Check out these photos I took last week at the 2011 Wiener Nationals Dachshund Race at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley. I was rooting for Andrew Ramsey and Mitzi, his 9-year old Mini Dachshund. I figured Andrew would have it nailed because I saw the race last year and most of the dachshunds didn’t even run directly to the handler. Instead, they got distracted and meandered about. Basically all you had to do was run, and the chances of winning were pretty good. This year was a big improvement in the speed and focus of the teams. For Mitzi it really sucked to be a Mini on a Standards field, although she did win one round.
Next year, I’m expecting an even bigger improvement in the speed and conditioning of the teams. I find this really exciting to see people motivated to improve the health and fitness of the Dachshund. A breed that at its worst is a weak backed show monstrosity with a temper, but at its best is a magnificent Tolkienesque hunting dog, versatile, stable and useful. The irony of racing Dachshunds shows a humility that can bring a smile to your face. It was nice to see people being serious, yet light-hearted about their passion. The handlers and fans were stylish and all the dogs got along. Now if they just learned how to build drive, instead of relying on whats already there, the Wiener world would be a faster place.
Check out Mitzi’s Security Detail: