A local dog is headed to Petaluma, Calif. this week to compete for the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog.”
Faith, a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, has an autoimmune disease called pemphigus. It’s caused her to have have no hair on her head, ankles or tail (except for a few wispy, white ones on the bottom.
“And it really breaks down a lot of thing on her body,” said “mum,” Kelly Davis Beckley. “Her little ears are kinda chewed up and her little toenails are brittle too."
Faith, who lives with her family in Kents, was rescued at a Humane Society adoption event within days of being euthanized. There is no cure for her illness, but Kelly gives her medication to help with itching and blisters.
"She sleeps in the bed with mommy and goes for a walk every day," said Kelly. "She’s a blessed doggy and so are we."
Kelly said when she was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago and went through chemotherapy and a mastectomy, it was little Faith who was by her side.
"That sweet little dog encouraged me to say it doesn't really matter what you look like on the outside as long as you're good on the inside," Kelly said.
Faith is the inspiration for Kelly's children’s book, "Faith, the Ugly Dog" (The Adventures of Buzzardillopossum), a story aimed at teaching kids that what one looks like on the outside is not as important as the goodness on the inside.
Kelly said there are 25 dogs in the ugly dog competition this year.
"And it’s pretty fierce," she said. "There are a couple really ugly ones, bless their hearts."
Kelly said some people have a problem with a competition for "ugly" dogs.
But, she said, "There are so many completions for beautiful dogs… these are the ones that need attention so people will think about adoption."
You can see the other contestants and vote for Faith via the online voting gallery: http://www.sonoma-marinfair.org/ugly-dog-gallery