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251Peru offers fabled Bald Dog of Incas to Obamas

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  • Imp Ster
    Nov 11, 2008
      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)