Is it a dog, or is it a statue? That is the question on everyone’s lips. A viral snap of a rare dog breed has sent the internet into a frenzy after people were convinced it was a statue when in fact it is a dog.
Sandra Pineda from Quezon City, Philippines, shared a picture of her pooch Piper online and was shocked to discover it racked up more than 10,000 likes in an hour. Thousands more had commented, and they were largely asking the same question: “Is that a dog or a statue?!?!”
The 22-year-old medical student first brought black-colored Piper, a Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican Hairless Dog, home aged two months in March last year. Piper is, in fact, a Mexican Hairless Dog, or if you prefer a name that is impossible to say, a Xoloitzcuintli.
Sandra said she couldn’t tell whether the online response was serious initially, though she eventually took it to be a compliment. She said: “It was so funny to see all these compliments coming through of people thinking Piper was a statue. They were all really confused and asking me whether she was real or not.”
“At first, I thought it was a joke, but then I realized they were serious. 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 work of art.”
Indeed, Sandra does treat Piper a bit like a statue, giving her a regular polish with virgin coconut oil. She said: “I really like the fact that she’s hairless, it’s really easy to deal with. We use mild dog shampoo on her, and after baths, she gets lathered up in virgin coconut oil to keep her skin moisturized and shiny.”
According to National Geographic, Xoloitzcuintle dogs have existed for more than 3,500 years and played a significant role in ancient Aztec and Maya life. And while Sandra added that some people have made fun of Piper’s unique appearance, she insists she has never let it get to her.
She said: “Some people don’t see Piper’s beauty or her regal look which baffles me because I think she’s gorgeous. I think people should give Piper, and all Xolos and other hairless dogs a chance, because they’re really the sweetest and funniest pups you will ever meet.”