Owner 'Devastated' Over Death of 'World's Ugliest Dog'

Zsa Zsa of Anoka, Minn., passed away in her sleep Tuesday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2018 6:08 AM CDT
Just Weeks After Her Win, 'World's Ugliest Dog' Dies
Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog owned by Megan Brainard, is shown after being announced the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., on June 23, 2018.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

With her lolling tongue and sad eyes, Zsa Zsa took home the top prize at the world's ugliest dog competition in California last month. It was a short-lived title: Her owner, Megan Brainard, says the 9-year-old English bulldog died in her sleep Tuesday morning, the Star Tribune reports. "She's been staying over at my dad's house. He woke up this morning and found her passed away," Brainard, of Anoka, Minn., tells Today. Brainard, who says she's "devastated" over the death of her pet, adopted Zsa Zsa about four years ago, a year after the dog had been rescued from a Missouri puppy mill. Brainard named her after actress Zsa Zsa Gabor because the pooch—an aficionado of Slim Jims and Chipotle steak burritos, per the New York Times—liked to stretch out on the couch "like a beautiful model," she tells the Star Tribune.

And like a supermodel, Zsa Zsa basked in the limelight and liked having her picture taken. "I felt like I was traveling with Brad Pitt or something," Brainard tells the Times. "People would be screaming her name. It was just crazy." Brainard, her husband, and their 15-month-old daughter, Mareslie, had a small farewell ceremony for Zsa Zsa after getting her from Brainard's dad. "I picked Zsa Zsa up and took her outside and laid her down in the grass," she says. "We were all saying our goodbyes and Mareslie went right over and gave her a kiss. It was sweet." The American Kennel Club puts the average life expectancy for bulldogs at eight to 10 years. (Read more world's ugliest dog stories.)

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