SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) _ Sam, the tiny dog whose hairless body and crooked teeth earned him a reputation as the World's Ugliest Dog, has died.

The pooch died Friday, just short of his 15th birthday, his owner said.

``I don't think there'll ever be another Sam,'' Susie Lockheed said, adding: ``Some people would think that's a good thing.''

Sam won the ugliest dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this summer for the third year in a row. The pedigreed Chinese crested had made appearances on TV in Japan, radio in New Zealand and in Britain's Daily Mirror tabloid. He also had met Donald Trump on a talk show set.

Lockheed said she initially was terrified of Sam when she agreed to take him in as a rescue dog six years ago on a 48-hour trial basis. Although she fell in love with him, his appearance repulsed her then-boyfriend and prompted the man to break up with her.

Later, however, Sam became a matchmaker by bringing together Lockheed and her current beau, who saw a picture of the two on an online dating site.

Lockheed said she had Sam euthanized after she learned Sam's heart was failing.

She said she's felt a little lost ever since, and is sleeping with Sam's favorite toy _ a stuffed bear he picked up and carried home.