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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Taylor Stokes and Creature in West Jordan on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. They are headed to California to compete in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest.

WEST JORDAN — Is it her long blonde hair? Maybe it’s those big brown eyes or that unique smile? Whatever it is, Creature has the winning combination.

The 10-year-old Mexican Hairless mix recently won the title of “Utah’s Ugliest Mutt.” Now, she’s in the running for the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif.

Her owner, Taylor Stokes, said she is the sweetest dog he’s ever run into.

Creature spent a month at a shelter before being adopted by the Stokes family about a year ago. Where did her name come from? Apparently, Stokes’ wife had always wanted to name an animal Creature, and when she saw the dog at the shelter she said, "That’s Creature, that’s her."

Some people have told Stokes that Creature is so ugly, she’s cute. She is mostly hairless, except for mopish long blonde hair on her head and tail.

He doesn’t consider her ugly, despite an under-bite that gives the appearance of a constant growl.

"We like to call her Tusks because when she nudges you, like a dog does, you kind of get stabbed in the arms a little bit," he said.

Despite her sweet temperament, her teeth have scared a couple of people. Stokes said people thought she was growling at them.

He didn't think of entering his dog in the contest, but his vet fell in love with Creature and convinced him to enter her in the competition. Several people have told Stokes that Creature could win the competition.

To vote for Creature or any of the 18 other contenders, go to www.sonoma-marinfair.org/ugly-dog-gallery. Creature was leading in the online voting, with nearly 600 votes Wednesday afternoon. The winner, however, will be selected by a panel of judges during competition Friday evening.

The 41-pound dog is the mascot for RSQ DOGS, a private dog rescue run by Stokes.

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