A charming stray puppy has become an internet darling thanks to her prominent "handlebar mustache" skin pigmentation, which closely resembles the iconic facial hair of the late Spanish artist, Salvador Dali. Five-week-old "Salvador Dolly," along with her brown shepherd mother and ten siblings, were found on the streets of Dallas, Texas, by Hearts & Bones Rescue volunteers on July 10, 2019. The non-profit's director of marketing, Allison Seelig, told Good Morning America, "We were definitely in disbelief — how does a puppy end up looking like this?"
The canine family was taken in by the Dallas Animal Services and Adoption Center. However, with as many as 100 homeless animals arriving at the center's doors daily, and the risk of the puppies getting sick in the shelter environment, Seeling knew she had to relocate them.
Fortunately, on July 26, 2019, with the help of a $5,000 grant, the non-profit was able to move the canine family to a loving foster home where they could get the attention and medical care they needed. “The puppies are still nursing, which can be a lot for Mom to handle, but her foster makes sure to give her breaks to have some downtime,” Seelig said. “She's also getting lots of food to make sure she keeps her calorie intake up!"
At the end of August or early September, once the puppies are stronger and have weaned off, Hearts & Bones Rescue will start seeking permanent homes for all of them. However, instead of offering them to the residents of Dallas, the non-profit plans on moving the family to its New York City chapter. Many thought it was because Dolly's namesake, Salvador Dali, wintered at the city's St. Regis Hotel for over 40 years. However, Seelig says the decision was made because, “there are far fewer dogs looking for homes in NYC, and so many people looking to adopt in such a populous city."
The non-profit, which has experienced a large influx of applications for Dolly, is urging New Yorkers to embrace her mother and siblings as well. Seelig says "[They]are also so cute, so we were all oohing and ahhing over the whole group of them when we met them!” In keeping with the art theme, the little pups have been named Fernando Botero, Henri Matisse, Mary Cassatt, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Frida Kahlo, and Kara Walker.
Salvador Dali is one of the most celebrated artists of our time. Born on May 11, 1904, in Figueres, Spain, he was one of the leaders of Surrealism, which gained popularity in Europe between the First and Second World War. The literary and artistic movement shunned realism and instead focused on the power of the artist's imagination.
While Dali created several notable works of art during his lifetime, his most famous is The Persistence of Memory, or Soft Watches, as it is sometimes called. Painted by the eccentric artist in 1931, it depicts melting pocket watches in a landscape setting. Experts believe the masterpiece conveys several messages, including that time is not rigid and that everything is destructible.
Resources: thedodo.com, today.com, mentalfloss.com