On June 25th, Yoda a Chinese-crested Chihuahua mix, beat out 29 contestants to win the coveted 'World's Ugliest Dog' title. The 14-year old who hails from Hanford,California was voted in by the public who voiced their opinion by texting in - 'American Idol' style!
The tiny canine that weighs a mere 1.8lbs impressed the audience with its sporadic spurts of hair, long hairless legs, protruding tongue and bat-like ears. She belongs to Terry Devine Schumacher, who mistook it for a rat when her daughter found it in a field, over 14 years ago. However, upon realizing it was a dog, they fell in love with the odd-looking puppy and promptly adopted her.
To win the coveted title, Yoda had to surmount some serious competition that included last year's winner, Princess Abby, a fellow Chihuahua named Handsome Hector and, a blind one-eyed pug called Hercules.
Along with the title, Yoda received a trophy 15 times her size, a cash prize of $1,000USD, a one-night stay in a luxurious suite at the Sonoma County Sheraton, as well as, a photo shoot with San Francisco based Nuena Photography, which specializes in dog portraits. And, of course just like any other pageant winner, Yoda will be appearing on talk shows all over the country and presiding over local dog events during her one-year reign.
Now in its 23rd year, the 'Ugliest Dog Contest', which airs live on the Animal Planet channel, is extremely popular not only in the USA, but also, overseas. While it may seem cruel to call anybody or anything 'ugly' it is important to remember that this contest is held just for fun and the contestants come from homes where they are loved and pampered - despite their rather unusual looks - After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Resources: sonoma-marinfair.org, dailymail.co.uk