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Posts Tagged ‘Frida Kahlo and her Itzcuintli Dogs’

"The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, Diego, and Mr. Xolotl," by Frida Kahlo, 1949.

"The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Me, Diego, and Mr. Xolotl," by Frida Kahlo, 1949.

In the lower left of Frida Kahlo‘s painting, “The Love Embrace of the Universe” (above), a little dog is sound asleep in a huge hand. The dog is Frida Kahlo’s favorite pet dog, Mr. Xolotl. Mr. Xolotl (show-low -tul) was a xoloitxcuintli (show-low-eats-queen-tlee) dog. Frida had several of these unusual-looking dogs, a hairless breed with an ancestry that is traceable back 3,000 years to the Aztecs, hence their appeal to Frida, enormously proud of her MesoAmerican heritage. Xolos (show-lows), for short, are related to Mexican hairless chihuahuas. The Aztecs both revered and ate xolos.

"Frida Kahlo and her Itzcuintli Dogs," photo by Lola Alvarez Bravo, 1944

"Frida Kahlo and her Itzcuintli Dogs," photo by Lola Alvarez Bravo, 1944

Nowadays, xolos are prized for the enormous amount of heat their bodies generate, although they do not have a higher-than-average body temperature. As a result, many sufferers of rheumatism and arthritis keep xolos as pets, claiming the dogs relieve their pain by acting as canine heaters.

The xolos are sometimes referred to as Colima dogs. They may range in size from 3 pounds to 60.

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