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Meet 'Mr Happy Face' who won the 'World's Ugliest Dog' contest and is now a celebrity

Kesha exclaimed, 'OMG, is that him?! Is that THE dog? Mr. Happy Face?' Benally responded, 'Yes. You're welcome to pet him if you'd like.'

Meet 'Mr Happy Face' who won the 'World's Ugliest Dog' contest and is now a celebrity
Cover Image Source: Instagram | @mrhappyface_wud

We all have had our fan moments when we end up meeting some celebrities at airports or restaurants. Likewise, Popstar Kesha had one when she met Mr. Happy Face, who was the winner of the 2022 World's Ugliest Dog Contest, according to The Washington Post. He is an 18-year-old, almost hairless rescue pup with a protruding tongue.

Mr. Happy Face and his owner, Jeneda Benally, were just done with an interview on NBC's "Today" show and were about to leave the set backstage when Kesha met Mr. Happy Face. She exclaimed, “OMG, is that him?! Is that THE dog? Mr. Happy Face?" Benally responded, "Yes. You're welcome to pet him if you'd like."



The singer was wearing a beige cape suit and matching heels. Reportedly, she stroked the few tufts of grey hair on Mr.Happy Face's head while he looked her straight in the eyes. Benally recalled, "This was the moment when perfection and perfect in his very own unique way met."



Since the day he won the contest, he has turned into a celebrity with his Instagram account and interviews for TV shows and publications from around the world. "He loves the attention," said Benally. “He actually has learned how to pose for pictures.” It happened because of Benally's niece that she ended by submitting Mr. Happy Face's entry for the World's Ugliest Dog contest. The competition mainly celebrates the "imperfections that make all dogs unique." This year, the contest will be happening on June 23 in Petaluma, California.

Benally met Mr. Happy Face for the first time in August 2021 at an Arizona shelter. The dog was then called Matthias. At first, Benally wanted to get a big protective dog at the Yavapai Humane Society shelter in Prescott, Arizona. But the dog that she wanted was adopted minutes before she reached the shelter. It's more of a fate that she decided to go to the no-kill shelter, where dogs, who were less likely to be adopted, reside. Mr. Happy Face, who has some deformities and tumors, walked to Benally and asked for a second chance. “He had so much hope in his eyes,” Benally said. “He spoke to my heart.”



Twenty minutes later, Benally left the shelter with him even though she was told that he had six more weeks to live. But with time, he became better. Earlier, he could barely walk and now, he runs after Benally and woofs in his sleep. Moreover, he is no longer on medication and barks with his sister, Chaos. “That’s not the bark of a decrepit old dog,” Benally said. “That’s the bark of a dog who loves life and is so fully loved.”

After Mr. Happy won the competition, Benally's story encouraged many to adopt the underdogs, like the ones who need more care or are senior pets. Benally believes that participating in the contest was to celebrate the dog's uniqueness. Moreover, the contest's website states that it is not to make fun of "ugly" dogs. Its goal is to teach that all animals can be loved no matter how they look.


Benally said, “His outer body is decrepit and deformed." “But in my eyes, he’s absolutely adorable and I can tell that he’s happy to be alive and be loved.”

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