Can a bulldog be beautiful?
Can a bulldog be beautiful? Tiffany Torstenson, of Waukee, Iowa, kisses her dog Lucey after it was crowned the winner of the 35th annual Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest
Can a bulldog be beautiful?
Lexile: 1000L

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Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch. Her 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. The not-too-serious event kicks off the weeklong Drake Relays. The Relays are 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. She will soon start training to become one.

Lucey was certainly a hit with the crowd at Drake's Knapp Center. She beat 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." 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 honored 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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  • mfoth21
    4/24/2014 - 11:51 a.m.

    I think Drake chose bulldogs because bulldogs can be slobbery, yes, but they are very pretty in my opinion and I think he chose them because he is trying to tell everybody that they are not just slobbery, they are also lovable and friendly.

  • Jairus1501
    4/24/2014 - 03:04 p.m.

    Yes a bull dog can be beautiful its amazing and can be a very good friend and they are very smart at that
    They can help you with. Things to because they are very easy to train

  • 04jwier
    4/24/2014 - 06:32 p.m.

    I think it's great they have a competition for bulldogs. They are really good dogs. If those shaved toy poodles can be beautiful, why can't bulldogs be too?

  • SpencerP-3
    4/24/2014 - 07:33 p.m.

    A bulldog named Lucey won the Beautiful Bulldog event. She beat the 49 other contestants. The owner is a surgeon. She brings Lucey to work to train Lucey for being a therapy dog. I didn't know they had beauty pageants for dogs. It would be good to have a nice dog as a therapy dog. I hope it works out.

  • melissag-Orv
    4/24/2014 - 08:51 p.m.

    I think its awesome there is a pageant for bull dogs, I`ve heard a lot of bad things about bull dogs and how bad they are so i think this proves a point that any dog could be as pretty as any other dog and any dog can be a great dog!

  • 07jcastoire
    4/24/2014 - 09:31 p.m.

    I dislike bulldogs due to the fact they slobber all over the place bulldogs are my on the second top ugliest animals number one is of course the naked cat with no fur!

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    4/24/2014 - 09:38 p.m.

    I think Lucey would be a great therapy dog because as Toby says She is good with kids and she is good with adults. If Lucey is good with people, then becoming a therapy dog would make Lucey have a good reputation with people. The fact that there is a beautiful contest for bulldogs surprises me because (no offense) bulldogs are ugly-looking. How can judges tell whether a bulldog is either pretty or ugly. I think it is an honor for Lucey winning the contest because the bulldog that wins the pageant becomes the mascot of a school.
    Critical thinking challenge: Why did Drake choose bulldogs for their beauty pageant? Why didnt they pick a more attractive breed?
    Answer: Drake chose bulldogs for their beauty pageant because since the Drake's mascot is the bulldog, then the pageant has to be about bulldogs.

  • kayley5k15
    4/25/2014 - 11:38 a.m.

    I think a bul-dog can look cute because I have seen cute bul-dog in movies, really life, and in pichers/vidos so ya bul-dogs can be cute.

  • CR-D11white_momba
    4/25/2014 - 12:56 p.m.

    they are cool looking. Almost like a pug with the little snout. I don't find them as ugly and why would someone dress up their dogs. The dog can't say they don't and even if it could the people probably wouldn't take off the stuff.

  • LF2921
    4/25/2014 - 12:57 p.m.

    i think its pretty cool dressing a bulldog to look cool because it makes us laugh.bull dogs are nice dogs and very interesting and they shouldnt choose a dfferent dog.

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