The PJ Tatler

Is This the World's Ugliest Dog?

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A deformed, mixed breed dog named Quasi Modo has won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, at a pageant held every year in Petaluma, CA.

Quasi was born with a short spine and other defects, but her owner says she’s a healthy, happy pooch.

Huffpo:

This wasn’t Quasi’s first rodeo. Last year, the spunky Florida pup won second place, losing out to small, wild-eyed dog named Peanut.

Quasi’s pageant bio says that despite the multiple birth defects that contribute to her odd appearance, she is a happy dog who loves to run and play. She also works as an “ambassador for teaching people about acceptance and tolerance for things that are different,” according to the bio.

Veterinarian Virginia Sayre and her husband, Mike Carroll, adopted Quasi from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control about nine years ago, according to a Palm Beach County press release.

The lovable dog “gets along well with everybody,” but sometimes other people are alarmed by her appearance, Sayre told The Palm Beach Post last year.

“People who love dogs get her, but I’ve had grown men jump on top of a truck to get away from her. They don’t know what to make of her,” Sayre said.

After taking a look at Peanut on the next page — the dog that Quasi lost out to in last year’s contest — you might wonder how this Chihuahua-Shitzu mix ever lost the crown of “World’s Ugliest Dog.”

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I don’t think Quasi is all that ugly, although his appearance is different. All dogs can be beautiful if they have the right disposition and personality. I think Dobermans are gorgeous animals but wouldn’t want to put my hand too close to their jaws. (Yes, I know that Dobermans can be warm and loving — as long as they know you. Strangers are another matter.)

I genuinely do not prefer small dogs, so I can see where a lot of people would think that Peanut is ugly. But his human companion seems pleased enough with him. Who are we to say different?

I used to volunteer at a no-kill shelter a couple of days a month, largely caring for cats. But many of the dogs that lived there were afflicted with birth defects and were simply non-adoptable. To watch other volunteers care for and love these homely mutts who returned the love eagerly and unconditionally  taught me a valuable lesson. There’s more to life than beauty if you look hard enough.