The annual competition to search for the World’s Ugliest Dog has just crowned a new winner. The dog who has won the title and bragging (well, barking in this case) rights, is a 17 year old rescue named Mr. Happy Face, and this has made is momma extremely proud.
The competition is held at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds and Event Center in Petaluma, California, and according to their website, the contest “celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique.” Many contestants, like Mr. Happy Face, were rescue dogs. While a Pekingese named Wild Thang took home second place, Mr. Happy Face and his owner musician Jeneda Benally won the grand prize of $1,500 and a trip to New York City to appear on the Today Show. Mr. Happy Face is a hairless Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix and was rescued from a shelter in Arizona back in 2021.
When Benally went to adopt, she was told that he was an “old dog” who had issues, and that he wouldn’t live more than a month. Nobody wanted to adopt the loveable pup due to the fact that he needed lifelong medications to treat the multiple tumors he had and other conditions. In the interview with the Today Show, the woman had this to say: “When I first met him, he was the happiest creature that I had ever met. He hobbled up to me and chose me. I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been.”
Benally is so proud of her dog, and loves him, and hopes and prays that her rescue dog inspires others to look past the age or the physical limitations, and hopefully people will start adopting senior rescues. Benally also had this to say: “I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family, too. Love, kindness and mommy kisses have helped him defy the anticipated short life that we all expected him to have with our family.”
Once this senior rescue, Mr. Happy Face is done with all the media appearances, he will go back to doing what he does best, and what he loves, which is, eating stinky things, playing with his four legged siblings and cuddling with his mom. He will also make the most of each and every day.