Elwood, a dog so homely and lovable that he was crowned world’s ugliest dog and had a book written about him, has died.
Elwood’s owner, Karen Quigley of Sewell, N.J., said he died unexpectedly on Thanksgiving morning. The pooch was 8 years old.
The chihuahua and Chinese crested mix initially was deemed by his breeder to be so “ugly” he was nearly put down, according to Quigley’s website.
However Elwood’s distinctive looks, hairless except for a tuft on his head and a tongue that was permanently out on one side, became an asset when he won his crown at the 2007 ugly dog contest at the Marin-Sonoma County Fair in California a year after he had finished second.
After his win Elwood quickly gained fans, who called him Yoda or E.T., and was even the main character in a children’s book called “Everyone Loves Elwood.”
In early 2013 Quigely said she would “retire” Elwood from public events.
“When this ‘angel’ boy came into my life, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of homeless and abused animals everywhere,” wrote Quigley. “Elwood has traveled extensively… appearing at over 200 events raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for innumerable rescue groups and non-profit animal organizations.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.