SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Sam, the tiny dog whose hairless body and crooked teeth earned him a reputation as the World's Ugliest Dog, has died.
The pooch died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, his owner said.
"I don't think there'll ever be another Sam," Susie Lockheed said, adding: "Some people would think that's a good thing."
Sam won the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer for the third year in a row. The pedigreed Chinese crested had made appearances on TV in Japan, radio in New Zealand and in Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid. He also had met Donald Trump on a talk show set.
Lockheed said she initially was terrified of Sam when she agreed to take him in as a rescue dog six years ago on a 48-hour trial basis. Although she fell in love with him, his appearance repulsed her then-boyfriend and prompted the man to break up with her.
Later, however, Sam became a matchmaker by bringing together Lockheed and her current beau, who saw a picture of the two on an online dating site.
Lockheed said she had Sam euthanized after she learned Sam's heart was failing.
She said she's felt a little lost ever since, and is sleeping with Sam's favorite toy a stuffed bear he picked up and carried home.