Scruffy Wins the Superhero Illustration Contest — Then Gives the Title to Lumpy!

Lumpy the Bulldog overcame odds so great that Scruffy's mom wanted him to be recognized.

Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA  |  Dec 2nd 2013

The generosity of the Dogster dog-loving community never ceases to amaze us! Our Superhero Dog contest was a huge success — so big that we asked you to help us choose from the top five. You did, and you voted like mad.

For most of that time, a cute dog named Scruffy held the lead. In fact, Scruffy won with 1,528 votes. A certain rescue Bulldog named Lumpy hovered near the bottom at first, but slowly made his way up into second place with 1,003 votes.

Many of those commenting on the contest wished that Lumpy would win. He had a hard-luck story before being rescued by his adopter, Trish Brumfield of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Here’s his “before” photo:

Lumpy came from Trish’s local animal control, where he landed in a kill shelter.

“Lumpy came in on my birthday 10 and a half years ago on my birthday,” she wrote. “He was about six months old. The animal control officer who picked him up wanted to euthanize him but the vet and I would not let him do that. I took Lumpy home when his six-day hold was up.”

Poor Lumpy was almost completely naked from demodectic mange. He was malnourished and had a secondary staph infection, cherry eyes, and food allergies. The dermatologists at the LSU Vet School think he was used as a bait dog.

“It took me a year working with the dermatologists to get him healthy. He had to have four root canals from chewing and pulling the bars out of several metal kennels,” Trish says. His stamina and love of life inspired her to become even more active in rescue, and she has saved many cats and dogs in her hometown.

Here’s Lumpy after Trish’s TLC:

Scruffy is also a rescue dog. And his mom, Barbara Ludt of Easton, Washington, has a big, big heart. She voted for Lumpy … a lot. And when her Scruffy won the contest, she contacted us and asked if she could turn over the win to Lumpy.

And here’s Lumpy as the superhero he is, drawn by Jeff Hebert:

Scruffy, like her new friend Lumpy, is also a rescue dog. Scruffy is a Shih-Tzu mix. He and his sire were surrendered to Barbara’s rescue in January 2008.

“They were what a local backyard breeder of small dogs considered ‘surplus,’” she told me. “He was only a few months old and very timid. He was eventually adopted locally by a gal who fell in love with his ‘cuteness’ and she already had three Shih-Tzus. Unfortunately, once Scruffy matured, he started fighting with the other dogs, and fights broke out that were so severe that a disabled member of the household was injured.”

So, Scruffy was returned to her shelter after about a year away — and turned out to be the perfect little guy with all Barbara’s other little dogs, so rather than traumatize him with another re-homing in his young life, “we decided he’d fit in just fine here. And he has!”

Scruffy particularly loves running and playing in the snow in the winter with his housemates.

All of the dogs entered in the contest are superheros to their owners. We think that these two rescuers are extra special superhero humans as well!

About Annie Phenix: Positive-reinforcement dog trainer and author Annie Phenix never met a mountain she did not love. This explains why she lives in Durango, Colorado, where she’s surrounded by mountains, and why she is always smiling. She delights in the snowy season here, as do her five dogs, two horses, and six adorably cute donkeys.

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