Pageant animals (like human pageant contestants) undergo extensive grooming sessions before they're show-ready. But when the point of the pageant is to reward ugliness, does the prep schedule become a lot less involved? Ahead of the annual World's Ugliest Dog competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California today, June 24, The Guardian checked in with the owners of three contestants to see what they do before the big day.
Each had a different approach in the days leading up to the contest. Annie Ragsdale, the owner of a 6-year-old Chinese crested named Rue, shared that she would be taking the most basic approach: a bath, lotion, and clipping of her nails. Some questioned that bare bones strategy, to which Ragsdale replied, "I don’t want to make her look ugly. She does it all on her own." The Guardian describes the dog as bug-eyed and blind in one eye from glaucoma, with a "scraggly black mullet," and very few teeth.
Himisaboo, a dachshund-Chinese crested mix who is returning as a fourth-time contestant, got pampered a little more before the show. As a designer of vinyl nail wraps, owner Heather Wilson revealed that she would be giving her dog a manicure, combing his hair into a Trump-esque style, and tending to some much-needed skin issues. "We pop his zits," Wilson said, adding, "you don’t want pus oozing out."
The third contestant profiled has won second place twice. SweePee Rambo (pictured above) is a 17-year-old hairless Chinese crested who has a curved spine, wears diapers for incontinence, is missing most of her teeth, and has arthritis in her hind legs. She was taken to a groomer before the contest for a bath and a haircut, but owner Jason Wurtz said that the diaper would probably not be worn on stage: "I don’t want to embarrass her. But I’ll have one, just in case."
The results of Friday evening's contest will be shared online this weekend, but in the meantime, check out photos of the contestants on the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds' website.
[h/t The Guardian]