World's Ugliest Dog Contest

One question: "Is your dog ugly enough?"

COMMON REACTION: When most people watch a major competitive dog show, their reactions run the gamut. They might call certain breeds or competitors "noble" or "gorgeous" or "striking," but, truly, the opinions of onlookers tend to be quite varied. This is not so with the annual World's Ugliest Dog competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. Why do we say that? For one reason: Observers very typically have one initial reaction: "awww, poor thing." Which amuses -- or is it bemuses? -- us; after all, dogs don't own mirrors as far as we know, and the stories behind the pups who regularly compete reveal they belong to loving homes and doting humans. So, in short? Maybe the "awww, poor thing" bit is a bit unfounded. Maybe they are, indeed, the World's Most Wonderful Dogs, and certainly some of the luckiest, to receive such fawning and attention. This year's contest is set to bark on Friday, June 22.

BUT IF YOU CAN'T GET UP THERE... You can still vote for your favorite wagger online. Nope, your vote won't actually count in the final tally, but it is fun to weigh in. And Creature, who is just about the most Jim-Henson-Muppet-y of the 2012 field, is currently in the lead. But they're all way cute and toothy and patchy of hair. How can you not love them or love one of our state's most infamous and tongue-in-cheeky pup competitions? It's famous the world over, so if you're not in Petaluma for The World's Ugliest Dog, just check out the headlines for the furry, funny-faced winner on June 22.

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