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Ugliest-dog owner: ‘We love her just like she is’

Yoda's short tufts of hair, protruding tongue and long, seemingly hairless legs were enough to earn her the World's Ugliest Dog title at a Northern California fair.

The 14-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix won the honor Friday night at the 23rd annual contest at the Sonoma Marin Fair.

Owner Terry Schumacher of Hanford, Calif., said the 2-pound dog had come a long way since she was found abandoned behind an apartment building.

Schumacher said she at first thought the pooch was a rat when her daughter Nicole presented her.

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"I thought she was bringing me a field rat — a dead field rat," she told TODAY.

But Nicole insisted on keeping her — and now, Yoda's a champion.

"If I gave you a coupon that said you could have a free Jill Rappaport makeover for Yoda," asked Ann on the TODAY couch, "would you take that coupon?"

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"We love her just like she is," said Schumacher.

Yoda's distinction came a year after a one-eyed Chihuahua named Princess Abby claimed victory.

A pedigree Chinese crested won in 2008 and another Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix was the ugliest in 2007.

In past years, the winner's owner has received a $1,000 check.

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