Petaluma Puts on An Ugly Dog Contest, and Elaine Hibbs' Mutt, Snuffy, Wins It Paws Down

UPDATED 11/03/1980 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/03/1980 at 01:00 AM EST

As the saying goes, Snuffy looks like he just stepped into a big bucket of ugly. Now he's got two trophies to prove it. Snuffy, who is 11, was recently entered in the annual Ugly Dog Contest in Petaluma, Calif. by his owner, Elaine Hibbs, who is also 11. Snuffy nipped all competitors and won both Worst Mutt and Worst in Show.

"He is ugly," says Elaine proudly of her pet, who is a bizarre mix of Pomeranian, Pekingese and Chihuahua. Because of a hormone deficiency, most of Snuffy's hair has fallen out, revealing a pink, brown and black mottled body. His hind legs bow and his front ones turn in. His bug eyes water, his jaw is underslung and—pee-yew—Snuffy's aroma is unmistakably dog.

Nor is Snuffy's ugliness skin-deep. "He's afraid of mice and birds and ducks," says Elaine. "He bumps into things all the time. And he sleeps all day and scratches all night." Nonetheless, Elaine—who also has another dog, 27 fish, 11 ducks and a hermit crab—tenderly wraps Snuffy in his own pink blanket and snuggles him in her arms. "He used to be really pretty," she says nostalgically. "He looked like a small deer when he had hair, and he used to stand on his hind legs and dance in a circle."

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