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 For privacy, she asked that her address not be published.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.