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Seeking Title of "World's Ugliest" Means More than Lack of Skin-Deep Beauty

It's said "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But does the statement have a limit? We found the title of "World's Ugliest" can leave a beautiful lasting impact.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - They say you shouldn't stare. Ty Opelt doesn't mind but seems to get it everywhere he goes. The credit for all the attention though has to go to his friend.

"From day one she was an attention grabber," Opelt started to explain as he held his 8-year-old Chinese Crested-Hairless named Ellie Mae. "She's a little different...definately a little different."

The bundle of "beauty" can't get very far without turning heads.

"If I go outside to walk her somebody's gonna want to take her picture," Opelt said.

They hope the attention pays off as they seek the title of "World's Ugliest Dog."

It would seem she has a good chance.

Ellie Mae and her owner are flying out to California for Friday's (6/21) World's Ugliest Dog Contest.

"I think she's a shoe-in," remarked one on-looker in the airport. "The more I looked at her the weirder she got."

All Ellie Mae's features could push her over the top in the contest.

Others pointed out her dangling tongue and her strange hair, or lack thereof.

The comments ranged from "That's weird," to "She's like a rhino."

"I do not shave her, contrary to some beliefs," Opelt laughed. "Some people ask that question too."

We guess you could learn to snuggle up to that -- maybe.

"She's just how she's supposed to be," Opelt added.

And Ellie Mae doesn't mind her role.

Opelt says he takes her to nursing homes just to brighten up the resident's day.

"Even people that are old and think they're ugly, which they're not, can look at her and still feel good," Opelt shared. "I like to call her beautifully ugly and that's what she is."

In addition to the impacts left on those who come across Ellie Mae, Opelt says she has helped him break habits of panic attacks and anxiety. Before the dog he didn't handle crowds very well.

Ellie Mae wears "ugly" well and Opelt says she deserves all the staring and the attention.

"And I think it's her turn," he said. "She's not getting any prettier."

To show your support for Ellie Mae and to read-up on the contest, click here.
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