The '2007 Ugliest Dog' title winner, named Elwood, died on Thursday. The Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix had suffered from some health issues in recent months, but owner Karen Quigley believed he'd been doing well. Quigley rescued the little hairless dog, who was affectionately called E.T. or Yoda, back in 2005. His breeder had planned to euthanize him.
Elwood had a worldwide fan base, and his appearance at more than 200 fund raising events throughout his lifetime helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to benefit animal rescue efforts and related nonprofits.
This '2007 Ugliest Dog' title holder was even the subject of a children's book written by his owner. Called Everyone Loves Elwood, the story explained how it's perfectly okay to be different from everyone else.
Karen Quigley issued a statement about Elwood's passing via Facebook.
"It is with a broken heart and overwhelming sadness to tell everyone that my sweet little boy passed at 9:20 this morning in my arms. I cannot even gather my thoughts and imagine life without him. In the end, God calls the shots and He has decided to take Elwood to be with Him. I need time to process what has happened. A love like this comes once in a lifetime...and, in my darkest moment on this Thanksgiving Day, I am so very Thankful for the "Gift of Elwood" for eight years. Thank you everyone for all the love, support and prayers," she wrote.
Twitter fans recognized Elwood's inner beauty, and mourn his passing.
So sad about the passing of Elwood. He won the Ugliest Dog contest in 2007. A beautiful NJ rescue dog with a kind spirit. He is missed.
— Carol Erickson (@CarolCBS3) December 1, 2013
Elwood, crowned world's ugliest dog in 2007, dies. Ah,poor little fella. I thought he had some good years ahead.
— blazerfan (@blazerfan) December 1, 2013
Hopefully the press will respect Karen Quigley as she takes the time needed to mourn the loss of the 2007 ugliest dog, Elwood. While he was an icon of hope for many, he was her beloved pet. She is mourning the loss of a family member.
Image via Facebook