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World's Ugliest Dog Contest: Enter Now

The Sonoma-Marin Fair tradition, which loves on offbeat pups, marks its 28th year.

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    Sweet Munchkin, a past participant in the World's Ugliest Dog competition, surveys the scene at the Sonoma-Marin Fair event. The 2016 gathering is on Friday, June 24. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    YOU WANT THEM ALL: Swearsies and truth time: We've never peeked over your shoulder as you've scrolled through pages upon pages of adoptable dogs. But we know your reaction, time and again, even without lingering nearby, and we're not even psychic. Here's how you feel: You want them all, every last pup, the one with the snaggly teeth and the one with the twisty tail and all of them, please, right now, in your arms, so you may proceed to snuggle every dog in existence.

    OF COURSE, snuggling every dog on the planet isn't *too* realistic -- we know, we can't fully deal with that fact, either -- but choosing to love one or a few dogs, constantly, with great care, is a most noble calling. It's what the people do who enter the famous World's Ugliest Dog Contest, the long-running showdown at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. Yes, we said "showdown," but it is the sweetest showdown around, for these dog-loving humans are helping to broadcast the message that all pups are beautiful, and snugglable, and worthy of our respect. Yes, we said "snugglable," and if you've ever perused the furry participants in the Junetime event, you'll agree that the word -- or, rather, the not-quite-a-word word -- more than fits. 

    WANT TO ENTER? The 2016 contest is on Friday, June 24, and a host of pups and people from points all over will be there to strut across the stage and meet the fans. The entry period is open, so best read the rules, then send your info along if you want your little lovebun to play a part. Dog devotees would never change a single thing about their utterly perfect pups, from their comically cockeyed ears to their fang-filled smiles. And sharing that pride in Petaluma just might help other home-needing pooches, pooches who don't fit the traditional mold, find their forever families.