(AP) Buddy is a sleeping beauty: Reddish brown, he's usually asleep on his back, snoring loudly with his large tongue lolling out.
He was wide-awake Monday, though, when he was crowned winner of a "Beautiful Bulldog" contest.
"He doesn't have a good stamina to him ... he's been laying around all winter," said George DuBois from Ankeny, Iowa, who owns Buddy with his wife, Cindy. "Just in the last 10, 15 days we've done some walking. We've been getting in shape for this."
The DuBois' 3-year-old dog was among 50 bulldogs from mostly Midwestern states who came to compete. The beauty contest honors Drake University's mascot and is one of the events leading up to the Drake Relays, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious track and field competitions.
"I'm so excited. I didn't think he had what it took to get it," said Cindy DuBois. "His mom is back home and she won't know what to think when he comes home with all this good stuff."
Buddy competed unadorned, unlike many of his rivals. They dressed up as fairy princesses, rock stars, cheerleaders, bumblebees and even Snow White and Mr. T.
Bella Star of Elmwood, Ill., had her nails painted red and wore a Hawaiian lei, pink bikini top and a grass skirt. The skirt slipped off as she strutted down the "dogwalk" before the judges.
"We felt this best represented her personality," said owner Amanda Price. "She's very fun-loving, high-spirited."
Buddy panted heavily as he sat on his throne, getting used to his new crown and cape as photographers snapped his picture. On Saturday, he'll ride in a golf cart at Drake Stadium before about 18,000 spectators.
"I don't think he really wants attention all that much ... he wants to be with people," said George DuBois. "He's just a rascal."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.