World’s Ugliest Dog

23 06 2008

Okay, I took this from the St. Petersburg Times. This wonderful pup hails from my hometown, St. Petersburg, Florida. Thought I’d share! Enjoy!

Meet Gus of St. Petersburg, the World’s Ugliest Dog

By Demorris A. Lee, Times Staff Writer
In print: Monday, June 23, 2008
Gus, who lives in St. Petersburg, is the 2008 World’s Ugliest Dog. He took top honors Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif.

“He’s been with us for so long that he’s just Gus,” Jeanenne Teed of St. Petersburg says of her ugly but sweet champion.

It’s official. On the outside, Gus of St. Petersburg is the world’s ugliest dog.

On the inside, though, what a beauty.

Gus is a hairless 9-year-old Chinese crested, owned by Jeanenne Teed and her 16-year-old daughter, Janey.

Gus won the 20th annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest, held Friday at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in Petaluma, Calf.

Life hasn’t been easy for Gus. He lost a leg to cancer and an eye to a cat. But he has grit.

“He’s been with us for so long that he’s just Gus,” Teed said Sunday by telephone as she waited in a New York airport to return to St. Petersburg. For privacy, she asked that her address not be published.

“It’s no denying that the eye is missing and the leg is missing, and judging from people’s reaction, they don’t always think he’s as beautiful as I do,” she said.

Winning the title of World’s Ugliest was no day at the park. Only one other Florida dog has come this far — another Chinese crested named Lucille Bald from Merritt Island in 2006.

Gus first won the title for the ugliest pedigree. Then he had to face a mutt in a showdown to be the 2008 Ugliest Dog. Collaring that title, Gus entered the Ring of Champions, where he was pitted against previous World Ugliest Dog winners. He won that, too.

Gus and his family walked away with $1,600, a trophy and a direct flight to New York, where he appeared Sunday morning on NBC’s Today. In addition, a camera crew from Animal Planet filmed the contest and will include each dog’s personal story in an October broadcast.

“The whole thing is unbelievable,” said Teed, who heard about the contest while sitting on a couch with Gus watching Animal Planet and eating popcorn. “We really had no clue we were going to win.”

Vicki DeArmon, of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, said the contest’s popularity is “just off the chart. … What started as a little Podunk contest with a couple of local dogs is now this national event with international attention.”

When he was born, Gus didn’t have the look his breeder wanted, so Gus was given away. For a year, that owner kept him in a crate in a garage. Teed then got him.

In 2006, Gus was diagnosed with skin cancer and given nine months to live. After surgery, chemotherapy and losing his left rear leg, things appeared fine.

Then, in December, Gus got into a fight with a cat and lost his left eye.

In January, the cancer returned. “The only hope is radiation,” Teed said. The $1,600 will go toward the $5,000 that’s needed for radiation treatments, she said.

Regardless of his looks, Gus has a family who loves him.

“When I look into his eye, I see the love reflecting back at us,” Teed said.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Demorris A. Lee can be reached at (727) 445-4174 or

Day One – The Embarkation

22 06 2008

I’m posting only a few of my more favorite photos here, but it you want to see more, go to my Photos page. No story part there, just the photos and captions.

Getting on the ship was amazingly simpler than I thought it was going to be. Carnival had told me not arrive earlier than 12:30, due to the fact that boarding wouldn’t begin until 1pm. Well, me being hard headed to be one of the first ones on the ship, I didn’t let that stop me, and got there around 11:30am.

So I anticipated having to wait a while.

Not so! I was ushered to the VIP line, brought to the head of the security line (where there were already about 70 people in line to check-in), given my keys and escorted onto the ship.

Okay, so maybe I need to backup here. Just FYI – I had a penthouse suite onboard ship, and going first-class ALWAYS has benefits. Like check-in procedures, amenities in the stateroom, dining privileges, and more….

While other people had to wait to get into their staterooms, my steward met me at the gangway, carried my bags to the stateroom, and told me to let him know if there was anything else I needed. After unpacking for a few minutes, I went downstairs to get something to drink, and I almost started laughing at some of the people coming aboard. Some of these families were carrying massive suitcases, 3-4 a person. Me, I only brought 3 bags. One for my clothes (and that thing rolled…) my purse, and the bag that had my laptop and camera stuff in it. So not too much stuff. But then again, this wasn’t my first cruise. I know what I’ll wear and what I need, so I don’t need to pack much for a 7-day cruise.

