In the mid 1980s, Wrinkles the talking dog puppets hit the toy scene. They were in the same vein as cabbage patch kids in that no two were supposed to be alike and you “adopted” them, but Wrinkles, unlike the Cabbage Patch DOLL was a Puppet. For many of us, who were into puppets as kids, this made Wrinkles so much better and I am proud to say I was a Wrinkles owner. Although my Mother, who had to put up with my constant impromptu puppet shows starring Wrinkles, probably regretted buying him for me.
My family own mutts most of the time and our mutts did not like these shar peis, especially Wrinkles. One day I found him torn to pieces behind the sofa where one of the smaller dogs liked to sleep. I was very mad at the dog, but recently I am reconsidering how Wrinkles met his demise. I think it was a frame-job. I think my Mother couldn’t stand the puppet shows anymore and had ol’ Wrinkles rubbed out. If only I could prove it and bring the real killer of Wrinkles to justice, it would allow his wife Puffy Squirrel to finally have the closure she deserves.
I am not sure if Wrinkles had anything to do with the rise in Shar Pei popularity in my hometown, but around this same time it seemed like every well-heeled person within a 6 block radius was getting one. I was fascinated by this quiet and seemingly stand-offish dogs. “Was it true that you paid by the wrinkle”, was what I asked any owner who would listen. Half said yes, the other half said no. So I still have no idea if that is a true thing (and part of me does not want to know). Rather I like to picture the breeders counting up their puppy wrinkles with dollar signs in their eyes.