Yoda, the World's Ugliest Dog, dies

March 14, 2012 at 5:49 PM ET

Noah Berger / AP
A judge evaluates Yoda during the 2011 World's Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday, June 24, 2011, in Petaluma, Calif. The 14-year-old Chinese Crested and Chihuahua mix took top honors winning $1000 and a plethora of pet perks at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Sad news hit the animal world this week as we learned that Yoda, winner of the 2011 World’s Ugliest Dog competition, passed away. According to KSEE News, the Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix died peacefully in her sleep Saturday.

Matt Lauer and Ann Curry met the dog when she appeared on TODAY with her owner after winning the competition. Yoda's owner revealed that on first sight she thought the dog might be a rat and only kept her to appease her daughter.

While earning the title World's Ugliest Dog might have come with a heavy price to Yoda's self-esteem, the dog rose above her unfortunate physiognomy to become a beloved pet.

Watch her full appearance on TODAY below.


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