An ‘aesthetically challenged’ dog has been shortlisted for the UK’s ugliest pooch award.
Emma Stephens, 46, decided to enter her one-year-old French bulldog Milo after joking: ‘He’s got the sort of face only a mother could love.’
Ms Stephens, from Cliffe Woods in Medway, Kent, said: ‘When he wakes up from a particularly deep sleep his tongue is stuck out and he gets that sort of underbite look sometimes when he’s relaxing.
‘Just for a bit of fun we entered him into the contest because there aren’t that many contests out there for dogs with quirks.
When Milo was around two to three weeks old, owner Emma Stephens noticed that his left eye was bulging and after taking him to the vets she found out he had a severe eye infection
The vets gave Milo antibiotics and his eye ended up imploding, which Ms Stephens described as ‘horrific’
‘You get competitions for pretty looking dogs but it’s nice to celebrate the ones that are a bit challenged with their looks.
‘We always laugh about him being a bit aesthetically challenged.’
Ms Stephens, who lives with her husband Barry and daughter Amber, rescues animals.
She took on Milo when her neighbour had an unwell pup in a litter.
She said: ‘I kept him for a few days to make sure he was getting stronger before re-uniting him with his mum but when we put him back with his mum, we tried on several occasions, and he just wasn’t thriving at all.
‘He was at death’s door so in the end we agreed to take him on and keep him, but over the next coming weeks it became apparent that he had other health issues.’
After losing his left eye as a puppy, vets then informed Ms Stephens that Milo had excess fluid in the brain after he started to lose the hair on the front of his head
Milo’s owner jokes that he has got the sort of face ‘only a mother could love’ because of his underbite
When Milo was around two to three weeks old, she noticed that his left eye was bulging.
She took him to the vet as soon as it opened the next morning and was told he had a severe eye infection.
As he was a puppy he hadn’t yet opened his eyes, leaving them sealed shut with bacteria trapped inside.
The vet tried to open the eye but was unable to. After giving him antibiotics his eye ended up imploding, which Ms Stephens described as ‘horrific’.
She added: ‘We nursed him through it, we had painkillers and medication, and came through it.
‘But when he was around six-to-eight weeks old he started to lose the hair on the front of his head and looked a bit bulbous so we took him to the vets and it turned out he had hydrocephalus, which is fluid in the brain.
‘The vet said it doesn’t always have a very good prognosis, they can have seizures and all that sort of thing and they said I might want to consider putting him to sleep but for me that’s never an option.
‘I’ve nursed lots of animals in the past from the brink of death through all sorts of things that vets said to put them to sleep over and with lots of love, dedication and time it can be done.
‘As long as they’re doing okay and they’ve got the will to live, then I will go as far as they want to and luckily he fought through and made it.
‘It’s a wait and watch approach, he might be fine with it until the end of his days and live a good long life, nobody knows, but there are signs to look for if it does start to affect him.’
She doesn’t think Milo is ugly – just ‘ugly-cute’.
The one-year-old pup is now one of the finalists for the competition, hosted by Parrotprint.com.
If 1-year-old Milo wins the most ‘aesthetically challenged’ pooch challenge, created by Parrotprint.com, he will win a professional makeover
The most hideous in the country wins a professional makeover and photo session.
Among the 12 shortlisted pets is also Marnie the French Bulldog, Bella the Pug and Jazz the Brusston.
The winning pooch will be announced in February.
Ms Stephens added: ‘We appreciate that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea but he’s beautiful to us.
‘I don’t think any dog is truly ugly, they all have their loveable ways but I think it’s nice for the underdog to be celebrated and have a title and a bit of a fuss as well.’