Year of the Bicentennial of Peru: Quilla, Our Active Promoter of Peruvian Culture in Romania!

Bucharest:

As part of my campaign of international awareness about the Peruvian Hairless Dog, and this being the year of the Peruvian Bicentennial, I take the opportunity to get an update on Quilla, our Canine Ambassador to Bucharest (Romania), a “charge” she has held since 2018.

María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera (Ambassador of Peru to Romania) and Quilla (Sechura Quilla Pazzda – representative of the Peruvian Hairless Dog breed – Pet of the embassy ). Art design by Alessandro Pucci. © 2021 APPP – ADPP

I contact María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera, Ambassador of Peru to Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, and the Republic of Moldova, as well as Quilla’s adoptive mother.

She tells me that among her activities she is responsible for promoting cooperation in multiple fields such as risk management, combating drug and cultural goods trafficking, promoting trade—especially with regard to our Peruvian flag products—tourism and cultural promotion, a very important axis of the Embassy’s work. In addition, María Eugenia carries out her work from the privileged position of belonging to the only Embassy present in these Eastern European countries from a country belonging to the Andean Community. As if that weren’t enough, María Eugenia, our multi-country Ambassador, is also a great defender of the Peruvian Hairless Dog, Living Cultural Heritage of our Nation.

In mid-2018, after several years of research and having wanted to get a dog of this Peruvian breed, María Eugenia managed to find Quilla (Sechura Quilla Pazzda), a Peruvian Hairless Dog from a world-renowned breeder of the Czech Republic. Quilla is now the center of my conversation with María Eugenia.

In the picture: Quilla at her breeders’ home in the Czech Republic before going to her new home in Romania (Owner: María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera (Ambassador of Peru to Romania) -Breeders: Jiri Linhart and Galko Family – Klub Chovatelů Naháčů)). PC: Jiri Linhart. Art design by Alessandro Pucci. © 2021 APPP – ADPP

Because she’s Living Cultural Heritage of our Nation, Quilla has been an active promoter of Peruvian culture since her arrival at the Embassy. “A special visit was that of my friend the Ambassador of [the] Czech Republic,” María Eugenia say, “who was not only amazed to see, for the first time, a Hairless Dog, but also to know that this fine specimen of an ancient Peruvian breed had been born in Brno, capital of the South Moravian region and the second most populous city in his country. This prompted me to tell him how we found her through the Embassy’s cultural activities.”

Well, this anecdote demonstrates the great interest that this beautiful dog breed awakens in foreign breeders like those of the Czech Republic. Indeed, Hairless Dogs have been known in many countries for many years due to the belief in their healing properties, and because they’re the ideal pet for people allergic to animal hair. It should be noted that the Czech Republic has the largest number of Peruvian Hairless Dog breeders in the world. And now, of course, Quilla allows the breed to be better known in other European countries such as Romania, Croatia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and the Republic of Moldova—countries that are part of the perimeter of which María Eugenia, our Peruvian Ambassador, is in charge.

Among her various tasks, Maria Eugenia has also contributed to the spreading awareness about our national dog breed, as well as our culture, through activities in countries such as Croatia, where dogs of this breed—both born in Peru and Europe—have participated, and where breeders from countries from around the world participated, too; countries including Croatia itself, Romania, the Czech Republic, Russia, Slovenia, etc.

Her work is ongoing, and even today, despite the current impediments due to the Covid pandemic, she carries it on.

“Quilla’s temperament is characteristic of this breed,” says María Eugenia:

“[they’re] noble dogs and are attached to the owner (actually, to all the people of the house); [they’re] affectionate, playful, with a positive temperament.”

In the picture: Quilla and her adoptive mother, María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera (Ambassador of Peru to Romania) – Breeders: Jiri Linhart and Galko Family – Klub Chovatelů Naháčů). PC: María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera. Art design by Alessandro Pucci. © 2021 APPP – ADPP

From the photographs María Eugenia shares with me I can see that Quilla is an extremely playful puppy and that she keeps the team spirit alive—in other words: she’s the life and soul of the party!

