Monday, January 4, 2016


It's a Mexican hairless dog which we encountered on the beach in a village called La Manzanilla.

He was essentially hairless except for a few tufts here and there.

He seemed not to belong to anybody as he roamed and scavenged for food.

I learn upon checking The Great Google that these types of dogs are known by the rather regal name Xoloitzcuintle.

Contrary to his appearance the Mexican Hairless or Xolo, as it is more commonly known, is one of the oldest breeds in the world, dating back over 3,000 years.

And there's more:

Ancestors of the Aztec Indians brought hairless dogs called "Biche" (meaning naked) with them when they arrived in Mexico from Asia. The Aztecs enjoyed the hairless dogs as pets, but also found them useful as bed warmers, food and sacrificial offerings. The toasty warm body heat of the toy hairless dogs made them in demand as ancient hot-water bottles, relieving stomach pains and rheumatic joints, or simply for warming beds during cold nights. Extreme cold made for a "Three Dog Night." The breed's palliative qualities magnified until its "healing powers" became a cure-all. Clay figures and remains of these dogs, dating from 300 to 900 AD, have been found in burial sites, where dogs guided the souls to a happy afterlife and furnished nourishment until it was reached. The Xolo is native to Mexico and is widespread throughout South America. It is named after the ancient dog Xoloti. At the end of the nineteenth century, it became completely a companion dog. The warmth from these dogs is still enjoyed today, particularly by the elderly. The Xolo is no longer in danger of extinction and is not in danger due to lack of interest. The Xolo today is being acknowledged with increased interest for its companionship, loyalty, cleanliness and flexibility to do it all! They make great companions, show, agility, obedience, therapy and service dogs.

Here's what one looks like when it's well-cared for.

Quite a difference from that one on the beach, eh?

When we would go to the beach in the latter part of our days in Mexico, we would pass through the city of Colima.

We once went to a museum there and learned about what we called "the Colima dogs."

They were the toys of this breed and we learned that they were frequently raised as food by the indigenous tribes centuries back.

As for the clay figurines, they have been copied by modern generations and are sold widely to tourists.

As tourists, we acquired several.

Their fat little bodies make them cute (until they reach the barbecue pit!)

Some of them even dance to entertain.

The Colima Dogs adorn our bookcases today, conjuring memories of our happy days in Mexico.


joeh said...

A chupacabra?

The animal in this video looks like your homeless hairless dog.

Tom Cochrun said...

Fascinating! Thank you professor. Your knowledge of things must hound you.

Steve said...

The crown of my head can relate to that dog.

Lowandslow said...

Ditto what Steve said. :)