“Even old dogs need love and a family, too.”
A new winner has been announced in the World’s Ugliest Dog competition. Mr. Happy Face, a 17-year-old rescue, won the title and bragging — or barking — rights, and his mother couldn’t be happier.
The contest, which is held at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center in Petaluma, California, “celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique,” according to the official website. The majority of the contestants, including Mr. Happy Face, were rescue dogs.
Jeneda Benally and her beloved senior dog won $1,500 and a trip to New York City to appear on the Today Show, while Wild Thang, a Pekingese, took second place.
In August 2021, the hairless Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix was rescued from an Arizona shelter. Benally was told he was a “old dog” who wouldn’t live much longer than a month. Many people were hesitant to adopt the adorable puppy because of a lifelong need for medications to treat various tumors and conditions.
“He was the happiest creature I had ever met when I first met him.” He hobbled up to me and selected me “Benally revealed this to the Today Show. “I vowed that day that he would be so loved that he would forget about his previous life.”
The proud dog mom hopes that her senior rescue will inspire others to look beyond age or physical limitations.
“I believe this humble soul is also serving as a subtle example to help humans realize that even old dogs require love and a family,” Benally said. “Love, kindness, and mommy kisses have helped him defy the expected short life he would have with our family.”
Mr. Happy Face will return to doing what he does best after finishing his media appearances: playing with his four-legged siblings, eating stinky things, cuddling with his mom, and making the most of every day.