Since the internet fueled an obsession with these , 13-year-old Nike gets a lot of attention.
But Yang got Nike before they were cool.
“I went to the pet store, and I was going to get a husky,” he said.
But instead of falling in love with a husky, he fell in love with Nike’s laid-back attitude.
“He was just lying there, not giving a shit about anything,” he said. “I was like, ‘I want this dog.’”
First on Nike’s list of admirable qualities, though, is that he’s a world traveler. Yang got Nike at a pet store in Taiwan before he moved to the United States.
“I moved here like, 10 or 11 years ago,” Yang said. “Then he stayed in Taiwan for a year-and-a-half longer than me. Then he moved over here with my brother.”
Nike’s also basically famous.
“Someone posted a picture of me and Nike on Overheard (at UNC) this one time,” Yang said.
A student on Facebook had snapped a photo of the two on a walk and captioned it, “Much Carolina.”
“It got like, 3,000 likes,” Yang said, proudly.
Shiba inus are the that are also often pictured
Yang said Nike gets a lot of Doge comments. He doesn’t mind them though.
“Most people, they get excited about seeing Nike because they’ve seen the Doge meme,” Yang said. “They’re like, ‘Ah, Doge.’”
Nike is vocal when hungry.
“He doesn’t really bark-bark at dogs or at people or anything,” Yang said. “He speaks.”
And, to add to his many qualities, Nike’s adventurous. But it can get him in trouble.
“He actually ran away for three months when I was a kid,” Yang said. “The dog pound found him with a litter of puppies, and a bunch of other dogs.”
Now, Nike’s micro-chipped. But his wild streak continues.
“He always runs away when he’s not on a leash,” Yang said.
Yang also said having a dog in college can be difficult.
“Sometimes you have to stay late on campus, a lot, and so my roommates help me feed Nike, and walk Nike sometimes,” he said.
Alex Simpson, Yang’s roommate, said he enjoys having Nike around.
“He’s a good dog. He’s a piece of work sometimes, but he’s a good dog,” he said.
Simpson said Nike’s incredibly loyal to Yang, so Nike doesn’t bother him at all.
“He’s apathetic towards us. Zen’s really the only person he listens to,” he said. “It could be the language barrier.”
And that’s another check for Nike’s coolness: He knows a different language.
“He speaks Chinese,” Yang said. “The commands I train him in are in Chinese.”
“Do you think he’d have trouble communicating with English dogs?” asked Vikram Sethuraman, Yang’s other roommate.
“Dogs aren’t just cute companions,” Yang said. “They’re comfort, and they’re support.
“Dogs, they make people happier,” Yang said.