Zsa Zsa the English bulldog, whose droopy tongue, protruding teeth and penchant for Slim Jims earned her fleeting moments of fame last month as the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest, died on Tuesday. She was 9. Her death was announced by her ...
Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog that won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, Calif., in June, has died.CreditJosh Edelson/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
By Sarah Mervosh
July 10, 2018
Zsa Zsa the English bulldog, whose droopy tongue, protruding teeth and penchant for Slim Jims earned her fleeting moments of fame last month as the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, died on Tuesday. She was 9.
Her death was announced by her owner, Megan Brainard of Anoka, Minn., who said the dog had died in her sleep. She said Zsa Zsa had not been having any health issues. The average life expectancy for bulldogs, according to the American Kennel Club, is eight to 10 years.
The news of her death was first reported by TODAY.com.
Zsa Zsa’s life had modest beginnings. She spent the first five years in a puppy mill in Missouri before she was put up for auction and bought by a rescue group.
After Ms. Brainard adopted her, Zsa Zsa spent her days lounging around, refusing to do much of anything unless food was involved. Her favorite snacks? A Slim Jim or a steak burrito from Chipotle.
Zsa Zsa, after her victory, in a pile of Slim Jims.CreditMegan Brainard
Her family drove 30 hours from Minnesota to enter her in the contest, which is actually a celebration of unsightly dogs and is intended to promote pet adoption.
Zsa Zsa’s résumé was tough to beat: a dry, dangling tongue. A severe underbite, with crooked teeth that almost touched her nose. A dose of drool.
Ms. Brainard said she had to carry the dog across the stage and entice her to impress the judges. “She was eating part of a Slim Jim on the table and just sneezed all over them and was drooling on them,” she said.
In the end, Zsa Zsa bested 13 other dogs to seize the title.
After that, her life became as glamorous as that of Zsa Zsa Gabor, the actress she was named for.
The bulldog sported a pink manicure. Fans wore T-shirts adorned with her face. She visited New York City to appear on national TV. She even flew first class.
“I felt like I was traveling with Brad Pitt or something,” Ms. Brainard said. “People would be screaming her name. It was just crazy.”
In Zsa Zsa’s final weeks, Ms. Brainard said, the world got to learn what she knew all along: When you’re loved, looks don’t matter at all.
Follow Sarah Mervosh on Twitter: @smervosh
A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: A Star, Ugly But Beloved, Dies at Age 9. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe
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