An adopted surfing pitbull named Boss, who lives with Ben Dunham in Laguna Niguel, has pawed his way to the top of the heap in the Fuzzy Nation Super Model Contest, carrying away the Grand Prize, a $15,000 award to Villalobos Rescue, formerly in Santa Clarita, now in New Orleans, according to Fuzzy Nation.
"A bunch of my friends said to enter him in the contest, and I did then forgot about it," said Dunham, 26, who makes custom sofas. "He's a great dog, and I've always had pitbulls; my mom rescued a pregnant one once."
His dog, who often walks and plays in Laguna Niguel's pooch park, has an unsual palate, as his owner says: "He likes fish over chicken and beef."
Boss is also a big surfer and loves going to Orange County beaches where he can Hang 10. In fact, he's won quite a few awards: 2011 AND 2012 Surf City Surf Dog Medals and Trophy, and 2012 Pup N Pinot Best Dressed.
Boss is a Staffy Bull Terrier mix that surfs and was lucky enough to have been featured on Animal Planet's Pit Bulls and Parolees and now has a great and loving home with Dunham.
"We love to meet new people and break negative stereotypes of the breed," said Dunham.
Boss escaped death row in 2009 from an LA shelter by Villalobos Rescue Center. He stayed at the ranch little over a year with some amazing volunteers. Then in January 2011, Dunham came to the ranch with his two roommates to meet Boss and the rest is history.
Boss has his own fire hydrant and own spot on the sofa, so he's living very comfortably.
His dad, who has been surfing since he was a kid, couldn't stand leaving Boss at home when went surfing, so ended up getting Boss on his own surfboard.
"I think Boss is first dog out of Villalobos to surf, and in 2011 competed in Surf City Surf Dog contest, and more to come," he said.
Just like any Staffy pit bull mix, this stocky dude loves everyone he meets and spends most of his time loving, eating and sleeping.
He gets to travel a lot, but most days he enjoys his many jogs at the beach and trails around his new house and loves eating out at many local restaurants.
Dunham, who nominated Boss, will receive a custom Fuzzy Nation item worth up to $120, plus a $300 gift certificate at FuzzyNation.com. Dunham said he was honored that his rescue dog “with a hard start and now having a great life” may encourage people to adopt not shop for their pets.
There will also be a plush version of Boss, which will eventually be sold with a portion of the price going to Villalobos, the shelter from which Boss was adopted.
Additionally, there is a Boss collection you can find here. Fifteen percent of the purchase price of these items will be donated to Villalobos.
“To think that a pitbull has been chosen to become a cuddly stuffed animal is beyond our dreams,” said Tia Torres, founder of Villalobos Rescue. “Never in a million years when I first started Villalobos Rescue Center did I think something like this would happen. It’s heartwarming to know that all the love and support that we put into this breed is now being recognized for the dog they've always been: a family dog. What more could we ask?"
FuzzyNation makes “people” goods, like handbags and totes, journals, and gifts that prominently feature dogs. Products can be customized with a person’s own pooch.
Second place winner was Joseph Abramo of Santa Monica. The Sharing Our Love Foundation in Los Angeles, where he adopted Beck, will receive a $3,000 prize.
Third place was awarded to Ana and Aditya Deshpande, The Colony, TX. Legacy Boxer Rescue, Dallas/Ft. Worth, will receive $2,000.
Five celebrity judges, including Emmy-winning Katherine Heigl, chose 100 finalists. The public voted for the top three.