Celebrating the Underdog at the World’s Ugliest Dog Pageant

Walle proved to be the ultimate underdog, winning the 25th annual World's Ugliest Dog pageant.
Walle proved to be the ultimate underdog, winning the 25th annual World’s Ugliest Dog pageant.

Everyone loves an underdog, and there is perhaps no better literal celebration of the lovable loser than the World’s Ugliest Dog Pageant, held every year at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. This year was the 25th anniversary of the event, and with another good turnout, the event figures to continue long into the future.

Plenty of contestants from around the world brought their beloved canines in to be judged on their un-attractiveness. Entrants came from across the country in order to prove that they indeed had the ugliest pet in the land, flying in from places like Tuscon, Arizona in hopes of taking home the not so coveted trophy.

For the past several years the title has been dominated by hairless chihuahuas and Chinese Cresteds, however this year proved different.

The most unsightly mutt at the ball was Walle, a 4 year old mix between a beagle, basset hound, and boxer. His huge head and duck feet made him the least attractive of the least attractive, taking home a ridiculously large trophy along with $1,500 cash.

Celebrating and rooting for the underdog is something we love to do in America, and perhaps the World’s Ugliest Dog Pageant is the most literal expression of that attitude.

All in all, 30 dogs entered the competition, but Walle proved to be the ugliest. According to his review by judge Brian Sobel “This dog looked like he’s been photo-shopped with pieces from various dogs and maybe a few other animals.” A Frankenstein of dogs if you will, Walle was certainly not an attractive mutt.

He may now be the World’s Ugliest Dog, however owner Tammie Barbee loves him, describing the experience of owning the world’s greatest underdog. “People come up to me and say that dog is not right,” she said in her victorious interview, “but I love him.”

Judges for the World’s Ugliest Dog Pageant included  the father of Joe Montana, Joe Montana Sr., along with Jon Provost. Provost was a child star in Lassie for those of you who don’t know, he played the boy who owned Lassie in the series.

So 25 years of celebrating the underdog at the World’s Ugliest Dog Pageant are in the books, and the reigning champion is Walle, an unattractive and disproportional mix of basset hound, boxer, and beagle.

You can watch coverage of the competition below. (Per ABC News.)

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

The Guardian Express

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