The freak show just got freakier.
However well-intended, this segment from Wednesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live serves to intensify our growing disdain with the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest — for turning what was originally a sweet idea into a circus.
Here, Quasi Modo, who won the annual competition last weekend, visits Jimmy Kimmel Live to receive a “makeover” from fashion expert Carson Kressley (of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” fame).
As if the humiliation of competing for the title wasn’t enough.
The selection of Quasi, whose deformity results from being born without some vertabrae, wasn’t quite as disturbing as the choice of last year’s winner — whose appearance resulted from being abused earlier in life — but it’s another sign that the contest, which is supposedly all about compassion, has become even more about ratings.
Just maybe, the contest has become the ugliest beast of all.
Quasi, a patient soul, seems to tolerate all the silly human behavior — and more than a few snide comments.
Kimmel, after the reveal, called Quasi’s new look “a cross between Honey Boo Boo and a hooker.”
I don’t think he realized just how fitting an analogy that was — maybe not so much for Quasi, but definitely for the contest, and for the news media that continues eat it up without bothering to sniff first.
Posted by John Woestendiek July 3rd, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 2015, animals, compassion, contest, dog, dogs, freak show, honey boo boo, humiliation, jimmy kimmel live, makeover, pets, quasi modo, quasimodo, ugliest, winner, world's ugliest dog
We won’t call it the scandal of the century, or even of the year, but the dog who won “Britain’s Got Talent” didn’t actually perform the tightrope-walking portion of the skit that so delighted viewers and judges.
“Matisse was replaced for the show-stopping tight-rope trick by another dog, which was not mentioned on the show,” the Daily Mail reported yesterday.
The revelation that Matisse didn’t do all his own stunts (because he has a fear of heights), and that a lookalike stunt dog named Chase was snuck into the act, was first made by the dog’s owner, Jules O’Dwyer, on Britain’s ITV show, “Lorraine.”
Walking the tightrope was the high point of the act, which was built around a story involving some sausages stolen by Matisse from a three-legged dog named Skippy.
O’Dwyer plays the role of a police officer in the act.
Only Matisse, Skippy and O’Dwyer dog took bows on stage after the act, accepting accolades from the judges, some of who were left near tears by the performance.
Matisse was named the winner of the £250,000 prize.
Some viewers expressed outrage on social media about the switch.
“So it turns out the dog on the tightrope was a double for Matisse on #BGT?! Basically conning the public!!! Shameful!” Fiona Fairbairn wrote on Twitter.
An online poll by The Telegraph showed opinion was split on whether the judges and public had been deceived, with 51 percent considering it a scandal and 49 percent saying they saw no problem.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 2nd, 2015 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, border collies, britain's got talent, chase, deception, dog, dogs, double, jules o'dwyer, matisse, pets, public, scandal, skippy, social media, stunt, television, tightrope, viewers, winner
A beagle named Miss P beat out a shih tzu owned by Patty Hearst, a Portuguese water dog related to Sunny Obama and four other finalists to capture best in show honors at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
Miss P, whose full name is “Ch Tashtins Looking for Trouble,” is only the second beagle to win best in show at Westminster.
The 4-year-old beagle from British Columbia will retire after the victory, but not before embarking on a whirlwind media tour that includes a stop atop the Empire State Building, steak lunch at a nearby restaurant, a meeting with Donald Trump, and a walk-on part in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, USA Today reported.
Rocket was awarded top honors in the toy dog category.
Hearst is the granddaughter of William Randolph Hears. She was kidnapped by the radical group the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, and was later seen holding a machine gun while robbing a California bank. She spent two years in prison.
Hearst, who turns 61 on Friday, is one of Rocket’s three co-owners. She has been involved in the dog show world for more than 10 years and has also worked as an actress.
A cousin of Sunny, one of the First Family’s Portuguese water dogs, was also in the running, and considered by some to be a favorite.
Matisse won the working group category for the third straight year.
More results, photos and videos can be found at the Westminster website.
