Initiative: Rescued Bestie Feature, in collaboration with The 13 Project
Featured Canine: Brady, 9 y/o Shar-pei
Rescue Facilitator: North American Shar-pei Rescue
When most people think of a Shar-pei, a blocky, hippo-faced, pig-eared critter with a bristly coat comes to mind... At least that's what present-day breed standards would have us imagine; a neat/lean build, athleticism, and affectionate attitude would not be appropriate associations... until you meet Brady.
A purebred Shar-pei, this jaunty little sweetheart has some of those popularly "correct" SP characteristics, but an AKC specimen he is not* (I've always thought he could easily pass for a creature from Harry Potter's Magical Managerie... he's just that curious in appearance). It was speculated that he found himself on the doorstep of a shelter precisely because of his unconventional looks (the victim of a breeder who would rather abandon a puppy than admit that he/she had bred something so far from the standard), but his exact history wasn't of concern to the couple in Massachusetts who saw his striking mug on the North American Shar-pei Rescue (NASR) website, and immediately fell in love...
*Coincidentally, Brady looks very similar to old-world, "traditional" Chinese Shar-peis - also known as 'bone-mouth' Shar-peis (a not-so-odd nick-name when considering the moniker of today's exaggerated-type, modern predecessor: the 'meat-mouth'...).
As purebred rescues often do, NASR originally scooped Brady up from a high-kill shelter in Anderson County, South Carolina, and placed him in foster care. I'm told that the shelter he was originally abandoned at euthanizes more dogs in one month than the entire state of Massachusetts does in a year... a staggering, but sadly not uncommon statistic when comparing the state of homeless pets in MA to that in more southerly states. Thankfully, unconventional as he may be, he was still distinctive enough to catch the eye of his breed rescue, and at 6 m/o, Brady was posted to the rescue's Petfinder listing, where he quickly found his forever home with Steve and Andra.
Steve and Andra's previous dog had been a beloved Shar-pei, so they were already familiar with, and quite fond of, the unique quirks of this ancient, Asian breed. When it came time to seek out a new pup, they had a Shar-pei type in mind (thus making them perfect candidates for breed rescue). Lucky for them, there appeared sweet Brady - a perfect match...