LIMA (Reuters) Peruvians crazy about their national dog, a bald and
often toothless breed popular among Incan kings, offered Monday to
send a hypoallergenic puppy to the Obama family.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has promised daughters Malia, 10,
and Sasha, 7, a new pet for the White House. But Malia is allergic to
most breeds, he said Friday as speculation swirled about the dog the
family would choose.
Owners of the Peruvian Hairless Dog, a breed dating back 3,000 years
and depicted in pre-Hispanic ceramics, say it is perfect for kids who
are sensitive to dogs.
"They do not cause any type of allergy and are very friendly and
sweet," said Claudia Galvez, 38, director of the Friends of the
Peruvian Hairless Dog Association.
"We want to give a male puppy to Obama's daughters, so they get to
experience all the joys of having a dog but without any allergies."
According to Peruvian folklore, the dogs have above-average body
temperature, which compensates for their lack of hair and helps
alleviate symptoms of asthma or arthritis suffered by their owners.
Galvez delivered a letter detailing her offer to the U.S. embassy in
Lima Monday and hopes Obama will accept it.
Galvez has a 4-month-old pedigree puppy to send to the Obama family.
For now, she is calling it Ears because it has two large, perky ones.
"But if we send it to the United States, its official name will be
Machu Picchu," she said, referring to the ancient Incan citadel,
Peru's top tourist attraction.
(Editing by John O'Callaghan)