In my middle grade novel, Coop the Great, my protagonist is an elderly, cynical dachshund named Cooper. Coop’s a down-and-out dog, adopted and rejected many times. When he meets Mike, a different kind of owner, Coop’s life takes an unexpected turn.
Ever since I started writing the novel, I’ve been eyeing dachshunds. I’d never paid much attention to them before, but suddenly I saw them everywhere, trotting on tiny legs, resiliently plodding after their owners. When I heard about the 22nd annual Wiener Dog Races while I was in Phoenix, I was intrigued. The tag line on the Wiener Mania page of the Arizona Adopt A Greyhound website made it sound like fun: “Come join us for this great family event where over 200 Wiener Dogs will complete over a 50 yard race track for bragging rights and terrific prizes!”
Of course, I just had to go. Lucky for me, my wife, Jo, wanted to go, too.
Only pure-bred dachshunds can compete in the Wiener Races. Variety is the name of the game here. There were dachshunds of every size, stripe, colour, and attire.
Participants pay a $25 fee to enter, then rally others to support the cause. The money raised goes to Arizona Adopt A Greyhound in their ongoing effort to find homes for retired racing greyhounds.
With 5 categories ranging from Juvenile Racing Wiener to Senior Racing Wiener, there are races to suit every dachshund.
We had a great time at the Wiener Dog Races, but it seemed to me that the contestants had the most fun of all.