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?
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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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  • MackenzieSh
    4/25/2014 - 01:46 p.m.

    YES! Bulldogs are the type of dogs who are so ugly, they're so cute. Usually they're one of the nicest dogs too. I think they have a good pagent winner. This is so awesome.

  • Dylan74727
    4/25/2014 - 01:51 p.m.

    This isn't right I love dogs but this it to far. Dogs should not be treated this good. They should be just like any other pet no pampered like a human.

  • Calvin12345
    4/25/2014 - 02:51 p.m.

    First thing, bulldogs are ugly. Try a breed like Jack-Russel they are energetic and fun to play with. I don't understand why they picked a breed that slobber...

  • LexiS-Syl
    4/25/2014 - 03:31 p.m.

    I think it is a good idea to have a contest for different breeds of dogs instead of having them for all types together because when they are separated they can be looked at differently when they have the same breeds together.

  • EthanP-Syl
    4/25/2014 - 03:35 p.m.

    I have a 9 - year old, English Bulldog at my house, he is a nice dog, and is really calm and quiet and doesn't play a lot. He has a really slobbery mouth after he gets done drinking.

  • leighanna13
    4/25/2014 - 03:39 p.m.

    In a way I guess they can be cute. The only thing I don't like about them is that they sometimes smell bad and slobber. No offense to any bull dog lovers. It is just my opinion. But I think that bulldog's eyes are cute.

  • AnneMarie8eagles
    4/25/2014 - 03:58 p.m.

    Every dog as the potential to be beautiful. Beauty is on the inside. If a dog is docile and sweet like Lacey that dog is beautiful. If a dog is always scowling and barking at any one who walked by no one would want to even go near the dog. Even though a dog may not be pleasing to look at, if it is loving then someone is bound to love it. I think the pageant show is just a way to show a beautiful dog's full character. Costume and all.

  • RyanB-4
    4/25/2014 - 04:02 p.m.

    Lucey is a slobbering 18-month-old pooch. Her human family dreams of making her a therapy dog.Winning a padgent would help her hopes of joining the health care industry.The pageant is meant to honor English Bulldogs and all the slovenly traits that have endeared the breed to so many.
    This is super nice. I hope lucy can win the padgent. she would be great in the health care industry.

  • telinn-1
    4/25/2014 - 04:12 p.m.

    In this article we talk about a bull dog named lucey. Many people believe that Lucy is beautiful but there are some that don't think the same. Lucey has one many dog pageants in her life . As Lucy is so beautiful she tries to persuade everyone that she is a loving dog. I think this article is amazing because I think his dog is beautiful and I would never call a dog ugly

  • morgank-Koc
    4/25/2014 - 07:54 p.m.

    Yeah a bulldog can be beautiful because beautiful is an opinion. So people have diffrent views & opinions if beautiful. In my opinion though they aren't so beautiful.

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