By Jasmine Kazlauskas
A viral snap of a rare dog breed has sent the internet into a frenzy after people were convinced it was a STATUE.
Owner Sandra Pineda found it hilarious so many people online had mistaken one-year-old pooch Piper for a statue – but said it happens all the time due to her ‘unique look’.
The 22-year-old, from Quezon City, Manila, the Philippines, first brought black-coloured Piper, a Xoloitzcuintle or Mexican Hairless Dog, home aged two months in March last year.
And when the medical student posted a ‘normal’ photo of Piper online yesterday [THURS] she was stunned when it racked up more than 10,000 likes and thousands of comments in less than an hour.
Sandra said: “It was so funny to see all these comments 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 realised 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 piece of art.
“Piper is a quirky dog, although she looks serious and even intimidating to some, she’s actually such a sweetheart.
“She loves cuddles and always insists on sitting on your lap.”
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: ““We came across pictures of a Xoloitzcuintle and my dad got so excited because he’s always wanted a dog like that.
“We did our research and found a reputable breeder who had puppies available.
“It’s actually quite difficult to find this breed and we’ve never come across another Mexican hairless in the Philippines, so when we saw her, we knew we just had to have her.
“I love this breed because they’re such unique dogs.
“The history behind the Xolo is so rich and interesting which only added to the love we had for them.
“I also really like the fact that she’s hairless, it’s very easy to deal with.
“We use a mild dog shampoo on her, and after baths she gets lathered up in virgin coconut oil to keep her skin moisturised and shiny.
“Some people don’t see Piper’s beauty or her regal look which baffles me because I think she’s just gorgeous.
“I’ve gotten mean comments from people saying they think Piper is odd-looking or it makes them feel weird and uncomfortable looking at her.
“I honestly 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.”