Zsa Zsa, the World’s Ugliest Dog, has become the world’s ugliest angel dog.
The beloved English bulldog, known for her pink-painted toenails and lolling side-swept tongue, passed away peacefully in her sleep early Tuesday morning. She was 9.
Zsa Zsa is survived by her owners, Megan and Jesse Brainard, and her human little sister, 15-month-old Mareslie.
She was laid to rest in a private service at her family home. “I picked Zsa Zsa up and took her outside and laid her down in the grass. We were all saying our goodbyes and Mareslie went right over and gave her a kiss. It was sweet. She was waving at her,” Megan Brainard told Today.
The winner of this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest had always been a fighter; Zsa Zsa spent her first five years of life in a puppy mill in Missouri before she was saved by the nonprofit Underdog Rescue. Soon after, the Brainards found her on PetFinder.com.
Brainard and Zsa Zsa drove for 30 hours from their home in Anoka, Minn., to compete in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif. There, she took home first prize: a trophy, $1,500 in prize winnings, and the hearts of dog lovers.
“She knew she was special. She never really showed much excitement, but yes, she was definitely living it up after she won,” her owner said.
The contest sounds more negative than it is — its purpose is to raise awareness of pet adoption and to show that all dogs are beautiful in their own way, and worthy of love. This year, it was obvious that no dog was more beautiful than Zsa Zsa.
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