When a late-night infomercial promises a miracle, you have to see the miracle happen for yourself, right? But most of the time, it’s is never as miraculous as you’d hoped, and you’re left with a useless product, and a sizable hole in your wallet.
If there was a way to save money and energy on a household essential, you’d definitely want to know about it. Thankfully, we’re here to let you in on a little-known secret: When it comes to heating your home, you may not need an expensive oil delivery or flashy products. In fact, heating your home for very little money is a doggone cinch…
If your child spiked a body temperature of 101 degrees, you’d be running for an ice pack and some antibiotics. But if your Peruvian Hairless dog named Olluco reached 101 degrees, you’d probably do what Claudia Gálvez did: Absolutely nothing.
Well, not nothing. Like Claudia and her husband, you would get a few of your dozen dogs onto your bed before snuggling in for the night. During the cold Peruvian winter, the hot, hairless dogs aren’t just comforting — they’re a necessity…
Lynn and Tony Everett
In fact, lowering your dog’s temperature would probably do more harm than good. See, since most dogs are covered with fur, you probably never noticed how warm they get. But it’s a natural part of being a hairless dog, one that goes back for centuries.
The story of the Peruvian Hairless breed begins in ancient times, before people considered long-haired dogs like Golden Retrievers to be man’s true best friend. The pottery of pre-Inca civilizations reveals the way Peruvians once treated the hairless dogs…
Peruvian people used to believe that hairless dogs were more than just less-cuddly versions of long-haired dogs. They actually held hairless dogs in high esteem and depicted them in all kinds of honorable art forms.
Though the breed’s physical features made it popular, its temperament made it beloved: It’s very protective of women and children, and it is affectionate once it gets to know people. In ancient cultures, however, their appeal wasn’t just skin deep.
Glorla Cáceres Vargas/Pedro-Santiago Allemant
Some people believed that the dogs had medicinal powers, and others went as far as to sacrifice the dogs in hopes of bringing good luck. Of course, as with most small things in life, it wasn’t long before something bigger — and, therefore, “better” — came along.
When Spanish conquistadors arrived with mastiffs and other imposing dog breeds, the Peruvian Hairless dogs fell out of fashion. Compared to the larger dogs’ strong appearance, the hairless dogs looked sickly, skinny, and weak.
So many people thought the dogs were diseased that a majority of the Peruvian Hairless dogs turned into strays. They roamed the streets of Lima, ostracized from the people who once idolized them as healers…
But winter in Peru can be cold and damp, causing respiratory diseases and other health problems. Wool socks and blankets can only do so much, and it wasn’t long before people rediscovered the breed’s secret power: Their heat.
Nowadays, things have turned around for the hairless dogs. Though their pointy noses were once seen as ugly, they’re now considered fierce. Their big ears, which catch the eye from a mile away, are known as their most regal features.
Most importantly, their smooth, leathery skin, once thought to be their most revolting feature, is now considered their most beautiful trait. The dogs are even a symbol of national pride in Peru, and not just because of their physical traits.
Owners don’t have to worry about fleas, shedding, or even baths when it comes to Peruvian Hairless dogs. They’re extremely low-maintenance, and are an extremely intelligent and loyal breed, which for some people makes up for their non-traditionally handsome appearance…
Zoë Massey, who suffers from arthritis, always connected the hairless breed to the sickly-looking creatures that called the street home…until she got Maja. The sweet dog slept under Zoë’s sheets for 11 years, and after a while Zoë noticed a peculiar sensation.
It all came back to Maja, she realized: The heat that emanated from her body alleviated Zoë’s arthritis pain, as if she was sleeping with a heating pad. Maja was a much safer (and more adorable!) alternative!
Zoë wasn’t the only dog owner to see these ancient “healing powers” in real life. Magdalena Cardenas saw these “powers” first hand with her own dog, Pinki. At the time, Magdalena had one of the worst fevers she’d ever experienced…
Magdalena was shivering with a high fever, and she tried to ride out the chills by sleeping through them. Then, Pinki crawled into the bed, burrowed under the sheets, and placed her head on Magdalena’s chest.
When the sick woman woke up a few hours later, her fever was completely gone. “Pinki was an oven,” Magdalena said of her dog’s warm skin. And now, news of the breed’s “healing” properties is starting to spread.
Dog-lovers like Claudia are taking in as many pups as possible, furthering the Peruvian belief that, far from being undesired creatures, the dogs are sweet, lovable, and of course, warm. Claudia even came up with a heating hack in her own home.
Claudia Gálvez/Lizardo Tavera
“If you leave three or four dogs in a room with the door closed, they warm up the room after a couple hours,” said Claudia. For her, the dogs are no good on the streets…
They’re much more helpful in the sheets, keeping your bed nice and warm during the chilly winter months. Their natural warmness make the Peruvian Hairless dogs perfect bedfellows, whether for cuddling, muscle-relaxing, or a little bit of both.
