Media Life: World’s ugliest dog Pabst rescued in Auburn

Auburn artist, Lincoln actor have earned places of honor in SoCal; El Dorado experience debuts on News10
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The newly crowned World’s Ugliest Dog has a Cinderella tale that starts in Auburn. Pabst, a take-charge boxer with a prominent underbite, won the global title last weekend at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. While Pabst and owner Miles Egstad live in Citrus Heights, the story of the dog’s somewhat meteoric rise to fame has its origins in Auburn. A buoyant Egstad, 25, happily explained after returning home from the competition that Pabst – named after the beer brand – was adopted from a mobile adoption unit at the Roseville PetSmart on Douglas Boulevard but was rescued in Auburn. That was in October 2005 and Egstad said he’d like to give back by donating some of the dog’s winnings to the rescue group that found the then-6-month-old pup running loose in the foothills city. At the time, Pabst was going by a couple of names – Bobo and Winston. Pabst got his name because it’s one of the 25-year-old millwright’s favorite brands of beer. Shelter people he talked with before adopting Pabst said they’d had the unusually betoothed dog for a month and believed he was abused as a puppy. The dog came home to Citrus Heights with a burn mark on his stomach, missing a toe and a shy temperament that took a while to overcome. “He was nice and calm but shied away from people,” Egstad said. “Now he’s loving life and this house is his house.” As for that “ugly” tag, Egstad views Pabst’s look as more of a scary one. But once people get over their initial reaction, they learn to love the imperfectly perfect pooch, he said. Egstad and Pabst have already been filmed for the Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101” segment and are getting some bites to appear on a major network’s morning show. A big “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” fan, Egstad said his ultimate goal would be to appear on that program and spread the word about pet adoption. After all, even the ugliest dog can find a home – and worldwide fame. And to think, it all started on an Auburn street, with a lonesome pup alone and abandoned. Only in America. REAGAN LIBRARY HONOR Here are a couple of Auburn-related landmarks if you’re thinking of a trek to Southern California. The first would be at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley. Reagan, of course, visited Auburn on several occasions to ride horses and on one memorable night, to give a speech at the Gold Country Fair. He’s even been known to have quaffed an ale or two at local watering holes. The library, which also tells his life story and houses – incredibly – a Boeing 707 that was used as Air Force One, includes a sculpture just outside the entrance to the air display by Auburn artist Doug Van Howd. It’s called “Friends of Freedom” and shows a Native American releasing an eagle into the sky. FRED CLARK A PLACER STAR The other Auburncentric attraction would be on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You may not have heard of him but mid-20th century character actor Fred Clark has a star at 1713 Vine St. for his pioneering TV work on “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.” Lesser known is that Clark, the son of Placer County’s agriculture commissioner, was born in Lincoln in 1914, grew up in the orchard belt between Lincoln and Auburn, and graduated from Lincoln High School. As far as Media Life can tell, Clark’s the only Placer County native to have a star on the Walk of Fame. Clark’s sometimes-blustering, sometimes-menacing features can be seen in film classics like “Flamingo Road” and “White Heat” from 1949, “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953) and “Sunset Blvd.” from 1950. TV viewers from the 1950s and 1960s might remember him as well for his potato chip ads or guest appearances on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “I Dream of Jeannie” and other situation comedies. While Clark appears to be the lone Placer County native to be honored, the foothills has called home to at least one other Walk of Fame star. Maxene Andrews, one of the singing Andrews Sisters, is on the walk with her siblings at 6834 Hollywood Blvd. She lived in Auburn for several years before her death in 1995. ELDO ON TV El Dorado County’s on the screen this Sunday as Sacramento’s News10 telecasts the first in a monthly series of travel-oriented shows under the Experience El Dorado! banner. Hosted by actor and Cool rancher Perry King (“Riptide”) and produced by Emmy-winning videographer Todd Stanley of Lotus, the new series debuts at 5 p.m. The first episode includes segments on motorcycling, truffles and the recent American River Festival in Coloma. Future shows will be on Tahoe (5 p.m. Aug. 2), history (5:30 p.m. Sept. 6) and the greening of the county (5 p.m. Oct. 4). Media Life’s Gus Thomson can be reached at