An English bulldog who sent tongues wagging just last month at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma has died, her owners confirmed Tuesday. She was 9.
Zsa Zsa’s owner, Megan Brainard of Anoka, Minnesota, announced the death on Facebook and said the beloved pooch died in her sleep.
The brown marbled bulldog named after Zsa Zsa Gabor won over judges at the famous Sonoma-Marin Fair competition with her pronounced underbite, a swaggering tongue that was usually seen lolling several inches out the right side of her mouth and signature pink nail polish.
Her life began at a Missouri puppy mill, where she spent five years before being purchased by the nonprofit Underdog Rescue.
Brainard told NBC’s “Today” that she was “still in shock” over Zsa Zsa’s death. The hound was in good health and had been staying with Brainard’s father, who woke up Tuesday to find she had passed, she said.
“It’s kind of like when she won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. It’s been two weeks and I still don’t believe it,” Brainard told the TV show. “It’s probably going to be the same with her passing.”
Before being crowned Ugliest Dog, Zsa Zsa lived a modest life and spent her days lounging and eating Slim Jims, according to the New York Times.
Then her fortune charges on June 23, when she and Brainard won $1,500, “a very large trophy” and a flight to New York to appear on “Today.”
“From the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home,” Brainard said at the time. “We are so excited for her. She deserves this.”
Though it may seem a dubious honor, the Ugliest Dog contest seeks to demonstrate “the importance of advocating for the adoration of all animals,” according to its website.