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My Exclusive Interview with Gus, the 2008 World's Ugliest Dog!

My Exclusive Interview with Gus, the 2008 World's Ugliest Dog!

All the way from St. Petersburg, Florida, Gus captured the title – and my heart – when he won the 20th Annual World's Ugliest Dog Competition. The three-legged, one-eyed pup with cancer has a true tale of triumph – Jeanenne Teed and daughter Janey plan to use his award money of $1,600 (that's $100 for being a finalist for the purebred category, $500 for winning the Ugliest Dog of 2008 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, and $1,000 for being the "2008 World's Ugliest Dog") towards his radiation treatments.In addition to the money, he got two trophies, one taller than his owners – I've got no clue how they'll get those back to the Sunshine state! I already mentioned it was hot, hot, hot up in Petaluma, but that didn't stop me from catching up with the trio after they won and asking them a few questions about their precious pooch.

PS: How long ago did Gus join your family?
Gus is nine years old and came to us when he was one year old. He came to us word of mouth . . . he was being kept inside a crate inside a garage by an owner who really just couldn't deal with him. She did the right thing and she gave him up to a better home . . . we'd like to think. And he's been with us ever since, through thick and thin, and he's hanging in there. He's a tough cookie.

PS: You mentioned that he has cancer – what kind of cancer does he have?
He has skin cancer. He was diagnosed in December of '06 and, at that time, the cancer was quite advanced and he needed to have his leg amputated. The other leg was debulked and the tumor was removed. After chemotherapy and then treatment with another medication, he had a great year – we had a great year – we took him on vacation for the first time.

Find out where they went – and what happened to his eye! – when you


PS: Where did you go?
We went to the Panhandle to an area that we always go to, Walton Beach, and it was just a great experience. Over Christmas, and over the holidays, we had that and now we have this great experience, too, which is unbelievable . . . absolutely unbelievable.

PS: So when you got Gus, did he have only one eye?
Well, that's a sad . . . (laughs) . . . Gus got into a cat fight last December and obviously the cat won. So he lost his eye, too, to the cat. And he hasn't forgotten about it either.

PS: Hmm, they're not pals now I'm guessing?
No, they're one for one. Gus had caught the kitten when he was a tiny, itty bitty kitten. And was trying to tear the kitten up with our other dog, Buttons, and they were playing tug-of-war. I rescued the little kitten who turned out to be a great, big tomcat.

PS: What's Gus's favorite treat?
French fries. Unfortunately. We don't feed him this often but he loves McDonald's french fries. And when he was undergoing chemotherapy and his stomach was upset, the only thing he would eat was pepperoni pizza. Fortunately Janey works at a pizza place so it was easy to come by but that's what kept him going when nothing else tasted good to him.

PS: And are you gonna get him a special meal before you go back to the hotel tonight? A pampering snack at the fair, funnel cake perhaps?
Him or us (laughs). We will get Gus whatever he wants to eat. It's been a great experience.

Join The Conversation
MadalenaO MadalenaO 9 years
this dog is sweet. i don't know why, but I really love ugly animals:) his owners are great.
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 9 years
I agree lemonbars. BTW- the comments on this link don't mirror ours on pet.
lulita lulita 9 years
poor doggie
lemonbars lemonbars 9 years
MissAntipodea, I've always thought this competition was all in good fun. The overall theme is to show that even dogs that don't meet the norm of "cute" or "pretty" can still be great companions. The contest put the spotlight on many of whom were rescued and would have likely would've been otherwise destroyed. I think if this contest makes people want to adopt an "ugly" or otherwise less than perfect pet (with health problems, etc.), then it's a great thing!
SShorty06111 SShorty06111 9 years
The winners for ugliest dog competitions are always chinese crusteds. They are really unattractive dogs.
darlene darlene 9 years
poor guy
kristina920 kristina920 9 years
Awww sweet story! You go, Gus!
dannysf dannysf 9 years
What a story! Goodness. A true survival tale.
mariserin mariserin 9 years
awwww i think hes adorable!!!! theres pretty much no dog that i find ugly though
RaCheer RaCheer 9 years
Awww...what a touching story. Walton Beach is only 45 minutes from where I live!
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
I feel like I've seen him before, or another Chinese Crested that they said was the 'ugliest', on some TV show or something? I am sad that he has cancer. I hope he will be ok.
Dollylo Dollylo 9 years
Poor little guy!! Good for him he found a loving and caring family!! :love:
MissAntipodea MissAntipodea 9 years
Other than the fact they could win this money for his treatment, I wish this competition didn't exist. I hate how humans are more than happy to call a dog 'ugly' to its face thinking that it doesn't matter because it doesn't understand. It belittles the poor dog in question and regardless of whether they understand it or not, I find it very disrespectful and hurtful. If you put a human in Gus's place, I'm sure the world would be aghast with horror. This little fella has been through so much and I bet he's got a heart of gold. I'm glad he's got really devoted, loving owners who have gotten him the medical care he needs. What a little champ! (And when I say 'champ' it's regarding his battle with cancer).
MisterPinkNoTip MisterPinkNoTip 9 years
That dog is amazing!!! But why are the owners feeding him fast food? People shouldn't even be eating that.
Pets Pets 9 years
He is a Chinese Crested!
Dublin62505 Dublin62505 9 years
Sweet lil man! Glad he has a fine humom and husis to take care of him. Is he a Chinese Crested?
MrsJigglesworth MrsJigglesworth 9 years
awww, I love him! :love:
smhooper smhooper 9 years
Awww, poor little guy!! I'm so happy he's with such a good family though!
fuzzles fuzzles 9 years
I think I'm in love! :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 9 years
You're right was a scorcher in Petaluma (my parents live there). I spent the entire day in their pool :woohoo:
ElleJay ElleJay 9 years
kristyy kristyy 9 years
I don't know about you, but I don't think he's that ugly. Now Sam...that was a different story! I guess I get soft over the ones who have injuries or are sick.
Angelica Angelica 9 years
Awww he's so cute ugly! I'm just glad he's still alive and kicking it. His family seems sweet. Thanks for the interview pet!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
Breaks my heart all the crap that poor guy has been through! Sounds like he has a great family though!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Awww poor little ungly thing! At least he has a fantastic home :)
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