BY HEATHER DUBIN | Missy is an Ori Pei, a Shar Pei / pug mix, and at seven months, she’s quite a handful.
“She’s all crazy because she’s little,” said Brett Ellison, her owner. “I don’t know how much that’ll go away.”
She explained that Shar Peis are known as Chinese wrestling dogs, and “they have a lot of playful instincts.”
And while the breed can also be “very aggressive,” she said, Missy “has more of the pug personality” — and yet, she still loves to wrestle.
“It’s all about wrestling,” Ellison said.
Photo by Claire Flack
Some think Missy looks a bit like a manatee.
“She provokes other dogs by biting their ears and runs away,” Ellison explained of Missy’s M.O. at the dog run. “She does it to me at home, too — she wants us to chase her.”
Ellison, who lives at Christopher and Bleecker Sts., and works for Fortress Investment Group, brings Missy to the Leroy St. dog run in Hudson River Park or the private-membership West Village Dog Owners Group (D.O.G.) run on Little W. 12th St. for at least an hour a day.
“She’s a devil child at home when she doesn’t get her exercise,” she deadpanned.
As Ellison explained, a Shar Pei is a rare breed and there are only two dogs per litter. Missy is well known in the neighborhood due to her distinctive appearance.
“People say she looks like an otter or a manatee,” Ellison said.
Ellison grew up with dogs, and has wanted one since she lost her last one — a poodle that lived until age 19.
“I gave in when I saw Missy,” she said.
She got her from a pet shop and considers that a form of liberation.
“She’s not a rescue dog, but I feel like you rescue them from a pet shop,” she said of the store-bought pooches. Ellison expressed concern about pet shop dogs that are not bought and continue to grow while still being kept in the store.
Missy loves grass, but Ellison likes her to steer clear of dirt.
“She’s white and it gets everywhere,” she said. “She likes Washington Square Park, but it’s too dirty there,” she added. The special surface at Washington Square’s new run leaves pooches’ paws a yellowish tan.
The Leroy St. dog run is a favorite for Missy, though Ellison is a member of the West Village D.O.G. run and is content to go there.
“All dogs have updated shots and you must clean up after your dog,” she said of the Little W. 12th St. run. “The Brass Monkey bar is next door, where you can get cocktails and go in the dog run.”
Missy is named after Miss Piggy because of her snorting, but it just as well might be because of her omnivorous appetite. Her favorite thing to eat is bananas.
However, Ellison joked, “I don’t think there’s anything she wouldn’t eat.”