Since most people in other parts of the world mainly stick to longer-haired dog breeds, the idea of a 101 degree pooch sounds impossible. But as any dog owner would tell you, man’s best friend is full of surprises…
The word “puppy” is a relatively new addition to the English language. A variation on the French word “poupeé,” meaning doll or toy, it caught on in the late 1500s. Before that? Britons referred to baby dogs by the not-so-catchy term “whelps.”
Puppies sleep a ton — sometimes up to 20 hours per day — and for good reason. Rest is essential for their developing body and mind. Even when they reach maturity, dogs catch quite a few z’s each day, usually between 12 and 14 hours.
Just like humans, young dogs have baby teeth that fall out and eventually get replaced by an adult set. However, there is still no evidence that any kind of dog tooth fairy exists.
Depending on the breed, dogs can have vastly different sized litters. Bigger canines usually have bigger litters, as a rule of thumb. A Neapolitan mastiff owns the current record for giving birth to 24 puppies in 2011.
The West Australian / Ian Munro
Can dogs inspire great works of art? Hamilton composer and star Lin-Manuel Miranda would certainly say so. His stage ballad “Dear Theodosia” started out as an ode to his dog Tobillo, a stray pup he adopted in 2011.
If you’ve ever met a newborn puppy, you’ll notice that their eyes and ears don’t open for a couple of weeks. This is because, compared to other mammals, gestation periods for dogs are pretty short. As a result, puppies are born not quite fully developed!
Rolling Stones guitar hero Keith Richards smuggled a number of things past customs, cough cough, but his cutest contraband was a puppy. After sneaking it past British authorities, he named the pooch Ratbag and treated him to a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle.
Sure, your dog is friendly, but have you ever worried that they’d like any old stranger just as much as you? One 2005 study will put your mind at ease. Researchers observed that canines are most responsive to their owners, proving there is a definite bond.
Sports teams aren’t the only ones with dog mascots. The Spanish city of Bilbao is synonymous with West Highland Terriers thanks to Puppy, a gigantic sculpture outside the Guggenheim Museum. The statue weighs 17 tons and is covered in living flowers.
Just like in humans, yawns are contagious among mature dogs — probably as an embedded form of social empathy. Curiously enough, this isn’t the case for puppies! They are undeveloped enough to not react to their owners’ yawns at all.
For famed novelist John Steinbeck, a dog really did eat his homework. In 1936, his teething puppy tore apart his lone manuscript for Of Mice and Men. The frustrated author had to rewrite those chapters, much to the delight (or chagrin) of students everywhere.
Even though puppies from the same litter are similar, it’s extremely rare to find identical twin canines. The first confirmed case didn’t come until 2016 when a South African veterinarian determined two pups were genetically identical from sharing the same placenta.
But twin puppies aren’t the only genetic canine copies out there. Scientists successfully cloned the first dog in 2005, and that practice has expanded into a niche industry of cloning families’ beloved pets — for the hefty price of $50,000.
It’s no coincidence that dogs seem sadder whenever you’re eating. They’ve evolutionarily adapted to raise their eyebrows and make their eyes bigger to improve their chances of guilting humans into tossing a scrap of food their way.
Seeing eye dogs aren’t the only employed pooches out there. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has trained a puppy named Riley to sniff out species of moths and beetles that destroy priceless artwork.
Attention Dalmatian owners: don’t freak out when your puppies are born without any of the trademark spots! Those only start to pop up as the breed gets older. And Dalmatian puppies aren’t the only ones who’ve surprised owners with their coats…
In 2017, several dogs in the UK made headlines for giving birth to green puppies. Was this a rare mutation? Were the pups celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? No, it turns out their fur was temporarily dyed by biliverdin, a pigment naturally found in dog placentas.
Don’t freak out if your boss catches you scrolling through dog photos at work. A 2012 study concluded that looking at pictures of cute animals can actually help you concentrate afterward.
There was one warm and fuzzy result of the Cold War. Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev knew that President John F. Kennedy was curious about Strelka, the Russian dog that went into space. As a gift, he sent JFK one of Strelka’s puppies. The Kennedys named her Pushinka, after the Russian word for “fluffy.”
Wikimedia Commons / Cecil W. Stoughton
JFK’s one-time political rival Richard Nixon also had a historical puppy moment. While running for Vice President in 1952, Tricky Dick came under fire for using campaign contributions for personal use. He denied these claims in a televised speech and said that the only gift he accepted was their family dog, Checkers.
Dogs don’t curl up while sleeping just to look cute, or even to feel more comfortable. This tendency is actually rooted in their instincts to protect their vital organs at night (and to stay warm, of course).
Some recent studies have found that dogs usually try to “go to the bathroom” in such a way that they’re aligned with the earth’s magnetic field. Both sexes defecate in the north or south direction, but only females prefer to urinate that way, too.