Mugly, the so-ugly-he’s-cute Chinese Crested dog that walked away with the World’s Ugliest Dog award in 2012, proved he’s more than just what’s seen on the outside when he snagged the 2016 Heroic Hounds award for his volunteer work as a therapy dog.
Life wasn’t always so easy for the winner of the 2012 World’s Ugliest Dog award. When Mugly was just 3-days-old, his breeder abandoned him at a rescue center. He had originally been bred as a pedigree Chinese Crested, unfortunately, when the hairless, wrinkled pup was born, the breeder saw no monetary value in him and decided to dump him. At that young of an age, he would have likely died from lack of nourishment from his mother, but thankfully another dog at the rescue had just recently given birth and adopted the homely little dog as one of her own.
Luckily for the future World’s Ugliest Dog, dog lover Bev Nicholson had been searching for the perfect companion when she and Mugly found each other in 2004, reports the Washington Post.
“I saw dozens of perfectly sweet pooches with fluffy white fur — but nothing seemed to click. One day my friend went to a rescue center in Wales and saw a tiny, skinny hairless puppy who had been dumped by a breeder. [A]s soon as I saw the tiny bald face on my phone, my heart lurched. I rang the rescue center, and begged them to let me take the puppy when he was strong enough. The owner said he was so weak he may not survive — so I rang every morning to see if he had made it through the night.”
When the dog was eventually strong enough to travel by train to London, he and Nicholson met for the first time, and “he looked at me through strange beady eyes, and it was love at first sight.” Bev decided to call the dog “Mugly” — a portmanteau of the words mutt and ugly. When Bev’s son Glenn needed a 13-hour brain operation to save his life in 2010, Nicholson realized that Mugly may have been a contender for World’s Ugliest Dog on the outside, but on the inside, he had the most beautiful heart she had ever seen.
“When he returned home, Mugly instantly knew there was something wrong. He refused to leave Glenn’s side, sitting loyally beside his bed and constantly checking to see Glenn was okay. I realized then that Mugly may be ugly on the outside — but underneath the spots and warts, he’s really beautiful with a heart of gold.”
In 2012, a panel of judges crowned Mugly with the World’s Ugliest Dog award, but according to Express, the unattractive little dog took his celebrity to the next level. Mugly is a certified therapy dog, and spent much of his time before retirement — he’s 12-years-old now — helping children and adults with physical and learning disabilities. He also was a regular visitor to schools as part of the Read to Dogs initiative, which encourages nervous readers to read aloud to dogs to help boost their confidence. Aside from being a therapy dog, Mugly also does a lot of fundraising work for charities such as Cinque Ports Rescue, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Chinese Crested Club of GB Rescue, and Many Tears Animal Rescue.
For all of his hard work helping children, adults, and other dogs over the years, Mugly, who, just four years ago was called the World’s Ugliest Dog, showed the world that it’s what is inside that counts when he was awarded the Most Heroic Hound award during this year’s SuperDog Awards at the National Pet Show in London.
[Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images]