updated 06/27/2011 AT 7:00 PM ET
•originally published 06/28/2011 AT 7:45 AM ET
What does it take to win the Sonoma-Marin Fair’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest? A whole lot of ugly?
Nope. All you need is 1.8 lbs. of it.
Despite being 15 times smaller than the trophy she would eventually win, a 14-year-old mutt name Yoda (possibly a mix of teacup Chihuahua and Chinese crested) took the title of World’s Ugliest Dog last Friday.
Even more improbable than her tiny size is the fact that this year was Yoda’s first time participating in the competition, which happens annually in Petaluma, Calif. “I’ve had a lot of friends over the years ask me to enter her into the contest,” owner Terry Schumacher tells PEOPLE. “But she’s not ugly – she’s cute!”
Schumacher, a Californian, first met Yoda 12 years ago, when her then 4-year-old daughter came running up with an animal from a field.
“She came walking up to me and said she’d found this puppy,” Schumacher says. “I was yelling at her, telling her to put it down. I thought it was a field rat. I thought it had rabies.”
But, upon closer inspection, the field rat was in fact a dog, and for 12 years since, Yoda – so named because of her resemblance to the Star Wars character – has ruled the roost.
“We have a snake, two turtles, three dogs and a cat,” Schumacher says. “She’s the boss of everybody. She runs ‘em all off.”
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