A New Jersey canine that was crowned the world’s ugliest dog in 2007 and later became the topic of a children’s book about acceptance has died. Elwood was eight.
His owner, Karen Quigley, says the Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix died unexpectedly Thursday morning. Elwood was dark-colored and hairless save for a puff of white fur on his head. He won his crown at the annual “ugly dog contest” at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in California a year after he had finished second.
Quigley had rescued Elwood in 2005, when he was about nine months old.
“The breeder was going to euthanize him because she thought he was too ugly to sell,” Quigley has said.
After garnering the ugly dog title, Elwood developed a worldwide fan base. He appeared at more than 200 events that helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for animal rescue groups.
Inspired by her pet, Quigley wrote a children’s book promoting a message that it’s okay to be different. Quigley said the book shares lessons of compassion and perseverance.
“He made people smile; he made them laugh and feel good,” Quigley said Saturday.