I started my adventure by exploring the ship. Up and Down, bow to stern, port to starboard. Interesting ship. Gaudy interior. The name was the Carnival Legend, and the entire ship is based off of legends of the English, Greek, Italian, Norse and Chinese. Mostly English and Greek though… Loads of King Arthur stuff. Not tastefully done, either. It was like something out of the 80’s, where more can be too much! Carnival was definitely trying to impress, and missed the mark by a mile! Look at the gallery and you’ll find some photos of the inside… Okay, so they overdid it. Nice idea, but this was definitely an instance where less would have been more.

I had a nice view of the Port of Tampa while people were boarding. Interesting to see the tops of the buildings that you usually go in!

Channelside District

Tampa Shipyard

Anyways, around 5pm we undocked and headed out through Tampa Bay to head into the Gulf. Almost 2 hours later, those of us on the top deck had quite a sight. The Sunshine Skyway bridge. And the ship cleared it by 5 feet. Yep. Not a typo. 5 feet! But as we watched, it was definitely worrying us that we weren’t going to clear it. As we approached the Skyway, it was raining a bit, but after we cleared it, it was beautiful weather, and we even got a surprise! A rainbow that looked like it was ending on the apex of the bridge!

Coming to the Skyway…

Going under the Skyway….

No zoom here… Just the belly of the Skyway!

Leaving Tampa Bay

Afterwards, as the sun was setting, I made my way down to the dining room and had a wonderful prime rib for supper, followed by a vanilla creme brulee for dessert. Wonderful food! Hopefully it was going to be like that all week!

I hit the casino for a bit afterwards, looking at the games and trying out the craps table. Didn’t win much there, but I didn’t put all my money in at once. I’m not one that has a gambling problem. I take a certain amount that I’m willing to lose, and I stick with it. Yes, it’s tempting to dive into the other money I have for the trip, but I just don’t do it. For this cruise, I brought along $250 for the casino. Usually I bring a little more, but I was feeling rather stingy on this front this time around. So night #1 I put down $50 and walked away with $10. Not a good night. So I headed back up to my room, got ready for bed, and took my book out on my balcony to read for a while, as the moon came up and reflected off the gulf waters. So, off to bed for a busy day tomorrow!

The Brainiac is BACK!!!

16 06 2008

Okay – back from the cruise, so keep an eye out for pictures later this week.  I have to do some adjusting on the underwater pictures because of light issues.

The cruise was nice!  Especially the craps table….  I did really well there.  More details on the cruise to come.  I’ll be posting a new port every day as I recap the whole cruise.

Right now – I’m off to take a nap!  You’re gone a week and the whole world thinks you’ve been gone all year! (I guess that’s a good thing…)

Anchors Aweigh….

7 06 2008

Okay, the Brainiac is officially going on vacation!  I’m off to the Caribbean tomorrow, so you won’t see another post until after the 15th!  It’s a working vacation for me, as I’m building up my stock portfolio, but I’ll get to have some fun while I’m at it!

See ya in a week!      🙂

And some really big THANKS!!! :)

4 06 2008

I must say…. there are an awful lot of people out there that have waaayyy too much time on their hands!   😉

Thanks to all of my readers out there!  We officially had a 2,000 people day!  2,000 people had nothing better to do with their time than to come read my blog…..  Just kidding!  Hopefully I’m providing not only some humor to brighten your lives, but also some wonderful, useless tidbits to get those brains cranking!

So….that means that month-to-date, we have had 2,001 people read the blog….  Kidding again!  We’ve actually had almost 4,000 people read the blog just in the 4 days of June!  Whoo-Hoo!  Let’s keep those readers coming!

Another funny…

2 06 2008

Did you hear about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac?  He stayed awake at night wondering if there was a dog.

City Folk….

1 06 2008

Well, this is proof that city people just don’t have a clue sometimes….