Is beautiful bulldog an oxymoron?
Is beautiful bulldog an oxymoron? Tiffany Torstenson, of Waukee, Iowa, kisses her dog Lucey after it was crowned the winner of the 35th annual Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest
Is beautiful bulldog an oxymoron?
Lexile: 1170L

Assign to Google Classroom

Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch whose human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.

Winning a pageant before her second birthday should boost the Iowa bulldog's hopes of joining owner Dr. Tiffany Torstenson in the health care industry.

Lucey beat out 49 drooling competitors Monday to take this year's "Beautiful Bulldog" pageant, a tongue-in-cheek event designed to kick off the weeklong Drake Relays, an internationally renowned track and field meet in Des Moines.

"She's just very calm and she loves people," Torstenson, of Waukee, Iowa, said. "She loves the attention."

Torstenson, a breast surgeon at the Mercy Katzmann Breast Center, said she often takes Lucey to work. Lucey's demeanor around doctors and patients helped convince her human family that she'd make a perfect therapy dog, and she will soon start training to become one.

Lucey was certainly a hit with the crowd at Drake's Knapp Center, besting a pair of boys named Lord Nelson and Zuul, to capture top honors.

"She's very docile and she doesn't get really excited," Torstenson said. "Every room we go into, she's in that room. She likes to sleep in the bed, and hog the bed. And she loves cheese."

Monday marked the 35th anniversary of the Beautiful Bulldog event, which was started in 1979 in an effort to find a real dog to represent the school's mascot, the Bulldogs.

The pageant is meant to honor English Bulldogs and all the slovenly traits that have endeared the breed to so many. The event has become so popular in recent years that a lottery was needed to winnow the field from over 100 bulldogs down to 50.

Competitors from as far away as South Dakota and Kansas made the trip to Des Moines to find out which pup would be voted the prettiest.

Costumes and props are strongly encouraged, and a dog named Capone from Center Point, Iowa, got the crowd going by taking part of his turn on the catwalk on a skateboard. The runner-up, Zuul, was named after a character in the iconic '80s film "Ghostbusters," and he and his dad, Dan Phelps of Marengo, Iowa, wore costumes inspired by the movie.

But no one could touch the simple pink tutu and award-winning smile of Lucey, whose reign will last until next year's pageant.

Lucey received a crown, a cape and a cake for winning the event, and she'll be feted at Drake Stadium later this week.

"She's good with kids. She's good with adults. She's just been a great dog," said Lucey's owner, Toby Torstenson.

Critical thinking challenge: Why did Drake choose bulldogs for their beauty pageant? Why didnt they pick a more attractive breed?

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 0 times

  • madelines-Ste
    4/23/2014 - 10:30 a.m.

    I love bulldogs they are so cute and they are always mistaken to be real mean and they are actually the sweetest dogs and really just couch potatoes they get up to eat and to go to the bathroom, They are so cute when they are a puppy.

  • JericaD77
    4/24/2014 - 08:31 a.m.

    Drake picked Bulldogs for their pageant because they wanted a school mascot in 1979, and it's just carried on since then. I think a dog show like this one would be wonderful! Especially to see all the costumes and random fun or funny ideas the owners would come up with.

  • NakoomaKewenvoyouma-Lar
    4/25/2014 - 11:58 a.m.

    It seems that bulldogs are more popular and she had more skills, but it is so cute because the owner has a future for the dog, like as the dog was a real person going to college. But it is cute and the dog seems very smart and I do hope that she is going to be a therapy dog hopefully she enjoys what she does.

  • TylerP16
    4/25/2014 - 12:23 p.m.

    I think that bulldogs are very pretty dogs, and they aren't mean like people think they are. A bulldog is actually not even that active, they love to eat and sleep.

  • TyroneW-Syl
    4/25/2014 - 03:50 p.m.

    I don't care about a dog in a beauty contest. IT IS JUST A DOG. Unless the dog works or you're going to eat it, dogs are pointless. I like the fact that they are from Iowa!

    • salvador98anchondo
      4/29/2014 - 10:50 a.m.

      I agree with you because they said a bulldog and then I realized that it was a bulldog contest. And I also tough it was kind of funny.

  • BrandonI
    4/27/2014 - 04:01 p.m.

    I love all dogs but I don't really care for bulldogs. It is not because they have a mean streak like other dogs are suppose too. It is their face looks so sad and they seem like lazy dogs. They can still be cute at times like other dogs.

  • colleenl-Ste
    4/28/2014 - 01:22 p.m.

    I think that if Lucey meets the requirements that a therapy dog needs, then she should be a therapy dog. Her winning in the beautiful bulldog pageant is just a plus in her chances of getting the job of a therapy dog.

  • ashlynh-Orv
    4/28/2014 - 02:37 p.m.

    I LOVE BULLDOGS!!! Even though bulldogs have lots of threats on them because some poeple think they are vicious, i think its ironic that someone wants to do this as a therapy dog. I think it would be very cute.

  • Alexbice7
    4/28/2014 - 02:41 p.m.

    I think it'll be really cool for the bull dog to become a dog for therapy because believe it or not animals are very good at making humans happy.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment