Reason #3: Because Peruvian dogs are smarter than they look

“That animal is spooky,” I muttered to my friend Isabel, as we climbed a narrow cobbled street behind Cusco’s main plaza.

It was early and the dog was a skinny brown-and-white stray. He had attached himself to us in the square, tail wagging furiously.

He had walked beside us until we reached the road, where he began to bark angrily at the cars until they allowed us to cross.

He was standing at the top of the street – watching us.

“Is this definitely the right way to Sachsaywaman?” I asked, trying to identify the Inca ruins on the map.

“I think so,” Isabel replied uncertainly.

“Shall we, er, keep following the dog?” I ventured.

“What if we get lost and have to admit we followed a dog?”

“I don’t think we’ve got any choice,” my dear friend replied.

“He seems to know where he’s going.”

We followed the dog uphill. He turned right. He climbed the steps beside a church. Each time we paused, he waited.

Once he stopped on a ledge and looked at the city sprawling below. He paused patiently while we took photographs.

Eventually we reached the first gate to the ruins. The path forked in two and the dog confidently chose the route on the right.

“Shall we look at the map?” I asked again, always the sceptic.

“Erm, look at the arrow,” Isabel replied, laughing. I’d failed to notice the white marker indicating the route on the right.

Finally, we rounded a corner and reached the main gatehouse.

“Ah, you came with the dog,” the guard said knowingly.

“You’re very lucky. He’s choosy about who he guides.”

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