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Bandleader Xavier Cugat (1900-1990) was a great promoter of chihuahuas in the 1930s & 1940s, often having one in his pocket as he conducted his Latin orchestra.

Xavier's Latin band was very popular but historians now think of him as rather commercial of type, not the artiste one fancies of Benny Goodman or Artie Shaw. It does seem he put marketing before art and the biggest reason he was always seen with chihuahuas is because he owned a puppymill that would ship puppies to customers around the world.

Awareness of the badness of large-scale puppy production was not yet in many peoples' minds, though we may still count it as a flaw in Cugat's personality. He was also frequently photographed holding a pipe -- or even with both pipe and chihuahua -- because he marketed a line of pipes, without regard for the fact he was not personally a smoker. And treating a living animal as a commodity little different from any other object was wrong of him. But he did sincerely love chihuahuas and spread his affection for them to everyone he met.

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