What started as a small novelty idea at a county fair in California has grown into an event that now attracts international reporters and camera crews. The winners become instant celebrities.
Mugly is a Chinese Crested dog, a breed that has dominated the competition, with good reason. I’ve offended enough owners of these dogs in the past, so that is all I’ll say on the subject of breed.
Every year when I write about the contest, I get someone commenting about how mean the whole idea is. But, of course, dogs don’t see ugly or beauty. The owners love them and never think of their dogs as ugly.
The contest raises money for dog charities and, since many of the dogs are rescue dogs that someone has abandoned because of their appearance, they become little ambassadors for dogs who are loving and beautiful on the inside. The dogs are examined by a veterinarian to make sure the ugly isn’t the result of a serious health problem as has happened in the past.
Mugly and her owner, Bev Nicholson, received a trophy, $1000 in prize money, a photo shoot, a stay at a Sheraton, and a year’s supply of dog cookies. In addition they will be hitting the talk show circuit and appear as celebrities at many dog events throughout the country.
Congratulations, Mugly. You are truly beautifully ugly.