its native Mexico, characterizes the Xolo as a hot water bottle with pig eyes, bat ears and a rat tail. With an estimated population of fewer than 1,000 dogs in the United States, the Xolo is barely a statistical blip relative to the overall canine population (46.5 million households own purebred dogs, according to figures compiled last year by the American Pet Products Association.) The Xolo enjoyed a brief moment of vogue in 1940, when Chinito Jr., a dog bred and owned by a New Yorker named Valetska Radtke, became the first and only A.K.C. champion since the dog made its debut in the club’s stud registry back when Grover Cleveland was president. The A.K.C. erased the breed from its stud book 50 years ago when interest in this once-popular dog faded and the Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican hairless, all but disappeared. They've added it back again this year as a recognized A.K.C. breed. Source Photo Credit

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