LOXAHATCHEE GROVES, Fla. - At the "G & M" Ranch in Loxahatchee Groves, there are many unusual animals, and all have been rescued by Veterinarian Virginia Sayre and her husband Mike Carroll.
A pig, an armadillo, tortoises, horses, a rooster, a turkey and dogs enjoy the sunshine and green grass. Among them, an animal that now boasts international fame.
Quasi Modo has a short, round body with long legs. Her head disappears into her neck and body, as she is missing vertebrae and the remainder are fused together.
You understand it, if you're an animal lover, Sayre explains.
"But if you're not an animal person, I've had grown men jump on top of their trucks to get away from her, I had one kid that did a Hollywood scream, 'Aaahh!'"
After years of encouragement from her friends, the couple flew Quasi Modo from Loxahatchee Groves to the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Marin County, California. Quasi came in second place.
"Some people relate to her in a pose as Winston Churchill, a big, barrel-chest type of person," said Carroll, with Quasi Modo sitting nearby, her long legs stretched in front of her stout body.
The family calls her a "half-dog," due to her interesting shape. The dog received endless attention on their trip, which included stops at national landmarks. The couple isn't certain of her breed, but they say it's more fun to keep it a mystery. They have learned through Facebook posts around the world that there are at least five other animals in the world with the same unusual spine condition.
"Maybe that's why we got second instead of first, because she's so ugly she's cute," Sayre said.
"I love the dog, she's not ugly," smiled Carroll.
The dog has been a wonderful example of the importance of acceptance and understanding for those who are different, the couple says. Plus, Quasi Modo inspired a unique event in the couple's relationship. After 22 years together, the couple decided to get married while on the trip to the contest, with the help of a Clint Eastwood impersonator.
Quasi Modo has been a special member of their family for the last fourteen years.
"He's a very gentle soul, she loves everybody and everything. There's nothing in the world that she would hurt. And people, people are her best friends," said Sayre.