Woof! It's worst in show for these pups in an un‑beauty pageant in California
July 10th 2006
By Susan Schindehette and Oliver Jones
Photographs by Mary Ellen Mark
For three years in a row, Li'l Sam, a Chinese Crested Hairless from Santa Barbara, took top honors at the annual World's Ugliest Dog contest at Petaluma's Sonoma‑Marin Fair. But last November came sad news that the champ had died. His Web site got 6 million hits, says his owner Susie Lockheed, and word spread in kennels across the nation: What pooch would inherit his crown? On June 26, dozens of hopefuls gathered from as far as Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida. There was Jake, 14, the one‑eyed Chihuahua and Annie, a Peruvian Inca Orchid who came because her caretaker, Sandy Paxton, thought she was entitled: "Just because you're a little odd‑looking doesn't mean you shouldn't make new friends." Munchkin entered the contest as the favorite—in a pink skirt and tiara. "She feels pretty when she gets her dresses on," says owner Yvonne Morones. But a newcomer took top dog when judges handed a $1,000 check to Archie, a Hairless from Phoenix. "My mind went completely blank," says owner Heather Peoples, 33, a PetSmart exec. She apparently didn't realize what her hound had going for him. "For me, it was the distended belly and the tongue hanging out of a mouth with no teeth," said the chief judge, Sonoma County Supervisor Mike Kerns. "In the end, Archie just had the overall package."
VICTORIA: Born with a deformity and plagued with health problems, she was slated for euthanasia when flight attendant Bruna Palmateier rescued this purebred runt-of-the-litter Italian greyhound. “She has defied death, and now we want her to be a mascot for all the dogs that are not perfect out there.”
RASCAL: He’s been in four horror movies, according to owner Dane Andrew, an actor from Sunnyvale, Calif. The Chinese Crested Hairless gets “typecast as the evil dog who goes out and commits murder.” Offscreen, “other than the people who say, “What did you do to that dog?” The attention is all-and-all positive.
LUCILLE BALD: Rescued from a Missouri puppy mill, tattoed to indicate she was a breeder, this Chinese Crested was just a number, but now she’s living the life— a real rags-to-riches story,” says Andrea Potts. “When we walk her, it’s always “E.T. called and wants his baby back.” I’m not in denial. I know my dog is ugly, but I love her anyway.
MUNCHIN: “I think of her as more comeliness-challenged,” says Yvonne Morones, who got her dog at a rescue center. “We never actually use the U-word around the house.”
PEE WEE: “One time a kid came up and said, “Eew! That’s the ugliest dog I have ever seen, like an ugly rat,” says Kristin Maszkiewicz “I turned and said, “You know, my dog will kill you.
TATER TOT: “We call her Lolita because she’s such a little hussy, even at 14,” says Susie Lockheed, who owns this Chihuahua-Chinese Crested mix. “She’s petite, dark, with lovely wispy hair.”
ARCHIE: This year’s big winner. “Personally, I don’t think he knows what this is all about,” says Heather Peoples. “He’s having a high old time, getting love and treats. That’s all he cares about.”