When you think of a dog, you probably imagine the American standard: a golden retriever — if not a golden, then perhaps a Labrador retriever or a German shepherd.
Most common dog breeds that you see today vary wildly in size and looks, but they tend to have one major feature in common: hair.
Some dogs don’t display this familiar characteristic — or at least, not in the way you might expect. You’ve probably seen a Chinese crested dog at some point. They almost look like miniature horses with a mane, leg furnishings and a luxurious tail.
But even Chinese crested dogs have some hair. Most people still feel uncomfortable when they think of a dog without hair, imagining that such a creature would be repulsive to touch or somehow diseased, but some people are drawn to their unique looks.
Sandra Pineda’s father was one of those people. When he caught a glimpse of the rare, historical Mexican hairless dog (Xoloitzcuintle), he was in love.
“We came across pictures of a Xoloitzcuintle and my dad got so excited because he’s always wanted a dog like that,” Pineda said, according to Caters News Agency. “We did our research and found a reputable breeder who had puppies available.”
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The all-black pup came home with them at 8 weeks old and was dubbed “Piper.”
“It’s actually quite difficult to find this breed and we’ve never come across another Mexican hairless in the Philippines, so when we saw her, we knew we just had to have her. The history behind the Xolo is so rich and interesting which only added to the love we had for them.”
While the Pinedas love their pup’s unusual looks, not everyone is convinced. Some think she looks ugly, but many just find her odd.
When Pineda posted a photo of Piper standing stiffly, people thought the photo was of a statue. And you can see why: The dog is stacked, standing with all four feet properly placed, her ears tilted forward, looking very statuesque.
“At first, I thought it was a joke, but then realized they were serious,” she said. “They just couldn’t believe that she was a real dog.”
“I guess I’m so used to her I don’t see it as much as other people, but my friends and family told me they can definitely see it. It’s actually really flattering to think that my beautiful dog could be mistaken for a piece of art.”
Her skin is shiny, too, adding to the bronzed effect — but there’s a reason for that: She gets coconut oil massages to keep her skin healthy and happy. Overall, with no hair, she’s a pretty easy dog to groom. All Pineda has to focus on is keeping her skin moisturized.
“I also really like the fact that she’s hairless, it’s very easy to deal with,” she said. “We use a mild dog shampoo on her, and after baths, she gets lathered up in virgin coconut oil to keep her skin moisturized and shiny.”
“Piper is a quirky dog, although she looks serious and even intimidating to some, she’s actually such a sweetheart,” Pineda added. “She loves cuddles and always insists on sitting on your lap.”
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