Wiener dogs race for fun, prizes
Jennifer Lee Preyss
Feb. 19, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated Feb. 20, 2011 at 8:21 p.m.
Crouching on his knees at the end of two fenced-in lanes at the Victoria Community Center's Livestock Pavilion, Chad Smith waved a leash and dog treats at his 6-year-old dachshund, Wrangler.
"Wrangler! Wranger! C'mon Wrangler," Smith yelled from the opposite end of lane one.
"Look at 'em go, with lightening speed!" Gary Moses emphatically cheered as he emceed the Second Annual Wiener Dog Races at the Victoria Livestock Show on Saturday.
A roaring crowd of about 200 onlookers enthusiastically laughed and cheered as Wrangler dashed to the opposite end of his lane. It was official, he was the 2011 Wiener Dog Race champion in the adult category.
"He did very well, we're very proud of him," Smith, 28, said.
Smith traveled from Austin to Victoria this weekend to visit his friend Jennifer Filla with no intention of entering Wrangler in the Wiener Dog Races. But hearing about the races, Filla encouraged Smith to enter his dog.
"Jennifer told us about this and we thought it sounded fun," Smith said. "We didn't know he'd win."
Wrangler wasn't the only pooch vying for a win. Twenty-two full-bread dachshunds entered Saturday's race in three categories: puppy, adult and senior.
Ten-year-old Tonto was the lone competitor in the senior category, who paced himself down the lane, but crossed the finish line nevertheless.
"It's pretty hard to lose when you're the only one competing," Tonto's owner Marsha McNorton said. "We weren't sure if he'd make it down the lane, he's so old, but we're real proud of him that he made it."
In the puppy category, Tommy Pawlik's 10-month-old Bella Blue "won by a nose," Moses said.
"We've got the Oscars, we've got the Grammy's and we've got the Wiener Dog Races," Moses said as he handed out the awards.
All three of the champion dogs were given trophies and custom dog tags, as well as gift bags with handmade snuggle blankets for the dogs to burrow in.
"I think this event is hilarious. Wiener dogs are just so unpredictable. Their personalities are so fun," audience member Monett Cox said. Cox owns two dachshunds, Dixie and Bailey, and is now considering entering them in next year's race.
"Dixie is like lightening, she could do very well," Cox said. "I guess you could say we're here checking out the competition."
The Wiener Dog Race was sponsored by the Moscatelli Veterinary Clinic.