|In the News:
Rhonda Longley's dog, Foxy, got off to a bad start in life.
"She was a puppy, her mom sat on her head," Rhonda says.
The dog apparently had a face that not even a mother could love.
"But I love her," Rhonda says of her 5-year-old Chinese crested hairless. "Dry skin, blackheads, sunburn, gnarly teeth and all, she is my girl."
And those above-mentioned characteristics are the dog's good points.
This dog looks as if she could have played a key role in the "Gremlins" movies with her wild ears, scraggly hair and strangely shaped body. Some say it must be due to her dog breed.
"Some of my friends ask what is wrong with her," says Rhonda of South Bend. "They ask me if their dogs could catch whatever disease she has."
Actually, dog Foxy is healthy -- although the picture of health doesn't seem like an appropriate description.
The dog also shakes, belches and can sound like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist" when warning off Rhonda's and husband Steve's other two dogs, Milton and Stewart, from her food.
"Foxy really sounds possessed when she starts her growling," Rhonda says.
For all her attributes, Foxy has been voted No. 1 in my 2007 Ugly Dog Contest. She beat out 21 other dogs in the voting cast by Tribune journalists. To check out pictures of the top six finishers, go to the Tribune Web site.
"I wanted a unique dog and I guess I got one in Foxy," adds Rhonda, a financial center manager for 1st Source Bank.
Rhonda admits that the dog gets a little better looking in the summertime. "That's because without a lot of hair, she can actually tan a little, which can sort of hide her blackheads and dark splotches. But then we have to rub her skin with sunscreen and cocoa butter."
At one point, her teeth start falling out, too, which hasn't helped her looks -- or chewing ability.
But this dog does have her talents.
"She will dance for spaghetti, even hopping around our pool table on her hind legs," Rhonda says.
She hasn't broken a camera yet, either.
And that axiom about dogs and owners starting to look like each other? "Oh, I hope that doesn't happen," Rhonda says.
Foxy takes a while to warm up to other humans. "But she sure knows that I'm her mommy and we love each other," Rhonda adds. "My husband, Steve, thinks Foxy is the ugliest, most disgusting dog. But he loves her, too."
Love means never having to say you're a sorry sight.