INNER BEAUTY: Lessons From An Ugly Dog

by Camilla Gray-Nelson

Sophie, My Hero

Sophie, My Hero

My home town of Petaluma, California is home to the much acclaimed World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.  This is the event’s 25th year, so I simply had to attend.

On benches, awaiting their 15 minute of fame on the red carpet, were all the ugly dog contest hopefuls – each  vying for the $1500 prize and a trip to New York City for guest spots on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Today Show and more.  I was struck by how confident and unashamed these hairless, tongue-drooping, misshapen contestants were as they sat there with their not-so-calm humans.  One contestant in particular caught my eye and got me thinking…

Her name was Sophie – a 17 years young, 3 pound, toothless, blind and deaf Chihuahua.  Her “disabilities” notwithstanding, Sophie sat proudly on her mother’s lap, scarred head held high and sporting an oh-so-stylish pink leather collar and leash ensemble on her hairless, bird-like neck, her collar tastefully accessorized with a rhinestone fob that would make even Coco Chanel drool with envy.  Sophie did not take home the big prize that evening, but she was the winner in my eyes.

Sophie, you are my HERO.  Though the bloom is off your rose, your true beauty blossoms.  Some would call you “old”, but I find you inspiringly unapologetic, confident and strong.  You are living life now, with no regrets for what has been.  Surely you have earned every line and battle scar on your tiny, fearless face.  Without sight, you are seeing the world as you want it to be.  Without hearing, you dance to the sounds of kitty cats and birdsong.  You are the one and only Sophie, and you are ready for your close-up.

May we all, in our own way, be Sophie.  Rrrr-ar!

About Camilla Gray-Nelson

When I started training dogs professionally, it was women who sought out my help. Responsibility for the family dog typically falls to them, after all. Their homes were in chaos; they were yelling at their dogs – and their kids – and couldn’t control either one. The life skills of personal power that I learned as a child (and assumed everyone else had, too), turned out to be rare among my clients. Since that time, it has been my personal goal to share Nature’s message of quiet power with women (and men) everywhere to help them become more effective not only with their dogs, but in their greater lives as well.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara June 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Oh Camilla, She’s a Sophie with a bird like neck a darling old dog and tugs at my heart with memories of one Sophie I will never forget <3. Nice article.

Pat Wilson June 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Lovely little girl.Suprised she was entered.Did the owner mention where the scars came from?

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