At first, she thought it looked like a mythical creature.
Actually, it was just a breed of dog known for winning ugliest dog competitions–over, and over, and over.
Monique Myers, a general studies student and clerk at the Library, wrote in to My Pet & Me to tell about Frankenstein and Oliver, her family’s Chinese Cresteds:
* * *
During my ex-husband’s second deployment, I told my then 3-year-old daughter she could pick out a puppy. She was having a hard time with the deployment.
Monique Myers with Frankie, at left, and Oliver, both Chinese Cresteds. She also has a cat, Fleo, and her two children each have a beta fish.
We were watching “Dogs 101” on Animal Planet one evening when she got very excited and said, “That’s the one I want!” They were talking about Chinese Cresteds, most infamous for being winners of the ugliest dog competitions. She wanted one because she believed they looked like unicorns. (I do have to admit, they look like little ponies prancing around.)
I started doing my research, and I joined a Chinese Crested forum online. They barely have any hair to groom, but you have to take care of their skin, including putting on sunscreen in the summer.
I found a breeder who had one puppy left. We went to meet the dog, and it was love at first sight for my daughter. She decided to name her little unicorn Frankenstein (he also answers to Frankie), and he is now 6 years old.
About three years ago, someone contacted me about a Chinese Crested that needed help in Indianapolis. His name was Oliver, and he was estimated to be about 6 years old and used as a backyard breeder. We think he had never left his cage: His skin and teeth were terrible (Chinese Cresteds are known to have bad dental problems), and his toenails were severely overgrown. I thought I would foster him and help him through his separation anxiety and health problems. He has eventually turned into a foster failure–we kept him. Frankie has taught Oliver to build confidence over the years, and this last year he has learned to play. It was a really amazing thing to witness.
Gideon, Monique’s son, 6, with Frankie
The Chinese Crested breed is a breed unique from any I have come across. I love how intelligent and playful they are. While they don’t need a lot of exercise, they have little bursts of energy where they will zoom around the house or spin in circles before wanting to cuddle again. No shedding is a major plus! This breed is exceptionally loving and likes to hug and smile. Being hairless, they do tan in the summer and get pale in the winter. Frankenstein looks like a totally different dog: In the winter his skin is very pale, almost white. In the summer, he gets very dark and eventually looks almost black. He also has spots that start to pop out during the summer. I know people look at them and think that they are ugly, but I am very glad that my daughter picked this breed for us to get to know.
Do you have a pet you’d like to have featured on My Pet & Me? Email a photo of you and your pet to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and major (for students) or title (for employees); be sure to include your pet’s breed and name. You may appear in a future post on Green Light!