In addition, María Eugenia tells me that in a few months Quilla will be three years old. So she’s no longer as foolhardy as she once was as a puppy. Yes, she’s very fast and always alert to what happens around her, but now she’s also prudent, as is usual in more experienced dog, of course. Furthermore, as is also usual of the breed, Quilla has a certain reticence when it comes to strangers.

In 2018, after arriving at the Embassy, Quilla began working with a coach. Like so many other things her training has obviously been interrupted due to the pandemic, but she’ll resume it in the spring of this year.

“It’s like at Friar [Saint] Martin’s house,” María Eugenia tells me: “all the pets that live with Quilla have been exposed to the group since from the get-go, so they’re each other’s family.”

Undoubtedly, Quilla lives happily within a group. She shares her days with two Dachshunds, one, short-haired, the other, woolly, a kitten, and a rabbit.

“Everyone lives in absolute harmony,” adds María Eugenia.

St. Martín de Porres (1579-1639): Peruvian saint, the first mulatto saint of America and Patron Saint of Social Justice. He is credited with making a dog, a mouse, and a cat eat from the same bowl in complete harmony.

Apparently, the importance given to Peruvian heritage by María Eugenia is not only evidenced through her affection and protection of the Peruvian Hairless Dog, it transcends further: it strikes a definite parallel to the virtues and miracles of our Peruvian Patron Saint, Saint Martin de Porres, as narrated by the Peruvian writer Ricardo Palma in his great literary opus Tradiciones Peruanas (Peruvian Traditions, 1872), a work based on historical events in Peru throughout known history—a jewel worthy of being remembered by the new Peruvian generation, especially upon the celebration of Peru’s Bicentennial.[1]

Nonetheless, María Eugenia also attributes some of the harmony to the intelligence of pets: “Milo (the rabbit), doesn’t allow himself to be harassed. He’s as a fox!” she tells me, in a funny tone, referring to the cunning of the rabbit. “The one Quilla had to watch out for in the beginning was Bela (the cat). Quilla mistook her for a toy but Bela immediately set her straight, and has known perfectly well how to avoid being caught up in Quilla’s games.”

María Eugenia tells me that, unlike the Dachshunds—the female of which has always needed to clearly establish that she is the Alpha of the group—, Quilla fits into all situations without seeking preeminence. Partly because of the docile temper of the breed, but also because, being the tallest of all the pets, she easily beats them every time at retrieving the ball in the garden or getting at food that’s on the kitchen table!

Quilla is certainly the healthiest animal in this domestic zoo!

Quilla, Balto and Molly: Waiting for the rain to end to go out again. PC: María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera © 2021 – APPP – ADPP

Like every dog of this breed, Quilla requires special care in the cold months. What she chiefly requires is a good coat, always pulled over a cotton t-shirt to protect her sensitive skin.

“Her greatest pleasure is to go in the car,” María Eugenia tells me, “she sits there with her seatbelt and observes the city passing by.” Certainly, there’s no doubt that, apart from a faithful companion, the mere fact of accompanying our official Peruvian representative, Quilla is an active promoter of Peruvian culture. And her beautiful physical attributes not only garner curiosity in all who meet her, but also interest in discovering the mystery behind them [see “Hairless Dog with a mutant gene: Foxi3”], which makes us penetrate the world of natural science [2] and dig deeper into its past [see “Millenary dog of the Americas came from Asia through the Bering Strait”].[3]

María Eugenia tells me that she notes the great interest that Peru generates among Romanian citizens through the events that the Embassy holds in Romania, essentially a multicultural and Latin-speaking country. The Peruvian community in the aforementioned countries, although small, is long-standing and very well assimilated. The Peruvian diaspora is a strong link that links these nations to Peru and contributes to the development of their host countries.

