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'World's Ugliest Dog Contestants' Judges Participants a Little Differently

We all like rooting for the underdog—but at the World's Ugliest Dog Contest, that word takes on a whole new meaning.

For years, the competition has taken place to "celebrate the imperfections of man's best friend." Many of the dogs were rescued from harsh living conditions and have issues like acne or tongues that refuse to stay in their mouths. For their devoted owners, however, such superficialities hardly matter—with one owner referring to her eight-year-old Chinese Crest, Zoomer, as her "sexy boy."

The contest event lineup includes "a red carpet walk and 'Faux Paw Fashion Show'"; the dogs are sized up based on "first impressions, unusual attributes, personality, and audience reaction." The winner receives prize money and a trophy—but another award, the Spirit Award, "is presented to a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provide service to their community."

Potential Preaching Angles: The headline for the article describing the contest reads "World's Ugliest Dog Contest awards underdogs' inner beauty." It's a sentiment that might be reminiscent of a certain command to Samuel: "Do not consider [Eliab's] appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

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