Yoda, the ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’, Dies

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Noah Berger / AP

A judge evaluates Yoda during the 2011 World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, Calif. The 14-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix took top honors winning $1000 and a plethora of pet perks at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

A homely Chihuahua and Chinese Crested mix that snagged worldwide acclaim for being deemed the “world’s ugliest dog” in 2011 has died at the age of 15. “She passed away last night in her sleep,” her owner, Terry Schumacher, wrote in an email to the Hanford Sentinel on Tuesday. “I will miss her funny little ways!”

Over a decade ago, Schumacher found the mutt and said she almost put it down because she thought it was a rat. It wasn’t. But it sort of looked like one. The dog was named Yoda, presumably because her owner thought she looked like the Star Wars character, although the wizened Jedi master might take issue with the comparison.

(PHOTOS: The World’s Ugliest Dog Show)

Yoda’s big break came last year when the dog beat out twenty-eight other bizarre-looking animals to lay claim to the Ugliest Dog mantle at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Peteluma, California by popular texting vote. Schumacher won a $1,000 prize. Yoda got a title that would stick with her the rest of her life.

Before the dog departed, she did get to bask in Today show glory with Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, the latter of whom wondered if the dog was going to get a makeover. “We love her like just she is,” Schumacher responded. At the time, Yoda’s owners said she was planning to reenter the competition in 2012.