Beautiful Bulldogs

The Drake Relays is about world-class athletes, campus celebrations, and most of all, bulldogs. Drake’s mascot becomes an all-powerful symbol during these couple weeks every April. In fact, bulldogs are so praised that we even have a pageant to honor the most beautiful bulldog. This year for the first time during my tenure at Drake, the contest happened during the weekend, so I was finally able to go. And let me tell you, it really was beautiful. Though I’m not normally a fan of pageants, The Beautiful Bulldog Pageant is a definite exception.

Tank, the beautiful winner at this year's pageant, gets his own crown, throne, and cape, and gets to reign over  this year's Relays festivities. Photo via Drake University

Tank, the beautiful winner at this year’s pageant, gets his own crown, throne, and cape, and gets to reign over this year’s Relays festivities. Photo via Drake University

Over 50 different bulldogs competed and I got to see them dressed up in their finest and strut across the Knapp Center stage. There were dogs were dressed in scuba gear, a ladybug outfit, and even a pirate outfit. This year’s winner, Tank, was wearing army fatigues. It sounds kind of crazy, I know. But actually, it’s a really fantastic, fun, and important event. It brings the Drake community together to kick off the Relays season, and is just a showcase of what make Drake so special.

At then end of the day, the Beautiful Bulldog Pageant is really about more than those adorable, slobbery faces. It’s about celebrating Drake, raising awareness for canine adoption and welfare agencies, and honoring the memory of our late mascot Porterhouse, who was a therapy dog, adoption advocate, and unifying force of the Drake community.

Then again, those little faces really are pretty cute too. To see them in all their glory, check out this photo gallery. And for more information on this year’s Beautiful Bulldog Pageant, see the story here.

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