Oscar is a stray orange and white dog who lives in the fortress of Sacsayhuamán, a walled complex on the northern outskirts of the city of Cusco, Peru. Sacsayhuamán is the former capital of the Inca Empire. The complex is made of large polished dry-stone walls, each boulder carefully cut to fit together tightly without mortar.
When we visited Sacsayhuamán in December 2011, this dog followed/led Heidi and me around for hours, ignoring all other tourists (and even following us dangerously close to a herd of alpacas, which chased him). I named Oscar after our charming room—which was named after an orphan boy—at the Niños Hotel in Cusco, which supports disadvantaged children. Oscar is my canine spirit guide and the best dog in the world.