Today, we say goodbye to a really ugly dog who was, in his way, not only beautiful but downright adorable.
Elwood, a Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix, became a star in 2007 when he won the championship of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California. Most would agree that the title was well-earned: Those who didn’t want to go so far as to call him ugly would at least admit that he was very strange looking. Elwood was almost completely hairless except for a white, mohawk-style strip on top of his head. He also had whiskers that stuck out at haphazard angles, and his tongue lolled out of one side of his mouth. His owner, Karen Quigley, said in 2007, “He just doesn’t have any teeth on the left side of his mouth, so there’s nothing to keep his tongue in there. It never goes in. It’s out all the time.”
According to Quigley’s Facebook page, Elwood died suddenly, at about 9:20 on Thanksgiving morning. He’d been having health problems for several months but had seemed to get better.
“I cannot even gather my thoughts and imagine life without him,” Quigley wrote on Facebook. “I need time to process what has happened. A love like this comes once in a lifetime, and, in my darkest moment on this Thanksgiving Day, I am so very thankful for the ‘Gift of Elwood’ for eight years.”
Elwood came very close to not having any of those eight years. He was almost euthanized after birth when his breeder decided that Elwood was too ugly for anyone to adopt. Instead of letting him be killed, a friend took Elwood in, and at nine months old, Quigley adopted him.
After winning the 2007 contest, Elwood developed a devoted following, who nicknamed him “Yoda” or “E.T.” (Naturally, either nickname shows a complete ignorance of 1980s science fiction on behalf of the fans; between his tuft of hair and his tongue, Elwood clearly resembled one of the gremlins from Joe Dante’s 1984 film.)
Although he got his fame for being ugly, Elwood’s devoted fandom seemed to see an unconventional beauty in him, one that’s not usually included in the standards of breeders and dog shows. Condolences to Ms. Quigley and Elwood’s many friends.
Via Chicago Tribune.
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