In addition, María Eugenia tells me that every Peruvian member of the Embassy is a big fan of Peru and, in their own way, values Peruvian culture with great pride. The seriousness and commitment are reflected through the participation of the Embassy members in events aimed at raising awareness of Peruvian culture, as well as the continued contact of our Ambassador with the breeders who reared Quilla to learn more about the particularities of the breed, and through discussions with our Association, to exchange ideas and know more about the current place of the Peruvian Hairless Dog in the world.

Palace of the Parliament – Bucharest, Romania – © 2021 APPP – ADPP

This in, as well as what I mentioned above, is a definite sign of the great achievement that has been made in favor of the Peruvian Hairless Dog—who, on the threshold of the Peruvian Bicentennial, already occupies an important position on the list of cultural values of our nation.

I close our conversation by saying goodbye to María Eugenia and offering Quilla a virtual petting, such as we are now very well accustomed under the circumstances. It’s not really a goodbye, but rather a “see you later”, as we’ll certainly be getting updated on Quilla’s adventures again in the not-so-distant future, as well as continuing to find out about the news and progress of her outreach campaign as our dear canine ambassador!

 

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Footnotes:

[1] Tradición “Los ratones de fray Martín”, Tradiciones Peruanas: Octava y última serie. https://es.wikisource.org/wiki/Los_ratones_de_fray_Mart%C3%ADn

[2] http://chiennuperou.com/es/blogpost/2019/02/el-perro-peludo-por-que-esta-variedad-incomprendida-y-olvidada-es-la-clave-de-la-supervivencia-del-perro-sin-pelo-del-peru-2/

[3] http://chiennuperou.com/es/2018/10/el-perro-sin-pelo-del-peru-en-el-tour-madre-tierra-museo-nacional-sican-ferrenafe-lambayeque-2/

 

You can also visit:

On the threshold of Peru’s Bicentennial: You will soon find out about Quilla! …

From Bucharest: A true canine ambassador!

 

Bucharest: As part of my campaign of international awareness about the Peruvian Hairless Dog, and this being the year of the Peruvian Bicentennial, I take the opportunity to get an update on Quilla, our Canine Ambassador to Bucharest (Romania), a “charge” she has held since 2018. I contact María Eugenia Echeverría Herrera, Ambassador of Peru …

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Year of The Peruvian Bicentennial: Like a mountain god, Apu, our canine ambassador to Canada!

Ottawa:

As part of my initiative to revalue the Peruvian Hairless Dog I’ve had the opportunity to meet many Peruvian Harless Dogs around the world; almost two years ago I learned of such another representative of Peruvian canine national heritage, this one living in the Embassy of Peru in Canada: Apu Huatuntupaq, a beautiful specimen of Peruvian Hairless Dog, very representative of its breed, and born to renowned Peruvian breeders.

In the picture: Apu Huatuntupaq. Owner: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas, Ambassador of Peru to Canada. Breeder: Marisa la Rosa. PC: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas – Design by Alessandro Pucci © 2021 APPP – ADPP

Due to the current circumstances making travel impossible I was I had no choice but to continue my projects through virtual trips. I never imagined that this particular trip would become such a pleasant and unusual experience.

It all started with a videocall where I chatted with Roberto Rodríguez Arnillas, Peru’s Ambassador to Ottawa City, capital of Canada.

With several years holding diplomatic office in the United States and Canada, since July 2018 Ambassador Rodríguez Arnillas is responsible for the promotion and strengthening of bilateral relations between Peru and Canada, as well as the continued strengthening of the traditional ties of friendship that bind the two countries.

He told me of the excellent relations that have developed through a fluid and constructive dialogue, in which respect and promotion of human rights, the strengthening of the democratic system, the management of sustainable natural resources and the fight against climate change, and the defense of free trade are the main points. The cooperation of both countries is not only at the commercial level, but also at the level of scientific and cultural cooperation.

