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

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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?

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  • brennanf-Wel
    4/28/2014 - 03:32 p.m.

    When it comes to dogs, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. People shouldn't judge other people on what they think is beauty in something. Personally I think that Bulldogs are very ugly dogs but other people have a right to their opinion. For real people

  • EthanH-5
    4/28/2014 - 07:55 p.m.

    Eighteen month old Lucey beat out 49 other bulldogs to be crowned this years most "Beautiful Bulldog" in the contest held at Drake School to kick off their annual track and field event. Bulldogs are the schools mascot. The event is so popular that there was a lottery this year. Some of the dogs and owners wore costumes, but Lucey wore a simple pink tutu. She is a very calm dog and so good with people that her owner, a surgeon, wants to train her to be a therapy dog.

    I love bulldogs. They look like they are smiling and are so funny when they snort and slobber all over. They are usually very friendly dogs and seem like they would be good therapy dogs.

  • NicoK-5
    4/28/2014 - 10:16 p.m.

    Should "beautiful bulldog" be an oxymoron? I don't think it should. The "beautiful bulldog" competition recently crowned a new victor. The new victor is an 18 month old pup named Lucey. The owners think that she would make a good therapy dog. She beat 49 other dogs in order to win her competition.
    I don't think "beautiful bulldog" is an oxymoron. But, I think bulldogs are cute because off how ugly they are.

  • brynnd
    4/30/2014 - 09:27 p.m.

    Bulldogs are the cutest little dogs. I think that is a cute idea to have a pageant for these puppies. It is a good way to raise money too because a lot of puppy lovers would come out to watch.

  • AnnabellC723
    5/02/2014 - 08:52 a.m.

    Drake probably chose Bulldogs because he knew they weren't the prettiest breed but still wanted to give English Bulldogs a chance at pageants.Drake probably thought that attractive breeds would knock them out of the park so he wanted to see the slobbery dogs try for once at pageants.

  • dylanh408
    5/02/2014 - 01:40 p.m.

    That is awesome that she beat 49 dogs Monday. It is not awesome for the other dogs because they got beat. It is really cool that she is already winning dog pageants and she is only 18-months old.

  • maggier-stu
    10/03/2016 - 04:25 p.m.

    I hope her dreams come true. The dog would be great to work at a hospital with kids since it says shes nice, calm, she doesn't get excited. I think sick kids would love her.

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