Somebody deserves a round of a-paws!
A new pooch has been crowned "World's Ugliest Dog."
Scooter, a 7-year-old hairless Chinese Crested owned by Linda Celeste Elmquist, was honored with the top prize at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
Scooter's story is one of resilience.
He was born with deformities, as his back legs and joints are backward. His life got off to a heart-wrenching start when his breeder brought him to an animal control facility to be euthanized. Luckily, the young pup was saved by the Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) rescue group, of which Elmquist was a member, according to NBC's Today Show.
A man in the group first adopted Scooter and kept him for about seven years. Elmquist still had a bond with Scooter during that time, as she had checked on him and taken him to medical appointments. When the man was no longer able to care for Scooter, Elmquist adopted him.
Scooter has been walking on his two front legs since he was just a pup, and tires easily. He'll lean on his back legs like a tripod when he needs a rest. He recently got a cart, and after an adjustment period, it's helped Scooter move faster and sniff his surroundings, which he wasn't able to do much of before.
But Scooter's disabilities don't define him. He has a zest for life and an unwavering determination to navigate obstacles as he takes on stones, curbs and steps. He's "blissfully unaware of any perceived differences from other dogs," Sonoma-Marin Fair said in a press release.
Elmquist said she is immensely proud and overjoyed for Scooter's win.
"Despite the challenges he has faced with his deformed hind legs, Scooter has defied all odds and shown us the true meaning of resilience and determination," she said. "He has become an inspiration to countless people around the world."
The World's Ugliest Dog Contest has been around for nearly 50 years. It helps highlight the importance of adoption and serves to celebrate dogs of all kinds, and the imperfections that make them special.
Trending stories at Scrippsnews.com