THE INCREDIBLE, SPECTACULAR MR. HAPPY FACE IS 2022’S UGLIEST DOG IN THE WORLD WINNER
So of course there is a contest every year for the World’s Ugliest Dog. And I must say my first awareness of this is pretty darn stoked. Because this year’s winner is a real beauty of ugliness. I mean, good Lord! Look at that critter! If you had to imagine an ugly dog, you would fail utterly to get anywhere near the artistry that deity clearly had a hand in here. Pick any artist of the most accomplished, twisted bent and they would fail, too. This is nature’s own nurturing of ugly beyond our ability to imagine. But it’s so darn ugly, it’s beautiful. And this year’s winner has the name, Mr. Happy Face. Of course he does!
THE WIN COMES WITH $1,500 AND A TRIP TO NYC TO APPEAR ON NBC’S TODAY SHOW
Mr. Happy Face is a hairless Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix. His owner, Jeneda Benally, entered him in the contest on a whim. As in, this might be fun, so why not? And it’s almost always fun to win, and win they did. The first-place prize was $1,500 and a trip to NYC to appear on NBC’s show, Today. Benally splits her time living in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Navajo Nation reservation. She happened to be in California recording the pilot of her new radio show about indigenous youth. She brought some of these youths with her, and one of them spotted the Ugliest Dog in the World Contest and said she should enter her dog, Mr. Happy Face.
MR. HAPPY FACE IS 17 YEARS OLD, AND HAS ALREADY OUTLIVED VET’S PROGNOSIS IN DOG YEARS
And the rest is Ugliest Dog history. Benally adopted Mr. Happy Face almost by accident. The dog she wanted to adopt found a home 5 minutes before she arrived. So she asked the shelter to bring out the oldest and least adoptable dog, and Mr. Happy Face was the one. But the 17-year-old dog was in rough shape, with a vet saying he only had 6 weeks to live. That was 10 months ago! Benally is happy and grateful for knowing her incredibly ugly dog. She explains, “I said I’m going to give him the best life I can. I wanted to return the love I was feeling from him.”