In the picture: Apu Huatuntupaq and his adoptive father: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas, Ambassador of Peru to Canada. Breeder: Marisa la Rosa. PC: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas © – APPP – ADPP

As we were chatting, I could see in the background a beautiful copper-colored large dog sitting quietly, listening to the Ambassador very carefully. Evidently, it was his routine to do so. Suddenly, Apu’s tutor, Mrs. Roxana Recalde de Rodríguez, wife of the Ambassador, appeared to ask Apu to show me his training. While Apu responded to Mrs. Recalde de Rodríguez’s commands, showing me that he knows how to shake hands and listen attentively, thus revealing his intelligence and skills, I thought that all this was undoubtedly a product of the affective relationship and respect he has for his adoptive parents.

In addition to his physical beauty, his talent and intelligence are incomparable and I couldn’t help mentioning it to the Ambassador and his wife.

I immediately recognized his lineage: a strong and slender dog but with a very human gaze that inspires nobility.

Apu is certainly like the many dogs I’ve been able to meet that come from these northern lineages that are now being bred by canine experts and made known throughout the world for the last several decades.

The Ambassador confirmed it was indeed Apu who was on camera. He presented Apu to me progressively and naturally. The Ambassador told me: “I always liked Hairless Dogs but we were particularly impressed with him, with his poise and beauty… He’s only three years old. He was the first one we saw with such characteristics. Although we had previously seen other dogs of the same breed, both medium and small in size, which we liked very much, Apu was the one we liked the most.”

Indeed, his name, Apu, which means divinity or refers to an important character since pre-Incan time, speaks to his physical attributes and qualities.

In the picture: Apu Huatuntupaq and Marcelo Rodriguez going home for the first time. Owner: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas. Breeder: Marisa la Rosa. PC: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas © – APPP – ADPP

“He’s a very affectionate dog,” said the Ambassador. “When we first picked him up with Marcelo, my youngest son, Apu practically adopted [Marcelo]. From then on, they get along perfectly.”

After his adoption, Apu had to wait several months before travelling to Canada, as transporting flights for dogs to the during summer are not possible due to the high temperatures at the airports. So Apu was able to travel after the summer and he arrived in Ottawa on a flight from Lima via Toronto. Fortunately, he arrived in his new home in perfect conditions.

According to the Ambassador: “Apu, belonging to a legendary breed, has been able to fully adapt to the climate of Canada. His adaptability is amazing. The weather is not an issue: he weathers it with nobility.”

Indeed, many Hairless Dogs live in Nordic countries with cold climates such as the United States and most European countries, and are able to quickly adapt to their climates.

To Apu’s good fortune, his adoptive father, Ambassador Rodríguez Arnillas, knows a lot about dogs, as he has previously had a Great Dane, a Cocker Spanniel and a German Shepherd. Besides that, his wife also loves dogs very much and has previously had a Collie. Also, the Ambassador’s sister has a Peruvian Hairless Dog called Nazca, who was coincidentally born in Ica.

The way the Ambassador and his family treat Apu is tailored to Apu’s personality. Immediately after Apu arrived in Canada the Ambassador discovered his great agility. “Being a large dog, he weighs 29 kilos and loves to run,” the Ambassador tells me. “He runs like a hare; to such an extent that he’s the most agile dog in the park where I take him. There’s only a Greyhound that has been able to outrun Apu […] In front of the residence there’s a park where Apu can run every day, meet other dogs and socialize, in addition to running and playing.”

The Ambassador has set everything in place for Apu to develop his skills to demonstrate how far the intelligence of the Peruvian Hairless Dog can go.

But it’s not only an affective relationship, one of play and training alone: “I always dreamed of the Peruvian Hairless Dog, our Peruvian national heritage of which I was always proud,” the Ambassador told me.

“I wanted to have the opportunity to have a specimen of our national breed and be able to show it in the country where I work, so that many people would know this beautiful dog breed.”

