The other day was Gatbsy’s 6th birthday! YAY!
I got Gatsby when I was 19 years old and mid-way through college. Looking back on it now, I can see how many ways having Gatsby matured me. I was always the type of person who would get really bogged down in my head with myself and my problems. It was virtually impossible for me to look at any situation and think that not everything was all about me – in my defense this isn’t terribly uncommon for the average teenager.
When I got Gatsby all of a sudden there was another living, breathing thing whose needs I had to take into account. It was a big wake-up call to me. Gatsby had no clue what kind of problems or frustrations I was dealing with. He wanted to be fed, watered, walked, and played with. It was really the first time in my life, I realized not everything was all about me and what I wanted.
I’ve talked a lot recently about Lyla – our other Shar Pei. If you haven’t heard about her, read her story here! Gatsby’s story is completely night and day different from Lylas. In fact, one of Gatsby’s nicknames is “the prince” because he is literally the most spoiled and loved dog ever. He has known nothing but tons of love and affection for all 6 of his years. In honor of his 6th birthday I thought I’d share some of the questions I am constantly asked about this little fluff ball.
17 Questions I Always Get Asked About Gatsby
Gatsby? Where did you get that name?
Ok I kid, I don’t get asked this all the time, but it has happened a handful of times. I respond by saying he’s named after the book. And there have been people that have responded “what book?”. To which I always want to ask them how they made it through high school without knowing what book I’m talking about.
Anyway, what I usually get asked is…
Why did you name him that?
Gatbsy is named after Jay Gatsby, the main character in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s book, The Great Gatsby. This is one of my all time favorite books, and I thought it would be a fun name for a dog. Plus I genuinely think he looks like a Gatsby.
I’m really into naming dogs after literary characters in general. Someday, I’m going to get a Corgi and name him Fitz. As in, short for Fitzgerald. Isn’t Fitz a great name for a short little stubby legged Corgi!? I think so!
What kind of breed is he?
Gatsby is a Chinese Shar Pei.
Are you sure? I’ve never seen a furry Shar Pei.
Gatsby is a Bear Coat Shar Pei. He’s pure breed, but the bear coat is a recessive gene that pops up every once in a while and makes them have super fluffy hair. A typical Shar Pei has short, kind of course hair that doesn’t grow, but Gatsby has super soft hair that grows like crazy.
Is he a Chow/Shar Pei mix?
Haha! no, but I get that a lot!
Are you sure he’s not a mix? Cause I swear that….
I’m positive. *walks away quickly*
Was he more expensive because the bear coat gene is rare?
Bear Coat Shar Peis are not recognized by the AKC and cannot be shown because it’s technically considered a genetic hiccup. For this reason, I actually got him on sale! He was half the price of his brothers and sisters — which is amazing because Shar Peis typically cost anywhere from $1,200 -$ 1,800(!!!)
Why did you get a Shar Pei?
I thought they were the cutest freaking things I’d ever seen. Literally that was the only reason why. Looks are definitely not how you should decide what kind of dog you get, but I was young and dumb. I got extremely lucky, because Gatsby’s temperament and personality is pretty perfect for me.
What did he look like as a puppy?
Oh. my. goodness. You have not lived until you’ve seen Shar Pei puppies. I mean, all puppies are cute, but Shar Pei puppies are on a whole other level. I first met Gatsby when he was 4 weeks old. I was 19 and my dad and I went to “just look”. Two minutes into our visit we were hooked and put a deposit down on Gats. Waiting 4 more weeks to bring him home was brutal! The picture below is 4 week old Gats. Heart be still!
You got him while you were in college? Did he live with you the entire time?
Yep, he did! We lived one year in a rickey old college house with 2 roommates, and one year in a second floor apartment with 2 other roommates.
Was having a dog in college tough?
Yes, Definitely. In fact, I wrote about it here.
You seem to move a lot. What do you do with him?
When we moved to Arizona for 8 weeks, he came with. When we moved to North Carolina for 8 weeks, he came with. If we move, he comes with. Always. He comes with everywhere we go. Honestly, with the life my husband and I live, and with how much we move it’s important for a place to feel like home whether we’re there for 8 weeks or 7 months, and no place feels like home to me without Gatsby. He has lived in 8 different US states, and a dozen different cities with us. He’s even road tripped with me across the country several times, both to the east coast and the west coast.
Does he fetch?
Absolutely not. Literally at all. He has zero interest in it, but he loves him some rawhide chewing!
Are Shar Peis easy dogs to have?
Mehh, not really to be honest. Shar Peis are kind of injury prone and Gatsby has been no exception. Shar Pei’s are prone to ear infections, eye infections, skin infections, allergies, and a little thing called Shar Pei fever (which is deadly!). Gatsby has had all of these things, except the Shar Pei fever. Not to mention during my senior year in college Gatsby was attacked by another dog at the dog park. The result was $1,500 worth of vet bills and included emergency surgery and 47(!) staples to put the little guy back together again.
Does he swim?
Gatsby hates water. Like he hates it so much, I have to drag him outside to go to the bathroom when it’s raining out.
Oh my gosh, he looks like a teddy bear! does he like to cuddle?!
Sadly, he is not a cuddler at all. He’s very loyal and loves being pet and loved on, but the moment I try to cuddle him he trots away.
He’s so cute can I take his picture and send it to my mom, grandma, wife, sister, cousin, boyfriend, husband, neighbor, second-cousin twice removed….(just fill in the blank with any and every person can think of).
Sure, go ahead. If you’re really a fan you can even follow him on Instagram!