We can all only hope to touch as many hearts and minds in our lives as Zsa Zsa, a French Bulldog who won the coveted title of World's Ugliest Dog just last month.
Zsa Zsa was crowned on June 25, beating a proud crowd of ugly pups for the title. Now, just a few short weeks later, Zsa Zsa has passed away, leaving behind her great legacy.
The annual pageant held in the Sonoma-Marin County Fair in Petaluma, California, is extremely competitive. Winners take home $1,500, as well as coveted bragging rights.
The day Zsa Zsa won, she impressed the judges with her long tongue, crooked teeth, and sweet pink manicure.
The pageant winners are often rescues, and Zsa Zsa was no exception. Her owner, Megan Brainard, found her on Petfinder.
Brainard was so sure Zsa Zsa stood a chance, she drove 30 hours from Anoka, Minnesota for the contest. She was right, Zsa Zsa was an instant star!
Unfortunately, it was a star that burned out too soon. She went peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday morning, while spending the night at Brainard's father's house. She was 9-years-old.
Zsa Zsa was with her dad as Brainard and her husband visited a sick relative in the hospital. It's been a lot for them to take in.
"I’m still in shock ... 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. It’s probably going to be the same with her passing," Brainard told Today.
It's very sad to lose a special dog so soon after her moment in the sun. Brainard likes to think that her dog enjoyed the title in the time she had it.
"She knew she was special. She never really showed much excitement but yes, she was definitely living it up after she won," she said.
The family had a farewell ceremony to Zsa Zsa in their backyard, including their toddler, Mareslie, to say goodbye.
"I picked Zsa Zsa up and took her outside and laid her down in the grass. We were all saying our goodbyes and Mareslie went right over and gave her a kiss. It was sweet. She was waving at her," Brainard explained.
Though she is famous for being ugly, Zsa Zsa was somewhat ironically named after the famously beautiful Zsa Zsa Gabor. What she lacked in looks, she made up for in good-natured personality. Apparently, sometimes Mareslie would give her long lolling tongue a shake in lieu of her paw.
One of the benefits of having a famous dog is how many lovely documented memories they have of their special friend.
"We take millions of pictures in my family, so now we have her face everywhere to remind us of her," said Brainard.
Meanwhile, the world mourns its ugliest dog, too:
I am heartbroken. I just found out #ZsaZsa the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, passed away in her sleep. To me, she was one of the loveliest, sweetest, most beautiful dogs I’ve ever met. You were loved sweet Zsa Zsa. You were loved. @foxandfriends pic.twitter.com/CcBwRSsPwq— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) July 11, 2018
Remember Zsa Zsa, the "World's Ugliest Dog"? Sad to say she died today, just a few weeks after she won the contest.— Sarah Mervosh (@smervosh) July 11, 2018
BUT she lived a life of glamor in her final weeks, and the @nytimes let me write an obit for her. Rest easy, (not so) little one!https://t.co/znAmZRyIBS pic.twitter.com/bXyUHt26c5
#GoneButNeverForgotten 💔❤️💔🐾#ZsaZsa You had Your #MomentInTime ~ You were a beautiful girl🎀 Thank you to your family. They rescued you from a #puppymill and you had a great life. Play forever sweetheart🌈✨💫🎾 #WorldsUgliestDog #EnglishBullDog #Puppymills #rescuedog— IsabellaLabradorIssy (@IsabellaLabIssy) July 11, 2018
A short life, but surrounded by love and accolades.
Enjoy dog heaven, Zsa Zsa, you ugly beauty.