Venezuela’s national dog keeps Chavez legacy alive 委內瑞拉國狗 查維茲的活遺產

Sat, Mar 01, 2014 - Page 10

The Soviets made space dog Laika a national hero and Americans have fallen for presidential pets from Checkers to Bo.

In Venezuela, a rare breed of shaggy sheepdog has come to symbolize the patriotic legacy of the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuela’s former president rescued the mucuchies, named for this Andean town where the breed originated 400 years ago, from near-extinction in 2008 by providing funding to breed the remaining 23 purebreds.

“Every time Chavez hosted a foreign leader the president’s office would call me up and make sure I brought the dogs,” said Walter Demendoza, president of the Nevado Foundation, which works to rescue the breed.

“He wanted the dog to be known around the world as a symbol of our country.”

Chavez died from cancer last March, but interest in the dog in Latin America surged after ally Argentine President Cristina Fernandez reappeared in public in November last year after brain surgery doting on a white puppy given to her by Chavez’s brother.

Overnight the dog Simon became a social media sensation.

(AP)

蘇聯人讓太空狗「萊卡」成為民族英雄,美國人則迷戀從「西洋棋」到「波兒」的總統寵物。

在委內瑞拉,品種罕見的捲毛牧羊犬已成為象徵已故總統查維茲愛國情操的遺產。

這位委內瑞拉前總統搶救以這個安地斯城鎮為名的狗「慕庫切斯」,當地四百年前就已豢養該品種狗狗,二零零八年這種狗瀕臨絕種,查維茲提供資助餵養僅存的二十三隻純種狗。

「每次查維茲接待外國領袖,總統辦公室都會通知我,確認我會把狗狗帶去,」負責搶救該品種狗的「涅瓦度基金會」主席華特‧德曼多薩說。

「他希望全世界都知道這種狗是我國的象徵。」

查維茲去年三月死於癌症,但對這種狗的喜愛在拉丁美洲掀起熱潮,就在盟友阿根廷總統克莉絲汀娜.費南德茲歷經腦部手術、去年十一月再次公開現身時,愛上查維茲的兄弟送她的一隻小白狗之後。

那隻狗「西蒙」一夜之間爆紅,在社群媒體上引發轟動。

(美聯社/翻譯:詹立群)