And the Winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition, 2017 is?

Martha, winner of the 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California.
Image Credit: Photograph by Monica M. Davey/EPAS.
A Neapolitan mastiff named Martha has been crowned the winner of the 29th annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest.
The gassy 57 kilo (125lb) beast was a favourite of the northern California crowd from the start, often plopping down on her side on stage with her droopy face spread across the ground when she was supposed to be showing off.

She was rescued when she was nearly blind, but after several surgeries can see again, according to her handler Shirley Zindler.
She lumbered away with $1,500, a flashy trophy and a trip to New York for media appearances, all things she could hardly care less about.

She beat out 13 other dogs, most of them the kind of older, smaller dogs who dominate the competition.
Source: Ruff justice: Neapolitan mastiff crowned World’s Ugliest Dog 2017 | Life and style | The Guardian

Abbie the Surfing Dog Champion, California.

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Photo: Abbie is the longest competing surf dog in the world. (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
by Paige cockburn
The 10-year-old Australian Kelpie rescue dog has just taken first place in the World Dog Surfing Championships at Linda Mar Beach in California.
Abbie had a devastating start to life and was found on the roadside in the Silicon Valley, but was later adopted by Mike who introduced her to the beach in an attempt to rehabilitate her.
“We never planned this … originally we were just doing sports together as a way to bond because she had so much trauma,” Mike says.”She was even afraid of the dark and men, including me at first.
“But doing sports together I could actually measure how much closer we were getting … it built her trust in me.
“Since learning to ride the stick, Abbie has medalled in every competition she has entered and even set a new Guinness World Record for longest wave surfed by a dog — an impressive 107 metres.
But before this, it took some hard work from Mike to change people’s attitudes towards dog surfing and actually consider it a real sport rather than a novelty.

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Photo: (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
“We tried to push it to be more of a sport … but we did get accused of being competitive,”
Mike says.“However, now everyone is competitive! “The same people who were pissed off at us are now fighting for trophies.
“The transformation has been massive and the world of dog surfing has officially moved from a dress-up event in the shallows, to a truly athletic competition.”
Now read on via A look inside the surprisingly competitive world of dog surfing – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Young Wombats, Australia and islands.

enhanced-buzz-17553-1346432596-10This large, pudgy mammal is a marsupial, or pouched animal, found in Australia and on scattered islands nearby.
Like other marsupials, wombats give birth to tiny, undeveloped young that crawl into pouches on their mothers’ bellies.
A wombat baby remains in its mother’s pouch for about five months before emerging. Even after it leaves the pouch, the young animal will frequently crawl back in to nurse or to escape danger.
By about seven months of age, a young wombat can care for itself.
Wombats use their claws to dig burrows in open grasslands and eucalyptus forests.
They live in these burrows, which can become extensive tunnel-and-chamber complexes.
Common wombats are solitary and inhabit their own burrows, while other species may be more social and live together in larger burrow groups called colonies.
Wombats are nocturnal and emerge to feed at night on grasses, roots, and bark.
They have rodentlike incisors that never stop growing and are gnawed down on some of their tougher vegetarian fare.
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via Wombat Facts – National Geographic.

Dog Photos of 2017: Petey the Wheaten Terrier, Boston.

First place, Dogs At Play
Petey, a Wheaten terrier, paddling in the water on the south shore of Boston, Massachusetts.
Image Credit: Photograph by Kaylee Greer.
Source: Dog photographer of the year 2017 – in pictures | Life and style | The Guardian

Crufts Dog Show, Birmingham, UK.

Day two of Crufts Dog Show 
An Airedale Terrier takes his turn under the spotlight in one of the judging rings at the NEC in Birmingham, Britain.
Said to be the largest show of its kind in the world, the annual four-day event, features thousands of dogs, with competitors travelling from countries across the globe to take part.
Image Credit: Photograph by Matt Cardy/Getty Images.
Source: Photo highlights of the day | News | The Guardian

One and a Half White Bears, Manitoba, Canada.

A cub escapes deep snow by hitching a ride on its mother’s backside in Wapusk National Park, Manitoba, Canada.
Photo taken by Daisy Gilardini, from Switzerland.
The photo is one of 25 shortlisted for the People’s Choice Award in the latest Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.
Source: Wildlife Photographer of the Year – People’s Choice – BBC News