The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Tank, a 2-Year-Old Bulldog from Iowa Won Drake University's 36th Annual 'Beautiful Bulldog' Contest Sunday

Monday, April 20, 2015

Tank, a 2-Year-Old Bulldog from Iowa Won Drake University's 36th Annual 'Beautiful Bulldog' Contest Sunday

The dogs 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 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.

Tank received top honors as well as a crown and cape.

He will appear before more than 16,000 fans, or, royal subjects  at the university's Drake Relays to be honored as mascot of the event, which will be held from Thursday through Saturday, according to the contest's website. 

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. 

Should Tank be unable to fulfill his duties as the Drake Relays mascot, fellow Des Moines dog, 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 have 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," said Sussman. 

Winner: Tank, a 2-year-old bulldog from Iowa won Drake University's 36th annual 'Beautiful Bulldog' contest Sunday




A real beauty: Tank, who enjoys eating snow and watching turtles, will now serve as mascot of this year's Drake Relays




Owner: Here, Tank enjoys a rub from his owner, Duane Smith, after winning the 36th annual contest




Pageant: The tongue-in-cheek beauty pageant, which featured 50 dogs, is the kickoff event for the Drake Relays track meet 




Bex in a tutu: Ronnie Sussman, of Union, New Jersey, walks her dog, Bex across the stage during the contest as part of the Drake Relays 
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