Long Beach, Calif., went to the dogs on Saturday, Feb. 10, as more than 300 Bulldogs, their owners, and canine-loving spectators gathered in Livingston Park for the Bulldog Beauty Contest. The annual event is sponsored by Haute Dogs Inc., an organization that aims to educate the public about dogs though outreach programs and special events.
While most of the canine contestants hailed from The Golden State, several came from as far away as Phoenix, Ariz.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and even Canada, for their chance at glory and fame. Or, at least, they came for a great day of fun and socializing for dogs and people alike.
The festivities began in the Belmont Shore neighborhood at 11:30 a.m., with a few informational booths and a registration tent. The local chapter of the Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network was on hand to answer questions, hand out reading materials and fill up kiddy pools to cool off the bulldog contestants. Also on hand was Dr. Greg Perrault, a veterinarian at Cats & Dogs Animal Hospital in Long Beach, in case of any emergencies. Event judges included several real-life beauty queens, including Mrs. America 2006, Andrea Preuss.
The highlight of the pre-contest activities was the appearance of Tyson, the 5-year-old skateboarding Bulldog. He wowed the crowd as he hopped on a skateboard and made multiple runs up and down the alley.
By the time the actual beauty contest began at 2:30 p.m. the park was elbow-to-elbow with nervous owners and lots of snorting, tongue-waggling, friendly Bulldogs eager to walk the 100-foot red-carpeted runway. Among the 15 categories for which the dogs were judged were Oldest Contestant, Most Congenial, Best Smile, Best Tongue, and Best Legs.
The big winner of the event was Dooby, a Bulldog/Chippendales dancer (or so his costume suggested, complete with dollar bills tucked into his black stretch pants). The 2-year-old Bulldog, owned by Johnny Iglesias from Playa Vista, Calif., received a prize package that included a bejeweled crown, a crystal bowl from Tiffany & Co. and a year’s supply of dog food, courtesy of Haute Dogs.
The next Haute Dogs event will be the Haute Dog Easter Parade on Easter Sunday (April 8) and will be open to all breeds of dogs. Haute Dogs also hosts a Howl’oween Parade every October. For more information, visit www.hautedogs.org