NORTH MANKATO — Wiener dogs. Running. With a purpose.
More needn't be said to the sizable crowd at ArtSplash in North Mankato midday Saturday. As pure-bread dachshunds lined up for the first heat of the Wiener Dog Race, more than 100 people gathered excitedly along the race lines — all 30 feet of it.
Before the first heat, three owners squatted down, holding their dogs around their tummies as emcee Tanya Whitcomb announced, “Wieners, take your mark.” The crowd leaned in.
“If you have never been to a wiener dog race before, then you are in for a treat,” she said.
Whitcomb was absolutely right. Even though it appeared that Bam Bam, Charlie Brown and Bentley Boo Boo were in it to win it, the first heat showed the crowd exactly what makes a wiener dog race so much fun.
Only one dog actually made it to the finish line. The other two got distracted — by each other, by the cheering crowd, and by their owners who some just wanted to circle back around to.
“I have a saying that a wiener dog's attention span is about as long as their legs,” Whitcomb said.
A solid group of athletic wieners did, in fact, win their heats — quickly traversing the 30 feet from the starting line to a helper calling for them at the finish. Those five warrior wieners faced off until their were just two.
But there was room for just one winner. Marya Flynn had wanted a dachshund since she was a kid. Why? “Because they look like wieners,” of course.
About 18 months ago, her family adopted Gus. And as her daughters Jazzlynn and Rihanna Flynn explained, the family started training Gus to run and come to them with treats and squeaky toys.
So on Saturday, with Marya at the finish line holding a very appealing green-frog squeaky, there was no stopping Gus. The speedy wiener was crowned champion and winner of a prize package from Log Dog Apparel.
He also got kisses from Mom and Dad, Tim Flynn, and an enthusiastic “Good boy!”
What more could a wiener ask for?