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The ugliest of them all

Tammie Barbee holds a treat out for her beagle-basset-boxer mix Walle after he took top prize in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma on Friday.

Conner Jay/The Press Democrat
Published: Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.

They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder but there was general agreement Friday night in Petaluma about what constitutes ugly.

A beagle-bassett-boxer mix with an oversized head, humped back and drumstick legs got the nod, beating out hairless, drooling pooches of all kinds to be named the World's Ugliest Dog.

“He reminds me of Arnold Schwarzenegger,” said Tammie Barbee of Chico, owner of the 4-year-old mutt, Walle. “That's what everybody says.”

Contest emcee Sheri Lynch, co-host of the nationally syndicated Bob & Sheri radio show, said he “looks like someone Photoshopped him.”

Petaluma political consultant Brian Sobel, who served as a judge, also chimed in about the oddly bred hound with disproportionate features.

“His body configuration has me stunned,” Sobel said. “He looks like an experiment that went wrong.”

The appearance-impaired pup was deemed more hideous than Rue, a black Chinese crested from Lodi that the hosts said looked “half-dinosaur, half-kangaroo.”

“She has a mullet and no other hair,” said her owner, Annie Ragsdale. “She's a hoarder. She's got OCD a little bit.”

Other top finishers included Mayzie Brown, a tiny Pomeranian from Nevada with patches of pink, speckled skin; Sophie, a cross-eyed Chihuahua-mix from the Bay Area that produced bubbles from her nose; and Isaboo, a mixed Chihuahua-Chinese crested from Idaho with a scraggly mohawk.

Walle's owner got a five-foot tall trophy and $1,500. But more importantly, he's expected to be catapulted to fame with appearances on the “Today” show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

Dog and owner soaked up the limelight before a crowd of hundreds as press photographers snapped their pictures at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, which continues through Sunday.

Barbee said Walle's mother was a beagle-basset mix and his father was a boxer.

Some pointed out that his face lacked the usual physical horrors of past winners. A few said he was actually good-looking.

But others, including many of the two-dozen competitors, said the title was well-deserved. His deformed features made him the most repulsive.

“He was lopsided,” said Jim Partridge of Santa Rosa, who entered his chubby pug, Grovie. “It's nice to see a dog with some hair win.”

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.

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