By Emily Goodin - 05/14/13 11:06 PM EDT
Several hundred nominations have been submitted for The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful list, and some in particular stand out thanks to their creativity and humor.
Dads have nominated daughters, daughters have nominated dads (but not the same dads and daughters), while others wrote poems and prose about their nominees and extol their personal virtues in addition to their beauty.
Tucker, a 2-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, lives on Capitol Hill and is often spotted in various House office buildings and hanging out at Bullfeathers restaurant. But Tucker is ineligible for the list (The Hill has a humans-only policy), despite a plug from owner Joel Nelson, who calls his pet “the Justin Bieber of Barracks Row.”
Nelson said he and his friends were at a barbecue, talking about whom they should nominate for the annual list when they decided it should be Tucker.
“We know other people who were on the list, and he gets so much attention,” Nelson said of Tucker.
People often ask to take pictures with the dog, who has met several prominent Capitol Hill figures, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Chesty, the newly recruited bulldog mascot for the Marine Corps barracks at Eighth and I streets.
Tucker and Nelson sat down with The Hill last week when they were on their way to visit a friend in the Rayburn House Office Building.
Tucker patiently waited for his leash and collar to come off before he walked through the metal detector unaided and waited for his owner on the other side.
“We have friends in all three House buildings,” Nelson said, noting that Tucker is used to security procedures.
Tucker stands about waist high and weighs about 85 pounds (and will probably get up to 90-95 pounds). He eats a raw diet of chicken eggs, ground salmon, and veggie mix.
His dark-brown coat is soft and shiny. Ridgebacks can be trained to run long distances, with some of them running half marathons, but Tucker’s exercise is mostly limited to plenty of walks.
Nelson got Tucker from a local breeder and was there when the dog was born. He was looking for a sporty animal, and Ridgebacks are known as the “Navy SEALS” of dogs.
The breeder started working with Tucker from almost the day the dog was born, which Nelson said is crucial.
“He’s been around people from day one. That’s important in a big city where a lots of people pet him.”