In the picture: Apu Huatuntupaq. Owner: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas, Ambassador of Peru to Canada. Breeder: Marisa la Rosa. PC: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas – Design by Alessandro Pucci © 2021 APPP – ADPP

The Ambassador told me that he has now been able to realize his dream: “Apu, in addition to being a companion, naturally fulfills the role of Canine Ambassador. Which means that he’s also part of Peru’s overall cultural proposal during working meetings with Canadian and international authorities, as well as during dinners at the Embassy. Events in which guests are able to not only taste Peruvian Pisco and other national delicacies such as Ceviche or Papa a la huancaína but also enjoy the presence of a Canine Ambassador: Apu, the Peruvian Hairless Dog, who they can meet and pet and who also raises interesting topics of conversation about Peru, its history and its traditions due to all his cultural background.”

Both the Ambassador and his wife are interested in all historical and cultural information regarding this breed. At home they have books on the Peruvian Hairless Dog specifically. They also have multimedia sources on this topic. All this further enriches the knowledge they have acquired about the Peruvian Hairless Dog, which they’ll more than gladly share with anyone who is interested in getting to know more about the breed.

No doubt Apu enjoys living in a country that has a strong canine culture. Canada has a kennel club that has existed since 1887. When it comes to pets, dogs are the favorites. The bond is so strong that they become one of the family. This causes Canadians to invest a significant sum of their budget on pet wellbeing [1].

To such an extent are dogs so important to Canadians that, according to GlobeNewswire, the Anatomy of Dog Love report (of Rover.com, the world’s largest and most trusted network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers) says a quarter of Canadians plan to take their pets on a “date” for Valentine’s Day[2].

Following my chat with the Ambassador, he told me that Peruvian-Canadian relations are very strong thanks to the communion of common principles and values, fundamentally those aforementioned: human rights, democracy, the sustainability of our natural resources, climate change, as well as defending free trade. Peruvian-Canadian cooperation continues to be a pillar of the relationship, having served Peru’s economic development, which has also resulted in vigorous trade. Canada is currently Peru’s third largest partner in the scientific and cultural fields. In addition, today, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, chancellors from both countries make regular calls within the framework of the COVID-19 Ministerial Coordination Group lead by Canada.

In the picture: Apu Huatuntupaq. Owner: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas, Ambassador of Peru to Canada. Breeder: Marisa la Rosa. PC: Roberto Rodriguez Arnillas – Design by Alessandro Pucci © 2021 APPP – ADPP

In this context it is no coincidence that Apu is enjoying the affection of a representative of our country who has a broad vision and sensitivity about the importance of sustainable management of natural resources and the fight against climate change, since these are main values for the subsistence of the Peruvian Hairless Dog breed, which is Peruvian living heritage.

Finishing my virtual tour the Ambassador told me that there is still much to do: the Peruvian Hairless Dog is not yet a well-known breed in Canada. However, thanks to the cultural openness and the existence of kennel clubs throughout the country there is a great opportunity to spread and expand knowledge about the Peruvian Hairless Dog.

Observing Apu with the Peruvian flag behind him I have a thought related to traditional Peruvian beliefs: I think that perhaps it was these Apus, or gods of the Inca Mountains, who put Apu and the Ambassador on the same path to promote the dissemination and protection of the Peruvian Hairless Dog breed. In the event that this might be the case, I maintain the strong desire that the Apus continue accompanying them during a long and successful career expanding Peruvian culture and promoting the protection of this wonderful dog breed for the future.

 

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Footnotes:

[1] https://www.settler.ca/english/dogs-and-humans/

[2] https:// https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2020/02/04/1979441/0/en/Rover-Releases-New-Report-on-Why-Canadians-and-Their-Dogs-Love-Each-Other.html

 

You can also visit:

On the threshold of Peru’s Bicentennial: You will soon find out about Apu! …

Ottawa: As part of my initiative to revalue the Peruvian Hairless Dog I’ve had the opportunity to meet many Peruvian Harless Dogs around the world; almost two years ago I learned of such another representative of Peruvian canine national heritage, this one living in the Embassy of Peru in Canada: Apu Huatuntupaq, a beautiful specimen …

Find out more...