Scooter, a 7-year-old Chinese Crested dog, defies conventional beauty standards with his peculiar appearance. With reversed hind legs and nearly bald skin except for a few white wispy hairs, Scooter captured the hearts of judges at the “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest held in Petaluma, Calif., and emerged as the grand prize winner on Friday.
While Scooter may exhibit a drooping, pink tongue, the contest’s title is intended to be lighthearted and whimsical. This event, which has been running for almost 50 years, aims to showcase the unique beauty found in imperfections and advocate for adoption, emphasizing that all dogs possess a special charm.
NBC host Gadi Schwartz, one of the competition’s judges, expressed his sentiment, stating, “From the moment he sits with his hairless little booty and backward legs on your lap, you can feel his warm and huggable power to redefine the meaning of ‘ugly'” in an interview with Today. Another judge, Catherine Liang, described Scooter in a delightful manner, comparing him to a hairy hippopotamus.
Despite his now-celebrated peculiarities, Scooter’s life wasn’t always secure due to his deformity. Born with two deformed hind legs that impeded his mobility, Scooter faced the possibility of euthanasia. However, a volunteer from the Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) rescue group intervened when a breeder brought him to animal control in Tuscon, Ariz., and recognized his potential for a good home and a relatively normal life with their support, according to his biography on the contest’s website.
Linda Elmquist, who adopted Scooter seven months ago from a man associated with the rescue group, shared that he now possesses a new cart that aids his mobility. With this assistance, he can swiftly maneuver through the park alongside other dogs and eagerly welcomes interactions with people.
In a remarkable display of resilience, Scooter has adapted to his circumstances and can even walk on his two front legs when the wheels of his cart are removed—a skill that sets him apart from most dogs.
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Despite not conforming to traditional notions of beauty, Scooter’s victory in the contest serves as a reminder that true beauty lies in embracing our uniqueness and advocating for the well-being and adoption of all dogs.