(Photo: Photos of Miss P and Rocket by the Associated Press)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 18th, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 2015, animals, beagle, best in show, dog, dog show, dogs, kennel club, matisse, miss p, patty hearst, pets, portuguese water dog, rocket, shih-tzu, show, sunny obama, westminster, winner, wins
Susie, the abused North Carolina dog who inspired a law, a movie, and a nonprofit organization, has been named the American Humane Association’s 2014 American Hero Dog.
Susie, found with burns over most of her body in 2009, received a standing ovation at the AHA‘s black-tie awards gala Saturday night in Beverly Hills, where she was one of eight finalists competing for the prize.
“I’m just blown away,” Donna Lawrence told TODAY.com after learning her dog had won. “There were so many amazing dogs with great stories. When they called Susie, I just wanted to cry.”
In 2009, Susie was found with severe second and third-degree burns over most of her body in Greenfield Park in south Greensboro. Her ears were burned off and she had a broken jaw and teeth. She was taken to the Guilford County Animal Shelter and eventually nursed back to health.
She was adopted by Donna and Roy Lawrence — just 10 months after Donna was attacked while trying to help a neglected pit bull that had spent much of its life tied to a tree in her neighbor’s yard in High Point, North Carolina.
When the man who was convicted of setting Susie on fire was sentenced to probation, outraged dog lovers launched a campaign for tougher penalties for animal cruelty and abuse.
“Susie’s Law,” which made animal cruelty a felony in North Carolina, went into effect in 2010, signed by then-governor Bev Perdue.
Donna Lawrence went on to establish Susie’s Hope, a nonprofit organization that fosters awareness of animal abuse. In 2013, the story was made into a movie, also called “Susie’s Hope.”
Susie is now a certified therapy dog and visits schools, hospitals and churches to bring messages of kindness, respect and responsibility to children and adults.
Other finalists in the Hero Dog Awards, included:
Bretagne, one of the last known surviving search dogs who worked at Ground Zero in New York after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
Kai, an arson dog who has worked more than 200 fire investigations in San Antonio
JJ, a little dog with a powerful nose that can detect when his human, ther a girl named KK Krawczyk, is about to have a life-threatening reaction due to a rare illness
Kota, a law-enforcement K9 who sustained multiple fractures while responding to a burglary in progress but who kept trying to help his police officer partner apprehend a suspect
Xena the Warrior Puppy, a dog rescued from extreme abuse who went on to help a little boy with autism in profound ways
Chaney, a military dog who served multiple tours sniffing out explosives in Iraq and Afghanistan
Xxon, a guide dog who helped an Air Force sergeant continue to serve active duty and regain independence after being blinded by explosives in Afghanistan.
The Hallmark Channel will air the awards show on Oct. 30 at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time).
(Photo: American Humane Association)
Posted by John Woestendiek September 29th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, aha, american hero dog, american humane association, animals, awards, ceremony, cruelty, dogs, donna lawrence, greensboro, honor, north carolina, pets, pit bulls, susie, susie's law, susies hope, winner
Among the traditional perks of winning Westminster’s Best in Show are a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and going to Sardi’s in Manhattan for a steak.
You’d think that last one, at least, would appeal to the average dog — and especially to the pampered pooches that strut before the judges every year at the Westminster Dog Show.
But Hickory, the Scottish Deerhound chosen as Best in Show this week, had virtually no interest in the juicy filet, prepared medium rare, sliced into bite-sized chunks and placed in front of her at Sardi’s. She took only a taste or two before ignoring it entirely.
As her trainer pointed out, there were lots of lights, and hordes of media, and Hickory’s never been real big on steak in the first place.
You could view it as a photo op turned photo flop, but I kind of like the fact that she turned up her scruffy nose at the offering.
In light of all the human control inflicted on dogs during dogs shows, not to mention throughout history, I like seeing, for some reason, a little canine independence and rebelliousness exhibited in that setting. Of course, I don’t know what Hickory was thinking when that juicy red meat was set before her, but I like to think it was this:
Two hundred people have gathered, pulled up in their news vans, and started their cameras rolling, and are lined up outside – all to watch me eat a steak? OK, then, I’m not going to do it.
