Mexican Hairless Dog Breed Helps Relieve Chronic Pain - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Mexican Hairless Dog Breed Helps Relieve Chronic Pain

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An Allied Gardens woman is redefining the phrase "hot dog." She uses a rare, hairless dog breed to relieve her chronic pain by wrapping the animals around her neck, just like a heating pad.

Their names are Toaster and Pink, and singing happy birthday is just the beginning. Retrieving remote controls and cell phones is another handy trick Nancy Gordon has taught her dogs. Pink also has a knack for fetching paper from the computer printer. But the main reason Nancy owns these two certified service dogs is for their healing powers.

"For me, helping relieve my muscle pain through body heat is their service," Nancy said.

A car accident 17 years ago left Nancy with chronic muscle pain. At first she used heating pads, but she soon discovered this special breed - a Mexican hairless called a Xolo (pronounced "show low").

The Aztec Indians first used Xolos thousands of years ago. Nancy trained them to curl up around her neck for warm pain relief.

"Just imagine warm skin against warm skin. It's like a living hot water bottle," Nancy said.

Nancy believes so wholeheartedly in the healing powers of these dogs that she started her own non-profit and website to help match puppies with new owners, like Janet Wachenheimer and her dog Che-Che.

"Before I had her I had been bedridden for three years, and within three months I was able to get out a minimum of twice a week," Janet said.

Because Xolos are rare, they can be quite expensive - $2,000 per dog.

"They're 24/7 hot dog heating pads," Nancy said.

Nancy says it's a small price to pay for a service dog that keeps your neck comfortable during those long drives on the freeway.

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