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Rheghead
16-Aug-05, 09:40
By Wendy Lee, Times Staff Writer

SANTA BARBARA Some may call it a tale of beauty and the beast. But Sam, a 14-year-old pedigreed Chinese crested, and a three-time champ in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest, is the dog of Susie Lockheed's dreams.

Lockheed, 53, enjoys massaging Sam's fleshy, thin, potato-chip ears and running her fingers through the small patches of white hair on his head.


She likes kissing Sam's hairless frame, littered with blackheads, brown warts and moles. Even his hindquarters have a large hernia lump.

Then there's his right eye, left a reddish-purple from cataracts, which stands out from the other, which is a milky white.

"I've never had a dog this much in love with me," Lockheed said. "I really baby Sam, and kiss him a lot. He's a toad [that's] going to turn into a prince."

Sam is one of four hairless dogs that love to groggily lounge on the couch in Lockheed's Santa Barbara home, where she operates a beauty salon.

Lockheed grew up in Palos Verdes Estates with household pets and suffered from allergies that would worsen when she was near furry dogs.

She said her life changed when a friend gave her TatorTot, a Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix, for her 40th birthday. "I never had a dog I could cuddle with before," she said.

Later, Lockheed would adopt dogs Tinkerbelle and Sam and would buy PixieNoodle, all hairless dogs. Her friends approve the "cuteness" factor of the other dogs. Sam is a different story.

Though Lockheed had wanted her other dogs, she had to be persuaded to take in the world's ugliest dog. He had already been rejected by an adoption agency, which deemed him too homely for any home they knew. Sam's former owner, who was moving to a place where dogs weren't allowed, was desperate, Lockheed said.

"He didn't look so good then, but he's looking worse now," Lockheed said, adding that in recent years Sam has gone blind and suffered illness. "There's something quite noble about Sam. Even though he's unattractive, he expects to be treated like royalty."

A year after Lockheed took in the dog without a home, she suffered a relapse of thyroid cancer, with which she was first diagnosed as a teenager.

After drinking a radioactive iodine treatment, Lockheed had to stay at home for five days, and her entire room had to be covered in plastic even the telephone. Friends had to leave food by her door because of the radiation. But she wasn't alone; Lockheed was able to keep one dog with her, and she picked Sam.

The two enjoyed lounging and watching television. Sam never left her except to visit the side yard through his doggy door. The two have been inseparable ever since. Now Sam cries when Lockheed isn't around.

"He made a grave situation really fun. I think dogs are a gift from God. They don't care if you're having a bad hair day," Lockheed said.

But as the only male dog in the household, Sam was sometimes treated as an outcast by the other dogs, who were jealous of the attention Lockheed lavished on him. He was even blocked from the couch by the females.

Then in 2002, Lockheed saw a Jay Leno show featuring the world's ugliest dog from the Sonoma-Marin Fair, which has held the contest since 1989. She knew Sam would be a natural.

To prepare, she skipped Sam's usual treatment with mild lactic acid lotion, which clears off dead skin cells, for a few days and let his nails grow out.

"You don't practice, and you certainly don't groom," Lockheed said. "It's the opposite of preparing for Westminster," the big New York dog show.

Sam won, and has taken the fair's title every year since, including last month. Lockheed plans to enter Sam in a similar contest in March in Del Mar.

Picture of Sam!!!!!

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2005-08/18972736.jpg

Only blind man could love that!! :D

scotsboy
16-Aug-05, 09:56
Id's no bonnie :lol:

lelebo
16-Aug-05, 11:16
OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

moose and Lindsay
16-Aug-05, 11:49
AWWW what a shame, it reminds me of a gremlin, but u have to feel sorry for the poor wee thing!!

squidge
16-Aug-05, 11:57
No need to feel sorry for it - its a dog! it wont be looking in the mirror wishing it had been blessed with a prettier face, it wont be spending thousands on plastic surgery, it wont be getting a perm or colouring its hair to see if it softens its features.

Its a dog

Its fed loved warm and thats enough for a dog surely

jimag
16-Aug-05, 12:42
Hey Rheghead
Sam is not that bad, but what is that thing she is holding?

Jenni
16-Aug-05, 18:50
Wow, now that is one ugly dog. It reminds me of something from the film Predator v Alien. Mind you, it's probably a friendly, loyal little thing and once you met it you would know doubt be taken by it.

Alli
16-Aug-05, 19:44
Don't they say that some dogs can look like their owners.............................. bet she is soooooooooooooo glad she doesn't look like her dog.
Ouch! that mut is bad.
Has the poor dog got something really wrong with it?
Or is it just a poor afflicted creature? :(

honestjohn
17-Aug-05, 20:40
So, which one is the dog?

Margaret M.
18-Aug-05, 23:09
Saw a video of this cute little guy today -- he's not quite as ugly as in the photo. She also owns the runnerup to the title.