For the first year or so of marriage we couldn't have a dog (or other pet for that matter) due to renting a house. Once we moved (and eventually purchased our first house)...we decided it was time to get a dog.
I love big dogs and really wanted a Mastiff, my wife however didn't want a "Horse" for a pet and wanted a Schnauzer. Well...we ended up settling somewhere in the middle when I saw an add for Shar Pei's. We didn't know much about them at the time...but one sight of the puppies and we both melted.
The result of this was our first puppy....
Ching was an awesome dog, probably the best dog I've ever had the pleasure of having. He was loving, playful and protective of both myself and my wife. We had our normal puppy issues with chewing a few things and some early potty training issues since we lived in an apartment when he first came home with us...however he learned to use a "We We box" which worked awesome. The funniest thing with him....we used to leave the TV on for him while we were at work so there was some background noise for him. We left the channel on NBC and when I came home he had somehow changed the channel to the "Animal Planet" channel and was watching a Dog Show of all things when I came home...LOL
He was huge for a Shar Pei weighing in at 75 pounds and standing 25" at the shoulder. Most people couldn't believe how big he was. He loved to go to the beach, his favorite place in the world :)
He eventually had to be put down at 7.5 years old due to kidney failure. We almost lost him a year earlier due to the same issues (he lost over 20 pounds over a month or so) but he was a fighter all the way and battled through it to live for a full year longer...one year I will treasure my whole life.
Approximately 2 years after we brought Ching home we decided he needed a friend, so we went looking again and brought Diva home.
Diva was the opposite of Ching...she was small for a shar pei at 43 pounds and only 18" at the shoulder. She was much quieter and didn't play nearly as much as Ching, but was more of a lap puppy than Ching was. She always had a big smile on her face and loved the beach as well. I think both her and Ching would have spent their whole life at the beach if they could have.
Diva and Ching became best buddies...Diva would bark at other dogs, then run behind Ching and let him take care of business :P She would just crack us up every time.
We unfortunately lost Diva a short 4 days after we lost Ching due to kidney failure as well. We don't know what happened with her since we had her kidneys checked for Amylidosis, but she started showing symptoms shortly after Ching took his 2nd downturn. We had her blood work completed and it was off the charts and we knew her time was limited.
Needless to say....I think that was the hardest week that my wife and I have had to share. Thankfully, we have a great vet who makes house calls and both were euthanized at home where they could pass with their family members, at the comfort of their own home.
I still think of both of these guys often....they were just awesome companions.
Drizzle was our first puppy after the passing of Ching and Diva. We waited about two months before looking for a new puppy and decided to look toward some of the top breeders in the region in hopes that we could avoid the kidney issues we ran into with Ching and Diva.
Looking at the websites I saw Drizzle....She was considered a "Breed Quality" puppy, however she was 4 months old and still hadn't gone to a home.
When I first saw Drizzle I loved how playful she was. She was basically playing Peek-a-Boo with me at the Kennel. She was just a bundle of energy and I knew we had to bring her home.
Given that she was already 4 months old at the time, it took a little while longer than normal for the attachment to take place and she has been a bit more "Aloof" than any of our other dogs. With that said, she has also been the quietest...but loves to guard the house now. She loves to play catch and chase balls....however, her big problem is she gets "Car Sick"!!!
She made it home just fine the first time...but we decided to take her to a race about 40 miles from our house. Five miles from home....chunks of dog food all over the back seat....Ugghh!!! After talking with the vet, he suggested some Dramamine for long trips so we gave her 1/2 a pill about an hour before leaving the 2nd time....She made it about 20 miles this time before blowing chunks. We are now working with her by taking her to the doggie park when it's nice out which is about a 5 mile trip. She usually makes it there just fine, but still has issues on the way back.
She is now 1.5 years old and about average size for a Shar Pei...just under 50 pounds and about 19" at the shoulder. Even though she is very "Aloof" we love her to death.
Ever since Ching, I have wanted a "Black" Shar Pei, so we kept our eyes out for one. One day while surfing web pages again...there he was, cute as could be and we had to have him.
As it turns out Louie is a Birthday dog for both my wife and I...He was born on my birthday and turned 8 weeks old (the day he could first come home) on my wife's birthday. He is a total "wrinkle bag" and has the biggest eyes ever! Right now I call him our "Little Pudge Ball"...LOL
Louie is what I've termed our "Sloth" dog...he has got to be the laziest dog I've ever owned, but at the same time one of the funniest. The things he does just cracks me up. He's already a big boy (35 pounds at 5 months) and is going to be a very big Shar Pei (I'm guessing 65 pounds or so). The only time he moves fast is when he's chasing Drizzle or chasing a ball. The rest of the time he looks like he struggles to move and wants us to pick him up to get on the couch, bed, anywhere that takes effort. He also follows us everywhere...so we have also named him our "Co-Dependent" dog :P
Currently, he wakes up, eats, plays for a short while...then sleeps all day and grows like 2" every time :P Then, he wakes up eats, plays a bit more and sleeps all night.
Basically we love our "Sloth" dog :D
Anyway....that's my tribute to my puppies/children....We love the breed and will likely always have a Shar Pei in the family now. They are just the perfect dogs for us. Hope you enjoyed reading about them and if anybody has any questions about the breed please feel free to send me an e-mail...I also have a link to the Shar Pei Club of America in my links section for more information.