Bridgewater, NJ (PRWEB) January 24, 2012
When Raja, a world traveling Shih Tzu dog (who happens to be the appointed CEO of Travel Dog Books, LLC), sought a research destination for his next pet travel book, he looked far beyond the borders of the United States for a unique destination. Raja’s first book, “The Journey of the Shih Tzu: From Prehistory to Present, From Asia to the World, received rave reviews and has been a huge success. Readers started to request more “real life dog adventures.” Raja’s recent trip to Machu Picchu, a UN World Heritage Site, was an enlightening journey for him and the people that he met, along with local dogs, llamas and alpacas. He recently shared some his adventures on his blog site, http://www.traveldogbooks.com, and a follow-up book is in the works that documents his encounters and this rare visit by a dog to this ancient sanctuary of the Incan civilization.
Raja’s trip was inspired by the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the hidden Incan ruins of Machu Picchu by the American adventurer and Yale professor, Hiram Bingham. Funded by Yale University, National Geographic and his then wife, a Tiffany heiress, Bingham led an expedition into the Andes in 1911 that revealed the awe-inspiring Incan Ruin. Raja concedes he may not be the first dog to visit Machu Picchu, since Hiram Bingham reported that when he first entered the ancient ruins, a local family was living in one of the dwellings and, given the Peruvians’ love of dogs, it is possible the family may have had pet dogs. Raja is, nonetheless, the first Shih Tzu and certainly the first dog CEO of a company, to have made this cross equatorial journey to this historical Incan Citadel in Peru.
Before Raja departed on his trip, travel web sites informed him that local dogs in the Andean mountain city of Cusco (elevation 11,000 feet), the gateway to Machu Picchu, and Aguas Calientes, the foothill town at the base of the Inca ruin, can be territorial and aggressive, which turned out to be misinformation. In fact, many street dogs are sociable and mannerly and Raja enjoyed barking with them as he toured along the narrow cobble stone streets and quaint alleyways, marveling at the astonishing Incan stone architecture, Spanish Cathedrals and flower filled-plazas. Upon his arrival in Aquas Calientes, Raja got to meet and befriend a member of the famous hairless Peruvian Incan Orchid Dogs, a breed of dog with its origins in Peruvian pre-Inca cultures. Her name is Belleza, and she is the pride and joy of the owner at Gringo Bill’s Boutique Hotel. Both welcomed Raja with open arms and nose rubs.
Not resting on his laurels, Raja is planning a new expedition to Nepal in the Himalayas, for his next adventure and travel book subject. But first, he’s looking forward to his annual ski trip with his family. This year it’s Vail, Colorado in early 2012. Mountains inspire this globetrotter because they remind him of his rugged and hardy roots in his homeland of Tibet.
Travel Dog Books is a book publisher and is a division of HA Fazio Associates, LLC. Travel Dog Books also publishes a popular weekly Blog (http://www.traveldogbooks.com) that focuses on dog/pet travel, pet events, pet health, and many other inspiring articles. Raja is the main “spokes pet" on the blog site along with his owner and principal founder Dr. Helen Asquine Fazio. Raja is also a Certified Therapy Dog. Helen is corporate consultant, as well as, a guest blogger for Modern Dog and Fido Friendly magazines and a contributing content writer for Dog Fancy and Dogs Are Ok magazines. She appears regularly as a Pet Tipster contributor for Dogster.com and has appeared several times on the national syndicated pet radio show “My Buddy Butch”. Helen has a MA in Art History and a PhD in Comparative Literature.