LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio — A 160-pound Liberty Township dog was selected as the the winner of Budweiser’s first Pupweiser contest.
Wilson the St. Bernard is the face of Budweiser's special edition holiday cans which are now on sale.
Kelsey Dempsey, a civil engineer, and fiancé Colin Black, a software engineer, worked from home during the pandemic. That’s when Dempsey took up photography in her spare time. In March, the Budweiser contest for a photogenic dog caught her eye.
“I got into photography as a hobby," Dempsey said. "I had taken some pictures during the holiday season. I saw someone had posted to be on the cans. I thought that would be fun. I posted to their hashtag not thinking much of it. They contacted me a few days later and said we were in the final four. It was crazy.”
After several days of voting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, Dempsey learned her 2-year-old dog was the winner.
“The public got to vote and he won. I couldn’t believe it,” Dempsey said.
Wilson was purchased from a breeder after the loss of Dempsey’s much-loved rescue St. Bernard, Apollo. The senior dog lived a long life, but developed health issues. Dempsey said she hoped a dog from a breeder would have less issues.
Wilson comes from a line of show dogs and has a mellow temperament.
“If he has good enough treats, he will sit still for at least a little while,” Dempsey said, adding she has dresses Wilson for portraits.
The first week of this month, they traveled St. Louis for Wilson’s photo shoot and a tour of Anheuser-Busch that included a meet up with the famous Clydesdale horses.
“They made Wilson look tiny,” Dempsey said.
Wilson has always loved people and his fame is something he’s loving.
"Wilson has always really liked people and attention, so this is a dream to have people say, ‘Hey can I get a picture and can I pet him’,” Dempsey said.
This was the first year for the contest and Anheuser-Busch is now looking for the special pup to be pictured on 2022 holiday cans. More information may be found online at us.budweiser.com/en/Pupweiser.html.
And Wilson’s adventures be followed on his Instagram page at @apollo_and_wilson.