Martha’s unique appearance prompted her caretakers at Dogwood to enter her in the World’s Ugliest Dog competition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on June 24. Shirley Zindler, president and cofounder of Dogwood Animal Rescue (and foster mom to Martha), acted as her handler.
“Dogwood Animal Rescue was invited to attend the competition’s pre-show dog fashion show and we thought Martha might be the perfect contestant, as she isn’t traditionally beautiful with her drool, wrinkles, red eyes and saggy face,” Pearce says. There, Martha faced off against 13 formidable competitors, most of whom were older and far smaller than the young mastiff.
Martha isn’t one for quiet grace, and her cheerful, relaxed presence won over the hearts of the judges. “Martha is a delightful girl who occasionally breaks things with her happy, wagging tail that resembles a baseball bat!” Pearce says. “Martha doesn’t do anything in a dainty way; she's a messy eater, a messy drinker, she drools, she snores (loud!), she’s gassy and she's absolutely adorable.”
True to form, when her big win was announced, Zindler accepted the ribbon as Martha snoozed at the edge of the stage.