Last month we took a breather from reporting on our current political/humanitarian/environmental hellworld to talk about Zsa Zsa, the "World's Ugliest Dog" from Anoka, Minnesota. The 9-year-old rescue bulldog out-uglied 13 other pups at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California, earning the good-natured title, a cross-country press tour, and our eternal love.
Now for some devastating news: TODAY, the very program that showcased Zsa Zsa to the world two weeks ago, reports the hero dog died early Tuesday morning.
"I’m still in shock ..." Zsa Zsa's owner, Megan Brainard, tells TODAY. "She’s been staying over at my dad’s house. He woke up this morning and found her passed away."
On average, English bulldogs live between 8-10 years, according to the American Kennel Club, so Zsa Zsa enjoyed a full life. And the end of it was especially fantastic for the jagged-toothed, waggy-tongued charmer who was named after Hollywood icon Zsa Zsa Gabor.
"She knew she was special. She never really showed much excitement but yes, she was definitely living it up after she won," Brainard says of Zsa Zsa's post-victory attitude. "We take millions of pictures in my family, so now we have her face everywhere to remind us of her."
Now in its 30th year, the World's Ugliest Dog Contest is meant to raise money and awareness for rescue dogs like Zsa Zsa, who was discovered via PetFinder.com after spending five years in a Missouri puppy mill.
RIP Zsa Zsa. You were too beautiful for this world, and we know you're warming hearts up in Dog Heaven.