Every June, mangled mutts and distressed dogs from all over the country (and even the world) come to the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in California to compete against each other in the World's Ugliest Dog competition. From purebreds to mixes, each dog sports a face only a mother could love. But because of their homely visages and humans' desire to provide superlatives to everything, these ugly dogs receive more affection than most they would typically warrant were they simply un-famous ugly pooches. Many of competitors are rescues who survived everything from illness to abuse, but their battle scars remain only skin deep. Some you may even wonder as to why someone decided to nominate them to be the world's ugliest dog.
Each possesses a sweet disposition, caring owners, and a mug so ugly it really looks cute, which makes it difficult to choose a winner. The king or queen of the competition—now in its 29th year—takes home a trophy, $1500, and invariably becomes a media superstar. In a strange way, these unpretty dogs, much like songs about ugliness, inexplicably resonate with people, perhaps because ugliness does not determine who you are as a person or pooch. Regardless of their looks, all good boys go to heaven.