Posted by John Woestendiek February 17th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: american kennel club, animals, best in show, dog show, empire state building, hickory, new york stock exchange, nyse, perks, pets, purebreds, sardis, scottish deerhound, westminster, westminster dog show, winner
Alaskan musher Lance Mackey has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and set an Iditarod record for most consecutive wins.
Mackey, 39, of Fairbanks, completed the 1,049-mile Iditarod race in just under nine days. He was cheered across the finish line in Nome by family and friends, including his father, Dick Mackey, the 1978 Iditarod champion, CNN reported.
“You’ve done something that will never be repeated, son,” the senior Mackey said, hugging his son at the finish line.
Mackey could be heard on the broadcast microphones speaking to his dog team just before reaching the finish line on Nome’s Front Street, “Nice, nice. This is so cool. We’re almost there, guys. You did such a good job.”
Arriving in Nome at 2:59 p.m. local time, Mackey’s official time was 8 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes and 9 seconds.
Mackey, a throat cancer survivor who says he began racing “at birth,” was inducted into the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame in February “for capturing multiple titles in two of the world’s longest sled dog races.”
More than 54 teams remained on the Iditarod trail headed toward Nome, including rookie Jamaican musher Newton Marshall, who was in 48th place. Marshall trained with Mackey this season in preparation for his first Iditarod run.
Fourteen of the original 71 teams that entered this year’s race have scratched en route.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alaska, consecutive, dick mackey, dog, dogs, fourth, iditarod, lance mackey, musher, mushing, news, nome, race, record, sled, sports, trail, winner, wins
So here’s a look at some of the ugly also-rans from the annual contest, part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
OPIE — One of five Chinese Cresteds in this year’s competition, Opie, 10, was found by a good samaritan and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic for help. He had a large ulcerated mass on his side that the rescue center that later took him in had removed. It was cancer. The skin on his body was covered with sores, abrasions and dried blood. Half of his lower jaw was missing. He has only one tooth. The rescue center named him Ooglee, but his new owner thinking “he should have a nice little boy’s name,” changed it to Opie. “We are so happy that we adopted this little dog. He is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle dog I have ever known,” wrote his owner, who prepares Opie’s meals in a food processor. “He entered this contest and is going to Petaluma to show everyone that old dogs and dogs with disabilites can be great pets!”
MOJO — The only Shar-Pei in this year’s ugly dog contest, Mojo has a face only a mother could love, says her mother, “and I absolutely adore her.”
“Despite her appearance, she is the sweetest, most lovable dog you could wish for. She always causes a stir wherever we go,” her owner added.
” We do everything together, she is the love of my life and makes me look good.”
RASCAL — Rascal, the 2002 World’s Ugliest Dog winner, is owned by actor, Dane Andrew of Sunnyvale, Ca. Naturally hairless and weighing seven pounds, he sports what his owner describes as “Einstein hair, crooked face and a tongue that hangs out due to being born without many teeth.” Rascal has had roles in a few horror films, coming out soon, and has a cartoon strip and documentary soon to debut, both named “The Ugliest Dog.” Rascal uses his ugly for good, his owner said, and will soon be coming out with a “patented trademark hot dog leash,” proceeds from the sale of which will go towards animal charities.
ARF –Arf, 12, was rescued as a puppy from a pound where he was on death row. Through his life, he has faced many battles, his owner says — dermatological problems, a disfigured front paw and eventually the loss of his back leg.
“Although his hair is sparse, and he puzzles people he meets, this three-legged dog continues to walk in pride with a sparkle in his eyes and a wag in his tail.”
To see all of the entrants and learn more about the contest, click here.
Posted by John Woestendiek June 27th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: arf, california, chinese crested, contest, dog, dogs, fair, handicapped, loser, marin, mojo, ohmidog!, old, opie, pabst, petaluma, rascal, rescue, shar-pei, sharpei, shelter, sick, sonoma, title, ugliest, ugly, winner, world's ugliest dog