Pup named Huckleberry crowned 'Beautiful Bulldog'


Huckleberry sits on the throne after being crowned the winner of the 34th annual Drake Relays Beautiful Bulldog Contest, Monday, April 22, 2013, in Des Moines, Iowa. The 4-year-old bulldog pup is owned by Steven and Stephanie Hein of Norwalk, Iowa. The pageant kicks off the Drake Relays festivities at Drake University where a bulldog is the mascot. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) | Zoom
More Photos

See all photos

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - If at first you don't succeed, wipe the slobber off and try again.

Just ask 4-year-old pup Huckleberry, who was crowned Monday as this year's "Beautiful Bulldog."

Huckleberry competed for the title in 2010, only to walk away empty-pawed. That changed this year, when he strutted down a blue runway at Drake University in Des Moines dressed in a beige suit as the main character from the movie "Forrest Gump."

"He's just a lover," said his owner, Stephanie Hein, as Huckleberry sat next to his miniature basketball toy and a suitcase similar to one owned by Forrest Gump.

The contest is now in its 34th year and is held ahead of the annual Drake Relays track and field meet. The university's mascot is a bulldog, and each year's winner becomes the mascot for the relays event.

Huckleberry beat 46 other bulldogs to don the crown and cape, and competition was stiff. There was a bulldog dressed as a "Thing" character by Dr. Seuss, another wore an eye patch and fake hoop earring to match his pirate-dressed owner. Diva, donning a tutu, took home the prize for best dressed.

Huckleberry seemed unfazed by all the attention, more interested in a dog-friendly cake that's served annually from the gold-painted throne. He threw in a few slobbered kisses to his owners.

When not competing, Huckleberry likes to cuddle and hang out with a girlfriend bulldog who lives nearby, according to Hein and her husband, Steven.

Huckleberry wore a Mohawk when he initially competed in 2010. But Stephanie Hein spent weeks shrinking and sowing together this year's outfit, which included a blue-checkered T-Shirt similar to the one worn by Forrest Gump.

"He was just a puppy then," she said of his first attempt. "But he's certainly grown into himself now."

___

Follow Barbara Rodriguez at http://twitter.com/bcrodriguez


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Spy Gadgets
    A big collection of equipment that would make James Bond envious is on display in Seattle

  • Grab Brunch
    Find a good spot for your Sunday brunch

  • Week in Photos
    Holy Week, white tiger's reflection, and Easter goes to the fishes make up this week's photos
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.