No stud fees for N.J.’s ex-ugliest dog

20080625_ellwood_400
Elwood poses with his new children's book, "Everyone Loves Elwood," at his Washington Township home. "He's the people's dog," said his owner. "People love him." (Elizabeth Robertson/Inquirer)

No stud fees for Elwood.

Demand is low for the genetic goods of a former World’s Ugliest Dog, dethroned on Friday. And, anyway, the pride and joy of Washington Township is neutered.

But there’s still lots of demand for Elwood himself, says his owner, Karen Quigley.

On Saturday, he’ll sign copies of his book at Blackwood’s Pet Palooza. He’ll be in Riverton’s July 4 parade, then it’s on to the arts-and-crafts festival being held in Haddonfield on July 12-13. The calendar at everyoneloveselwood.com is crammed.

Elwood even has his own line of greeting cards, sold nationwide at Target. Not bad for a half-Chinese Crested, half-Chihuahua who looks more than a little like Gizmo in Gremlins.

Elwood didn’t stand a chance at this year’s Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California — not against an upstart who lost a leg to cancer and an eye to a tomcat. Gus, a bald, pure-bred Chinese Crested from St. Petersburg, Fla., took the crown last week.

But Elwood was still a winner, says Quigley, who lives in Sewell. He took congeniality honors, as voted by the “guardians” of the other dogs.

“He’s always a crowd favorite,” said Quigley, 47, who does marketing for a Blackwood optical company. “He’s the people’s dog. People love him.”

Especially Quigley. Whom would she pick, if a gunman made her choose between Elwood and her boyfriend, John Micklewright, who runs the Trenton Animal Shelter?

“Oh, Elwood,” she said. “And John knows that. Elwood is my heart.

“He sleeps with me every night. He curls up right under my neck. He’s a snuggle bug.”

Elwood made a lot of friends and raised a lot of money during his year as champ, Quigley said.

One portrait of the brown-and-white, tufted, droopy-tongued pooch was purchased for $2,000 by a doctor who lives in Margate, Quigley said. Another raised $1,600 for the Louisiana Humane Society.

Part of the proceeds from Quigley’s self-published book, Everyone Loves Elwood, help homeless and abused animals. It encourages kids to be kind and persevere, she said. Elwood, whose third birthday was recently celebrated by a Jersey Shore school, signs copies with his paw.

His likeness is on nine new cards from the Recycled Paper Greetings. “It’s hard to be beautiful,” reads one. “But we manage. Happy Birthday!”

Could fame have gone to Elwood’s lopsided head? He’s been on The View and CNN, and he’s been known to wear sunglasses.

“He does have some pretty cool-looking shades,” Quigley said. And “a very fancy collar with his name in rhinestones.”

At home, Elwood gets top-of-the-line dog food. On the road, it’s Burger King, Chik-Fil-A, or pizza. But he’s no prima-donna.

“Not at all,” Quigley said. “Elwood is as sweet and as lovable as they day we took him home.”

She’s not sure if Elwood will try again next year, though the attention has been fun.

“You never know what the future holds,” she said. “You haven’t heard the last of Elwood.”

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.