A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

The Not-Very-Ugliest Dog


Mugly took home top honors in this Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, Calif., this year. But frankly he just wasn’t that ugly. I mean, check out some winners of previous Ugly Dog contests. Here’s Gus from an earlier one:[readon]


And Sam, who’s probably my all-time favorite:


And not sure who this one was, but he didn’t win – perhaps because he looked pretty good next to his person:


Whenever I mention the Ugly Dog Contest (there are actually two, and the one in San Diego competes for ugliness with this one in Petaluma), someone always writes in to complain that it’s disrespectful to dogs. Maybe. But their guardians only enter them in the contest because, as they generally put it, “To me he’s the most beautiful dog in the world.” And, on a more serious note, the whole event helps get more dogs adopted when people see that it’s fun and fashionable to have a pooch who doesn’t conform to conventional dog-show standards.

Tip for potential candidates: Chinese Cresteds inevitably have a head start.

This year’s champ, Mugly, took home a year’s supply of cookies and a stay at a fancy hotel, but, as NPR noted, no grooming supplies.

For last year’s winner, meet Cuda.