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Mr Happy Face wins hearts after being named World’s Ugliest Dog

AFP, June 28, 2022 6:30PM Kids News

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17-year-old Chinese crested Mr Happy Face has been crowned the World's Ugliest Dog at the annual contest in California in the US on June 24. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP media_camera17-year-old Chinese crested Mr Happy Face has been crowned the World's Ugliest Dog at the annual contest in California in the US on June 24. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP

animals

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With a tuft* of punk-style hair and a tongue sticking permanently out the side of his mouth, a dog named Mr Happy Face has been crowned the globe’s ugliest pooch.

The 17-year-old Chinese crested* defeated nine other competitors in the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, a decades-old event held annually in California in the US.

The champ was adopted as a rescue dog last year by 41-year-old Arizona musician Jeneda Benally.

World's Ugliest Dog Competition media_cameraWorld’s Ugliest Dog champion Mr Happy Face was adopted as a rescue last year by Jeneda Benally. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP

“During the pandemic, I had hoped to either have a baby or adopt a dog … I opted to adopt a dog,” Ms Benally said as she introduced Mr Happy Face at the contest on June 24.

Ms Benally said when she went to the shelter she was told about an older dog with health problems, a creature that “could be inbred* because he was so ugly.”

World's Ugliest Dog Competition media_cameraMr. Happy Face takes a break before strutting his stuff at the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP

“The shelter staff tried to prepare me for what I was about to see,” the proud owner said. “I saw a creature who was indeed old, needed a second chance and deserved to be loved.”

She said Mr Happy Face had previously lived in terrible conditions with a person who hoarded*.

World's Ugliest Dog Competition media_cameraOwner Jeneda Benally said Mr Happy Face had previously lived in terrible conditions and was saved from a hoarder’s house. Picture: Josh Edelson/AFP

“He was a survivor of abuse and neglect,” Ms Benally said, adding that vets had warned her the dog might only live a few more weeks because of his poor health.

“Love, kindness and mummy kisses have helped him defy* the anticipated short life that we all expected him to have with our family,” she said.

“His hobbies include sleeping, snoring, woofing in his sleep and making odd sounds when he is happy.”

World's Ugliest Dog Competition media_cameraIs there a face somewhere in there? Judges react to fellow competitor Wild Thang taking to the stage during the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, which organisers called a celebration of imperfections. Pictures: Josh Edelson/AFP

Organisers said the contest was designed to celebrate “imperfections” and the unconditional* love of our four-legged friends.

“Dogs of all breeds and sizes have warmed our hearts and filled our lives with unconditional love,” they said. “This world-renowned* event celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique.”

GLOSSARY

  • tuft: bunch or cluster of something like hair or grass, growing close together
  • Chinese crested: small Chinese breed with slim legs and hair often only on feet, head and tail
  • inbred: born from or produced by animals, plants, or people that are closely related
  • hoarded: unable to stop collecting a large amount of one thing or many things
  • defy: not behaving in the expected way
  • unconditional: complete, unlimited, not demanding anything in return
  • renowned: famous, highly regarded, known for something good

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. What kind of dog is Mr Happy Face?
  2. How many other dogs was he competing against?
  3. What are some of Mr Happy Face’s hobbies?
  4. What did Mr Happy Face’s previous owner do that was harmful to his living conditions?
  5. How long did vets expect Mr Happy Face to live before he was rescued by Ms Benally?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. World’s ugliest pooch
Is this a competition you would like your pet to win?

If animals had feelings, do you think they’d be offended by winning this title?

Is being ugly a reason to not be loved and cared for?

What does it tell you about this dog’s owner, who rescued it from a homeless animal shelter?

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and Social; Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
What are the advantages and disadvantages of winning this competition for Mr Happy Face?

Time: allow 10 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and Social; Critical and Creative Thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Beautiful ugly
What an odd competition. Would you enter your beloved pet in the ugliest pet competition? How do you think Mr Happy Face feels about being labelled World’s Ugliest Dog?

Remember that his owner and the organisers are saying that Mr Happy Face and the other dogs are beautiful in their own way.

Create a new description of the competition for next year’s advertising campaign. How would you pitch it to pet owners to get them to enter?

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