Who’s a good boy?

Tostito, the bug-eyed Falmouth Chihuahua who came in third in the annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday and also grabbed the event’s Spirit Award, would certainly qualify.

The 14-year-old canine with no teeth or lower jaw was driven to New York City on Thursday, took a 3 a.m. Friday flight to San Francisco and was at the contest in Petaluma, California, by Friday afternoon. So his prize, besides two trophies, $500 and a treat basket that included yummy chicken broth, was a long and luxurious nap.

“He’s sleeping on the hotel bed right now. It’s been such a busy couple of days for him,” Tostito’s owner, Molly Horgan, 26, said Saturday afternoon from San Francisco. “He did such a good job (being judged) on the red carpet. He’s been a super good boy.”

Tostito of Falmouth came in third Friday at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. Photo Courtesy of Molly Horgan

The 28-year-old contest is meant to shine a spotlight on the importance of “advocating for the adoration of all animals and the benefits of adopting,” according to the contest website.

Many contestants over the years have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills, and some have medical and special needs. Horgan, who runs a dog walking and pet sitting business, said the contest helps remind people that all dogs need homes. And all dogs are capable of great things, like Tostito.

“This shows all dogs are unique, that they all have inner beauty,” said Horgan, who raised more than $1,500 on GoFundMe to pay for the trip to the contest. “This is not like the dog shows on TV, with all the dogs in pristine condition.”

The contest’s top dog Friday was Scamp the Tramp, a small dog with wild hair who had been a stray on the streets of Compton, California, before being rescued by owner Yvonne Morones, according to the contest website.

In his contest profile Scamp’s owner described him as a “Rastafarian” with some DNA from rocker Keith Richards. Scamp won $1,500, a matched amount to be donated to animal groups and a trip to NBC’s “Today” show Monday.

The second-place winner was Wild Thang, a mop-like Pekingese from Los Angeles owned by Ann Lewis. The People’s Choice Award went to Meatloaf, a bulldog mix from Sacramento, California, owned by Denae Pruner. Nineteen dogs qualified for the event and were at the competition Friday. Only the top three finishers and two special category winners were awarded. The contest is held annually as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.

Tostito also won the Spirit Award at Friday’s contest. Photo Courtesy of Molly Horgan

The judges looked over the dogs on a red carpet and evaluated their stories, their looks and their personalities. Tostito, whose middle name is Kevin, won the Spirit Award after an online vote. Voters could read each dog’s story online and then vote.

Tostito’s story included coming to Maine in 2017 from a shelter in Tennessee, and being underweight and having ear problems. He had been neglected badly, and his rotted teeth and lower jaw had to be removed. Horgan said on the profile that she mixes wet food with water and he “gobbles it up as fast as he can.”

“Being his owner has been the greatest privilege in my entire life. He’s my pride and joy!” Horgan wrote on the contest site.

 


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