Pooches come from far and wide to com­pete for beau­ti­ful bull­dog award

The China Post - - LIFE - BY LUKE MERED­ITH

The pups came from as far away as New Jer­sey and Ten­nessee in hopes of land­ing a new nick­name: “Beau­ti­ful Bull­dog.”

They were all de­feated by a na­tive son who likes eat­ing snow and watch­ing tur­tles.

A 2- year- old dog from Des Moines named Tank won the 36th an­nual Beau­ti­ful Bull­dog con­test Sun­day at Drake Uni­ver­sity. The tongue-in-cheek beauty pageant, which fea­tured 50 dogs, is the kick­off event for the Drake Re­lays track meet.

“He’s funny,” said Tank’s owner, Duane Smith. “He’s a real good one.”

Pageant or­ga­niz­ers nar­rowed a pool of more than 100 hope­ful pups by a lot­tery held last month.

Judges weren’t look­ing for beauty though.

They wanted to see the slob­ber, drool and bulging, blood­shot eyes syn­ony­mous with English bull­dogs.

They got all that and more from Tank — who now will­ingly shares his house with a Pomera­nian and some tur­tles af­ter Smith found him on Craigslist a year ago.

Tank will be put to work right away as the mas­cot for the Drake Re­lays, which will be held from Thurs­day through Satur­day.

Should Tank be un­able to ful­fill his du­ties, fel­low Des Moines pup Steve will step in.

Steve was sec­ond even though he was ini­tially so shy about the makeshift cat­walk set up on Drake’s bas­ket­ball court that his owner had to pick him up and plunk him down, much to the de­light of the few thou­sand spec­ta­tors on hand.

There also was a “Best Dressed” win­ner in Li­nus the Love­bug — who had to be dragged around in a wagon be­cause of arthritic legs — and the con­ge­nial­ity award went to a dog named Princess Ma­bel.

If there was an award for driv­ing the fur­thest to en­ter the con­test it would’ve gone to Ron­nie Suss­man and her dog Bex, who drove 17 hours from Union, New Jer­sey.

Suss­man and Bex will go home empty-handed, but she said the trip was more than worth it.

“This is just like a bucket list item of life for me,” Suss­man said.

AP

(Top) Li­nus the Love­Bug, owned by Re­becca Richard­son, of Wash­ing­ton, Illi­nois, naps dur­ing the 36th an­nual Drake Re­lays Beau­ti­ful Bull­dog Con­test on Sun­day, April 19. (Above) Bex, owned by Doug Buchanan, of Union, New Jer­sey, waits for judg­ing dur­ing the 36th an­nual Drake Re­lays Beau­ti­ful Bull­dog Con­test on Sun­day.

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