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5 Surprising Facts Chihuahuas

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From as early as 200 B.C., an ancestor of the Chihuahua appeared in art from Mexico's Colima region. According to the travel writer Susan Dearing, Mayans and other Mesoamerican people were often buried with mummified dogs or images of dogs resembling Chihuahuas because they believed that dogs helped people travel safely into the afterlife.

As companionable as their modern-day relatives, early Chihuahuas were important in life as well as in death. Another famous Chihuahua in art is from Botticelli's fresco "Scenes from the Life of Moses."It was completed in 1482 in Rome's Sistine Chapel, and in it is pictured a small dog similar to a Chihuahua. Bigger than the modern-day Chihuahua, the shorthaired white dog is curled up in a little boy's loving arms. From the 15th century on, Chihuahua-like dogs can be found in paintings from all over the world, by artists like Vittore Carpaccio, Pietro Longhi, Sir Edward Landseer, Charles Van den Eycken and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

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